William Mayne Edward Blishen - Essay

Edward Blishen

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

We [teachers] might have missed the point about William Mayne…. You have to walk into one of his books sideways—it's an excellent exercise in being a crab, right down to having your eyes on stalks. The books he writes are mysterious, oblique books, the relief of reading which lies in the holiday they give you from the common effort in which we are normally engaged to make a sort of stodgy continuity out of the events and ideas and perceptions in which we are involved. William Mayne I think is one of the few pure wits who have ever written for children. We should be careful about analyzing and using such work until the excitement and delight of it are dispersed. (p. 66)

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(The entire section is 575 words.)