Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Beatrix Potter – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 4th, 2011 · No Comments · Parenting, Reading Related

Beatrix Potter got her poetry from prose: which is to say, from speech, concentrated. Written in an age when it was still assumed that children would not suffer brain damage from hearing a phrase they couldn’t immediately understand, the books are plentifully supplied with elevated verbal constructions. The bright child sees unfamiliar phrases going by just overhead, and reaches up, while the parent is reminded of the historic privilege of being born into a civilization where the morality of children’s books, even at their worthily meant worst, has evolved through supply and demand, and not been imposed by the state according to a plan.

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