Saturday, March 02, 2013


The Believer turns 10 this month—incredible! 

I'm honored to be in the 10th-anniversary issue, now on the stands/in your mailbox, with a piece that took me years to write. It's not even that long. It's about Borgesian aspects of beloved children's books like Pat the Bunny

Slate has published the piece as well, which is thrilling for me—I've never been published by Slate. There are some nice comments amid the clueless ones; best of all, the great John Crowley has weighed in!

Those metafictional devices that remind us that a book is not the same as life may bring on existential angst for you. It made me laugh in delight -- like the infinite progression of little cats in "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" ("It is fun to have fun but you have to know how," as the Cat says.) I think most kids are on the delight side not on the dread side. How do you feel about songs like "The Tennessee Waltz" that are about a song that has the same title and often tells the same story as the supposed titular song? Do I make your flesh creep? The inserted pictures from other books are doing what Russian formalists call "baring the device" -- telling us frankly that a book is not the world and can have the same book inside it..

I meant this must be the John Crowley, right? 

I mean...right?


Blogger Richard P said...

I love your piece. These moments in kids' books did always bring me a vertiginous little thrill, and they still do if I pay attention.

11:42 PM  

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