Beyond the Pale: New Essays for a New Era by Marc Aronson

By Marc Aronson

A set of essays written within the aftermath of September eleventh within which Aronson weighed out how paintings, background, and books for more youthful readers may perhaps reply to the altered international. As in his earlier assortment, Exploding the Myths, the reality approximately kids and analyzing, he exposes the mythologies and fake ideals that distort our knowing of books and their readers.

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They want to fill the white space with black lines. The seemingly opposite missions of artists and children present, I suspect, something of a problem for teachers. Those who are tepid or skeptical about using art with young people have had their fill of zany artists and think of art as a kind of lazy diversion, a soft-focus activity that encourages kids to "be creative" when they would better spend their time acquiring skills; or they see art fans as given to a flaccid and patronizing judgment that "appreciates" every pot holder, ashtray, finger painting a child makes just as they nod approvingly at every loony, slapdash effusion of modern art.

These books are great examples of how the place of the arts in the children’s world is changing. ” The strangeness of the books is exactly what appeals to children, as I can testify from my own fourteen-month-old son. As I wail and squawk through the bebop sounds, he is delighted, in much the same way as he is when I read to him about the rather magical, surreal, ”great green room” in Goodnight Moon. I don’t know how many of you remember this, but there is one extremely odd page in Goodnight Moon.

And plays are often smuggled into the curriculum as literature-Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, The Crucible. And yet it is the rare school that treats theater as an art form whose history and traditions its students need to know. But now theater is cropping up in a new way. Noticing how much young people like to perform and to see performances, people are both turning novels into plays and writing novels meant to be performed. A group in Seattle called Book-It selects What Good Is Art, Now? 31 a novel, dramatizes it and then stages that play in a regular theater and also in high schools.

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