So I’m taking Adolescent Literature this semester at school and I plan to write posts about what goes on in class. This is my first one – Day 1 nothing really happened :) I created a tag just for these posts so if you want to follow along just click on the “adolescent literature” category.
While this is the second day of my adolescent literature, this is the first day where we’ve actually discussed anything in my adolescent literature class. Today we focused on the Wall Street Journal article “A Darkness Too Visible” and also an article called “YA Heating Up the Charts”. The main focus though shortly became around “A Darkness Too Visible”.
There was an abundance of mixed opinions on the issue. Some people in my class agreed with the article, with ideas from that literature that is less dark will help protect teens, YA lit as it currently is desensitizing people to violence and other similar topics, and also that it made them uncomfortable to read.
Then there were a number of people, including me, who felt the opposite. I argued for the fact that cutting back and dictating what can be in literature is like censorship to me. As a person, I am well able to dictate what is right for me and can put down a book if I felt uncomfortable or don’t think the book is right for me. There were a lot of arguments for this that I really agreed with. One that I was thinking and someone else said was the idea of how impressionable adults think teens are. I feel like there is an opinion that seeing something in a book people think teens will go out and try it. NOT THE CASE. This led to a discussion about how #yasaves sprung up on twitter in reaction to the article and much more. There was also that of how YA lit was educating teens on issues in books as well.
It seems like this article is going to be kind of central to the course – my professor said that it will keep coming up throughout and I think that is interesting. I made the comment in class that the issues from to light by the WSJ article keep popping up just in different ways. A lot of the points addressed in the WSJ article kind of reminds me of a lot of the buzz around New Adult, only on a little more of a legitimatized level. People are concerned about the level of sex and explicit content in New Adult. I have no issue with there being more explicit scenes in New Adult books, but only if it works with the story. I feel like some New Adult books just through in all this extra sex for the sake of throwing it in and it just doesn’t seem to work for me, but that is a discussion for another day :).
This is a bit of a crazy busy week for me, so I’m keeping this post short. We didn’t get to discussing The Outsiders, the book we read for class today, so that will be a topic for another post after the next class :)