Thursday, July 26, 2001

It seems Narnia will remain Narnia.

However, there is still something disturbing about this issue:

Before commissioning any new works, [Susan] Katz says, "we will think long and hard and spend time with the estate. Our main focus is quality literature for children. We like to feel that if some of our 520 books a year have a constructive moral message, that's fine."
The head of the children's book division for HarperCollins, likes to feel that some of their books are constructive? What kind of drivel do they want to publish for the rest (majority?) of their books for kids? Does literature have to be amoral to be good? Can literature not include morality of some sort or another? Maybe I'm reading her statement (which is rather convoluted) wrong, but this concerns me.

Toward the end of the article, there is a second interesting paragraph:

What makes a Christian book "Christian"? asks online editor [of Christianity Today] Ted Olsen. He thinks great morality tales can be enjoyed for their captivating narrative as well as their spiritual dimension. But if HarperCollins uses new books as steppingstones, he adds, how do they ensure readers don't step off in a direction not in keeping with Lewis' ethic of hope and salvation?
If HarperCollins is only interested in having a "constructive moral message" does it matter?

What I glean from the article is that the core of Narnia will remain as it is and will become the glue that holds any new "steppingstone" narratives together.

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