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The Byatt Files

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Posted by: Melissa
July 11, 2003, 11:57 AM

And it continues: The response letters in the NYTimes include quotes from authors and mothers alike. One author, Caleb Carr, says, "Ms. Byatt's article is indispensable: a classic and precise piece of true criticism, neither bile nor reverence, but brilliant dissection" (though this editor thinks proofs, logic and citation from the actual text which you claim to be discussing - sorely absent from Ms. Byatt's elaboration - are crucial elements in any "dissection"), while Sarah Green of Massachussetts responds: "A. S. Byatt's discussion of the Harry Potter books fits nicely in the venerable literary tradition of pretentiousness...you'll find that the Brontë sisters, whom Ms. Byatt mentions as shining exemplars of literary worth, were once so dismissed."

And if you haven't read the response from Charles Taylor of Salon.com yet, do so. It's balanced, literate and eloquently tears down all Ms. Byatt's claims.

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