My former literature teacher couldn’t stand Harry Potter-Garik the Sweaty little Wretch, as I called him. As soon as the school curriculum required students to write a review, it would start to bubble, seethe, and whistle: “and don’t you dare write me about books like Robinson Crusoe or Harry Potter. I want to see a review of real literature!”
By the way, I once wrote her a review of one of Dreiser’s novels and when I got the notebook back, I found a d in it and the remark: “Such books are not read at such a young age. Sadly, you copied someone else’s review, I had a higher opinion of you.” I was always surprised at this woman who rejected a book about a boy wizard without even looking at it. I have always been surprised by people who believe that all modern novels are weak, children’s books are not serious, and the best writer in the world is Alexander Pushkin.
This is how much blinded consciousness you need to have to attach labels to literature! I think it’s all about this: adults have gradually said goodbye to the ability to be happy and surprised, with a sense of justice and compassion, with the desire to learn, with the need to realize who you are, whose side you are on and why, and all because it’s irrelevant – you can’t survive on such things and you won’t earn money. Let the children play with tales of justice. In a couple of years, they’ll grow out of it, too. In the meantime, we’ll laugh at their extravagances. Maybe we’ll just shake our heads, or maybe we’ll tear a book about a wizard to pieces in a rage. Adults despise children’s literature not because it is not serious, but because they are afraid of it.
They are afraid that children can cry over Dobby’s death, resent Malfoy’s mischief, love Harry, and they do not feel anything. They are afraid to see that children are much stronger and smarter than them, and that “children’s books” may contain things that they, as adults, will not be able to understand.