Everybody a little life in their Yoda needs hmmmmm? As part of the thought process began here, I wanted to briefly explain who my inspirations were in relation to my writing / blogging about children’s literature, language and literacy and hopefully (she says, sliding back into art-school vocabulary) contextualise my critical practice.
If you read one book about critical theory, make sure you read Nikolajeva’s “The Rhetoric of Character in Children’s Literature“. It is genuinely a game-changer. She discusses how everything from speech tags through to names combine to create character – and it’s all done in a madly readable and fascinating style.
I first came across Barthes at university and I’ve remained in love with him ever since and it’s all primarily because of one quote: “Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.” (A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments (1979)) Oh. My. God. He gets it. He gets the raw physicality of language and the blunt, near-primal sexuality of discourse. He gets it so right.
Because, I think, nobody quite writes love like KM Peyton does.
“’What will the Prof say?’ [Pennington] whispered, smiling, moving his face against hers.
‘He’ll say I’m bad for you.’ [said Ruth]
‘Good for me. I need you.’
‘I love you’
‘Yes.’ Pennington’s Heir (1973:12)
Everybody needs a piece of art that they can just – just breathe. This is mine. Always.
So who’s your Yoda? I’d love to hear them! :)