Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Discomfort of Oversimplifying

It's only fair that I pull up Susan Hill's comment on my last post, pointing out that my final reference to her concept of 'comfort-blanket' books misrepresented and oversimplified:

The two things are not incompatible.. Comfort blanket books can be great literature at the same time. Or not. A comfort blanket book is, by definition, one which you have read before enough times to know very well and to be guaranteed delight, pleasure, interest, even intellectual stimulation - it has nothing to do with being lulled to sleep. It has everything to do with the certain expectation of reward. I do not mean, by 'comfort blanket books' ones which are necesssarily easy to read or have happy endings or are undemanding.. I do mean those which I return to knowing that although I may get something new out of them, I will also get a repeat of something old - in the best sense - too.
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