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YA fiction, popularity and market dominance

May 12, 2013

Vandana Saxena writes: “An oft-cited fact about Rowling’s series is that it has succeeded in bringing children back to books and reading in droves. Bloom hardly sees merit in the fact, pointing out the disjunction between ‘reading’ and ‘good reading’ – an attitude that most YA fiction faces. Herz and Gallo also point out the traditional status of YA fiction as remedial reading for unmotivated readers (though they are concerned with the mistaken nature of such perception). Marketing, sensational covers and advertising to lure the reluctant reader are an integral part of the YA genre. Therefore, the case of Harry Potter offers suitable material due to its ‘conventionality’ as well as the mass-mediated nature of the Potter phenomenon that impinges on any discussion of the series.
“The intrusion of market forces is seen as inevitable in the postmodern condition of late capitalism. [Roberta Seelinger] Trites marks this as a defining feature of the postmodern narratives of growth: ‘the popularity of the traditional Bildungsroman with its emphasis on self-determination gives way to the market dominance of the young adult novel, which is less concerned with depicting growth reverently than it is with investigating how the individual exists within society’ (Disturbing [the Universe] 19).” (p.9)

Ref: (emphases in blue bold mind, italics in original) Vandana Saxena (2012) The Subversive Harry Potter: Adolescent Rebellion and Containment in the J.K. Rowling Novels. McFarland & Company: Jefferson, NC and London.


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