Judy Blume

This is an interesting book to finish up with – Everthing I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume. It brings back so many memories of Judy Blume books, and that time period where every girl I knew read Judy Blume – we tried increasing our bust size like Margaret, and shared the pages in Forever (you know the pages), we all knew Judy Blume characters, they were the books of our childhood, and early adolescence.

It also brought me back to why I am a reader, what I find in the pages of a book and what I look for. I am a lit major – I spent a lot of years deconstructing and analyzing words and stories. I am a big believer in reader response – that a story does not exist in a vacuum, it is only understood through the lens of the reader and so everyone has a slightly different experience with a book. And yet author intent, if it is successful, allows us to share experiences, to move reading from a solitary past time to a shared social experience. Somewhat like reading and blogging with 50+ other people during a 48 hour period. 🙂

I read to meet new people – to get to know new characters and experience my world in a new way. To see myself and my stories reflected on the page. To gain a new understanding of myself and the world around me. To be entertained. To laugh, and to cry. I no longer read to analyze the symbolism, to deconstruct the author meaning through the lens of feminism, Marxism, Derrida, or some such.

For my generation Judy Blume is a cultural touchstone, and sentimental me, found myself tearing up reading essays that reminded me of that touchstone. I swear if I didn’t know better I would think people I knew were writing these essays. What am I saying? People I know wrote these essays, we just haven’t actually met.

I will write a wrap up of this experience tomorrow – when I am not so tired I can barely think straight. But I had to get this down, the thoughts in my head as I read the essays in Everything . . . Judy Blume.

Good Night all.

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3 Responses

  1. i’ve only read two judy blumes so far. i didn’t really enjoy are you there god? it’s me margaret (the we must, we must, increase our bustchant is hilarious though) but i love tales of a fourth grade nothing. i’m definitely going to read the rest of what she has written.

    http://sulz.daria.be

  2. […] with the Judy Blume essays was perfect. (even though I didn’t finish the essays.) It got me thinking about the social […]

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