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Scott Brown echoes BDJB & I don't like it!


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I was but a wee Junebug, maybe 14, when Big Daddy JB said, "Novels are the last thing you should read. Biographies and history, those are what's important."

It took me many decades and Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling to realize that - gasp! - BDJB wasn't right about that one. It took a reading of NCFIC.org's Scott Brown's recent blogpost to feel sick to my tummy. I mean, folks, it's 2012! Big Daddy JB gave his advice in 1965(-ish).

Here's Scott, on scottbrownonline.com, quoting Charles Spurgeon:

How many young people there are whose hearts are just a road along which thoughts of levity and desires for amusement are continually going! How many precious hours are wasted over the novels of the day! I think that one of the worst enemies of the Gospel of Christ, at the present time, is to be found in the fiction of the day. People get these worthless books and sit, and sit—forgetful of the duties of this world and of all that relates to the world to come—just losing themselves in the story of the hero or heroine. I have seen them shedding tears over things that never happened, as if there were not enough real sorrows in the world for us to grieve over! So these feet of fictitious personages, these feet of foolish frivolities, these feet of mere nonsense, or worse, keep traversing the hearts of men and making them hard so that the Gospel cannot enter.


A friend who's a devoted novelist and short story writer patiently explained to me, less than a decade back, that novelists can explore truths and ideas, slay dragons of fears and express the highest and the basest in human behavior -- and readers can make of those words, what they will.

Perhaps this is what Spurgeon & Brown fear about the reading of fiction: that readers will use their reason and senses to come to conclusions of which S & B wouldn't approve.

But ha! to them -- reading biographies and histories, I've done that very thing.

BTW, to restore my dad's reputation: In his waning days, I treated him to a viewing of the BBC's 1995 version of "Pride and Prejudice." He wasn't able to really concentrate on it, but he did ask for a general outline of the story, and he got a great kick out of the twists and turns that I described. I think Dad would've like a lot of fiction, good fiction. I feel a little sorrow for Scott and Spurgeon's devotees who will reject Jane and J.K. and John Grisham and Ann B. Ross and so many others...

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Hey, what a coin-ki-dink! I just re-watched my dvd copy of the BBC version this week. Colin Firth is the only Mr. Darcy I care to watch :!:

That said, Scott sounds like the typical fundy that only approves of something if it was done/created "back in the good old days". So, fiction of today is crap, but that Ballantyne and Elsie Dinsmore mess that Dougie hocks is somehow "good" because it's classic literature?! Young (Fresh) Prince, J. T(eeth) Phillips can romanticize about Ballantyne adventures enough to create a website dedicated to his stories, but youth of today who create fansites about Harry Potter are wasting their time?!

I'm sure that Spurgeon quote probably related to people who were reading books like Ballantyne's back in his day---and look at how "idolized" he is now by the VF crew. Everything will eventually be someone else's classics or "good old days". Perhaps a 100 years from now Dougie's descendants will be hocking the Twilight novels and creating websites romanticizing the "pure" courtship of Bella and Edward.

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