Re: paata chandamama kathalu

Bapa Rao (brao@tis.com)
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 12:54:06 -0700 (PDT)


> 
> On Thu, 11 Sep 1997 23:42:59 Jagdish "stereo-typically challenged" Bisa
> writes:
> 
> >Considering the volume of childrens' literature in US at present, IMO, a
> >_lot_ of it isn't of the "fable" variety for sure.  Yes, a "few" of them
> >are, but they exist as legacy.  Many of the new and popular stories are
> >simple, imaginative, and yet don't sum up the theme in the form of a
> >moral at the end.

The "moral at the end" doesn't have to be literal; it could be an
implicit conclusion at the end of reading the story. Even something
so apparently nonsensical as Dr. Seuss's Fox in Socks or Green
Eggs and Ham (to take two at random) have a "moral"
if you are looking for one. At the other end of the spectrum,
Telugu also has non-fabular imagination-intensive stories like
"raaju-Eduguru koDukulu", "Iga katha" etc. 

The difference between a lot of Telugu childrens' tales and the modern crop
of American ones may be more in the relative subtlety of presentation (less
explicit beating-over-the-head moralizing) and in the greater openness to 
"alternative moral universes that are nevertheless internally
consistent" that appear in American stories. 
 
> 
> At the risk of engaging in discussion of a non-telusa persuasion, is 
> the above because currently morals are passe; there are only shades 
> of gray, "what is right to you may be wrong to me"-inspired attitudes?
> The world of situational ethics doesn't allow an "absolute" moral 
> to be neatly summed up at the end, does it? I am right, and you are
> also right. And if someone questions as to how it can be, then he is 
> also right.

Two points: What you describe is probably more characteristic of the 
clueless variety of stories than the intelligent kind. Second, the
conservative "family values revolution" has given rise to PBS shows
like "adventures from (bill Bennet's) the book of virtues." I actually
find BOV somewhat reprehensible in some ways--it seems to be an 
explicit attempt to keep multiculturalism in its proper place. After
getting used to the multiracial cast of Barney, Sesame street, 
puzzle place, magic school bus (driving farther and farther away from 
telusa) etc etc., the absence of "colored" faces in the main cast of BOV is 
jarringi (maybe I'm wrong, haven't watched too many of its episodes
due to my prejudice against Bennett).

Bapa Rao