Proust – The Aftermath and Enid Blyton

Just because I have finished reading Proust doesn’t mean I will stop writing about him. Well it does really, but I needed some way to start today’s post. It is actually a little strange now that I have finished was was, for me, and epic task. My Goodreads 2013 Reading challenge took a serious hit and I am way behind where I should be, even having specified fewer books than I completed last year. As I have previously mentioned I am slowly reading some Tolstoy and Sophocles, but in an effort to improve my Goodreads numbers I have also been reading a few Enid Blyton books.

I have always been a fan of Enid Blyton, especially her children’s adventure stories, in particular the adventure series, the mystery series and the famous five. I have almost completed reading first editions of the adventure series. I am interested in the way that these books have changed over the years. I have heard a few whispers about changes to many of Enid Blyton’s books in later editions, as society changes.

Many of these books were written in the forties and fifties and would not now be considered to be politically correct. I think that many changes have been made to these books and after I have finished the first editions I am going to read the latest editions, from 2011/2012. As of yet I do not know the changes that may have been made, but I feel that with any books it is important to read them in context, appreciating the time at which they were written and the social and cultural norms of that period. A number of these books were written in wartime England and as such contained a degree of propagandist bias.

Anyway more on this when I have completed the first editions and also the latest editions.


12 thoughts on “Proust – The Aftermath and Enid Blyton

  1. I always try to read the oldest edition i can get my hands on. I hate the word abridged for one thing and I feel that if I really want to gain perspective on the writing I must understand what the author intended then, not what someone else thought was politically acceptable a hundred years later. Oh Julian, your love of books does so capture my affection!


    • I agree. I hate abridged editions. I have been caught out a number of times when buying a book, finding out after the fact that it is abridged, especially when buying online. I think a love of books is something we have in common. Books are easy to love! I do so enjoy reading your comments Ionia πŸ˜‰


      • So now that you have had a few days to consider Proust and all the glory that it entails, have you had any further revelations?

        Here was my great revelation after finishing Proust in my freshman year of college ‘Some people were designed to write things that I could only imagine without a pen within a thousand feet.’ πŸ™‚ I still feel that way about it honestly.


      • I guess I feel similarly. I think Proust is one of those authors where I can read him and constantly find myself saying things like, ‘That’s so true’, ‘I feel exactly that way’ and so on, yet there is no hope I could even identify those thoughts clearly in my mind, let alone describe them with such clarity, and honesty. I found that I identified very strongly with Proust’s narrator, although I am not sure what that says about me πŸ™‚


      • I have read some of your reviews. I think you do a great job of it. I think some things are probably just reserved for those special minds, like Proust’s though. To be able to see into the heart of human emotions and to allow us to connect to those feelings in an entertaining way. It is a special skill. I have often thought about trying my hand at book reviews, but whenever I think about it I feel I am either sounding too pretentious or too naive.


  2. I loved Enid Blyton as a child, I devoured the Famous Five books. I read them in Dutch though, as I grew up in the Netherlands, but I am still grateful to my mom who introduced me to them (and who kept buying them for me). It would be interesting to read them in English now, especially if what you say is true about them changing things.


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