Friday, February 26, 2010

Updating classic children's books with new media?

Of course, when I write new media, the reality is that much of what is considered new media rapidly dates from the moment it's included in that category. I was talking to a student about how, just reading Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries, you could follow the quick uptake of new forms of social networking, technology and the various vocabularies that go with these. From writing notes in class in book one, before long, characters are texting, for instance. Come to think of it, texting is a shame. I still have some of the notes to friends I wrote in class during Geography. I'm saving them for their children's high school years.

So, it's not so surprising that people are looking at how to update children's classics in order to incorporate new media, as a piece on Jezebel indicates.

Such updating is always a little 'iffy'. There is a charm to vintage and retro and if you read Little Women or Anne of Greengables or the Betsy-Tacy books, it's very easy to recognise parallels to trends experienced in today's high schools. Is there something comforting in the notion that bullying, peer pressure, trying to be popular, trying to have just the right accessories, trying to be the right size, have the right hair... I could go on... is nothing new?

1 comment:

artificiallymythic said...

Have you by any chance picked up and read a copy of The Famous Five in the post-2008 edition?

No? Don't.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/mar/20/news.uk