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Delany on "'sophomoric' texts"

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  • Erich Schneider
    I m finishing up reading _Conversations with Samuel R. Delany_, edited by Carl Freedman, and to me the most interesting passage I ve encountered is this one,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2013
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      I'm finishing up reading _Conversations with Samuel R. Delany_, edited
      by Carl Freedman, and to me the most interesting passage I've
      encountered is this one, in the interview with Erin Cusack on comics
      (p. 164).

      "... as every teacher knows, there are a lot of highly seductive texts
      - what one might called "sophomoric" texts - that can be greatly
      enjoyable and seem extremely fresh and new to not particularly widely
      educated readers. The problem is that they tend not to lead readers on
      to other works, especially once they become broadly popular. Rather,
      they stop and catch readers and make them think, often, that they have
      now encountered the best there is, so the readers just stall out and
      never progress. *The Lord of the Rings*, *A Hitchhiker's Guide to the
      Galaxy*, even *Hary Potter* often function in this way. On another
      level, the works of Charles Bukowski can easily strike young male
      readers like this."

      I would love to hear Delany develop this notion of "'sophomoric'
      texts" more. First, I'd like to know what qualities or attributes he
      thinks such texts share. Second, it would be interesting to have
      someone engage him on his particular examples. Tolkien, for example,
      connects to the entire epic fantasy genre, much of which
      imitates his work and/or consciously constrasts with it. And the fact
      that every chain bookstore in the U.S. now has a large "Young Adult
      Fantasy/SF" section can be directly laid at J.K. Rowling's feet, in my
      opinion.

      Indeed, I would like to hear Delany talk about his own work through
      this lens. Where would someone reading _Dhalgren_ for the first time
      in 2013 be led to, for example, besides more Delany?

      --
      Erich Schneider erich@...
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