Alan Jacobs is laying out the facts on Twitter right now.
“Noteworthy: the real problem with YA fiction (much of it is bad) is the same as the problem with superhero movies (most of them are bad).”
“If you think there is something *intrinsically* juvenile about stories that concern beings with superhuman powers, then you’re committed to saying that the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Aeneid, the Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost, etc. etc. are juvenile. Which is manifest nonsense.”
“So the problem is not that we have too many superhero movies, but that those movies are unimaginatively conceived and incompetently written.”
“Much dislike of YA fiction & superhero movies is grounded in two things:19c pref. for realism & Modernist pref. for ‘difficult beauty.’ But if you go pre-c19 you can find plenty of aesthetic models that don’t privilege either realism or difficulty. The Modernist preference for difficulty was consolidated by the professiorate: we need difficult texts to justify our jobs.”
“But some of the most beautiful poems I’ve ever read are perfectly clear and call for little or no professional interpretative assistance.”
And Alex Knapp chips in: “Clarity doesn’t mean simplicity and difficulty doesn’t mean complexity. But oh how critics love to assume that this is the case.”