children are prigs & we should teach them to identify w/vehicles of revolution

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There are 2 cool articles out on children’s poetry, esp. Russian children’s poetry, right now.

Here’s a fun bit from the 1st, on how we assume today that children’s literature that’s

“about not swearing, about not fighting with one’s brothers and sisters, and about not wasting time can only be the soporific effusions of persons with ant farms up their asses. Prigs, in a word—who want to teach children to be prigs.

There’s just one problem. Children actually are prigs. They adore scolding one another. They adore pulling rank. And they adore the idea that they (unlike the brutish, unlike the neighbors, unlike the damned) know what is appropriate and what is not.

’Tis Pity Such a Pretty Maid As I Should Go to Hell – Anthony Madrid – Paris Review – July 12, 2017

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And also see this bit from the 2nd: 

In the United States…discussions of children’s literature have lately focussed, understandably, on coping with feelings of fear and anxiety. But if today’s readers want to empower their children to construct a better world from the miserable resources of the present one, the crafty poems of “Fire Horse” are necessary literature. Teaching children to wildly identify themselves, their bodies, with the literal vehicles of revolution (the army horse, the streetcar, the airplane), to embody a leap of radical faith, they dismantle the kind of submissive consciousness that once made kids bitterly mourn a dictator.

The Secret Lessons of Soviet Children’s Poems – Ania Aizman – The New Yorker – July 12, 2017

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