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Gee’s characters

March 27, 2011

Salt - Maurice Gee

Now here’s the kind of academic position that confounds me.  I think it stems from a very specific style of close textual analysis that doesn’t enjoy wider considerations or cultural studies… perhaps; I’m not entirely sure.

Of course, the writing style in literature for younger readers is usually different – less ‘literary’ – but that this makes it somehow unworthy of analysis or academic consideration fascinates me. Restrictions fascinate me! Guess I’m a ‘don’t tell me I can’t do it’ girl. 🙂

In 1986, Bill Manhire wrote:

It would be wrong to subject Gee’s work for children to the sort of close attention demanded by the adult novels.  The element that is conspicuously missing from the children’s writing is the serious exploration of character.  Gee’s young heroes tend to be granted character traits (one child is dreamy, another practical) rather than characters.[1]

…I do wonder if he would still make this distinction in terms of academic merit.


[1] p11 Manhire, Bill.: “Maurice Gee.” Auckland; Oxford: OUP. pp. 73. (New Zealand writers and their work.) (1986)

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  1. Children’s lit vs. Adult lit. « Backyard Books NZ

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