Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Formative Years

Fiorella's RWA chapter loop has started a thread in which members write down the fifteen books that have "stuck with them" the most.

Now, first of, all, please note how well Fio has mastered (mistressed?) such technical terms as "loop" and "thread."

Then notice that she did not say she is volunteering her own list.

The truth is, her own list would be totally embarrassing compared to the lists that have already appeared: Great Expectations, A Wrinkle in Time, Little Women, Lord of the Flies, stuff like that--really good literature. The stories that have stayed with Fio are less exalted. In fact, many of them are downright trashy.

One of the most influential books she ever read (second grade)was the story of a girl rabbit who persevered and became an Easter Bunny despite motherhood and rampant rabbit sexism. Another book, the title of which is also forever lost in the cobwebbed labyrinths of Fio's so-called mind, was about a family of eight children who got marooned off the coast of California in about 1900 and survived until they were finally rescued by doing such things as cutting the oldest girl's long hair and braiding it into a rope. She also adored the exotic-ness of the twin series--the Dutch twins, the caveman twins, etc.--which her mother sneered at. But then, Mother sneered at the Anne of Green Gables series too.

In other words, the books which have really stuck with Fio are not the great literature which she read as an adult, but the ones that her own weirdness related to in her early years--anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs (fourth grade), Nancy Drew (fifth grade on up), that Andre Norton book about a mutant teen who communicated telepathically with the panther (junior high).

Psychologists out there, analyze as you will.

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