Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ENID - 600,000,000 BOOKS

At thestaticvoid we read: Was Enid Blyton a Servant of Satan?

"In The Famous Five series one of the child characters is named ‘Dick’, and an adult character is called ‘Fanny’.

"Americans may associate ‘fanny’ with ‘buttocks’.

"In the rest of the English speaking world however ‘fanny’ refers to the female sex organ.

"‘Dick’, I assume is universally recognised by anglophones.

"So here we have two characters, in series of books for young primary school children, named after the female and male genitalia.

"Did Ms. BLYTon know of this at the time?

"According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, ‘fanny’ came to mean vulva in 1879.

"Likewise, ‘dick’ has had impure connotations since 1891.

"Ms Blyton, having been born in 1897 should have known, thus we can only assume that this was her intent all along – to have children uttering filthy words, all over the world in their bedrooms."

The BBC has recently produced Enid - BBC iPlayer - Enid

In The Mail (Enid Blyton as a barking-mad adulterous bully ...), we learn that Enid Blyton did not like her mother.

"The first husband didn't work out, so she scrubbed him out.

"Emotionally, Blyton remained a little girl, stuck in a world of picnics, secret-society codes and midnight feasts. It acted as a huge comfort blanket.

"Many of Blyton's obsessions can be traced to her father, who left her mother when Enid was 12. She then seized up emotionally and physically."

Blyton's daughter Imogen Smallwood says: 'My mother was arrogant, insecure and without a trace of maternal instinct. Her approach to life was childlike, and she could be spiteful, like a teenager.'

The BBC drama "shows Blyton's flirtatiousness - she entertained servicemen to dinner at the house while her husband was away at war and found them and their attention attractive - directors chose to omit some aspects of Blyton's apparently sensual side, such as visitors arriving to find her playing tennis naked and suggestions of a lesbian affair with her children's nanny, Dorothy Richards."

"Blyton embarked on a string of affairs..." (New TV drama reveals Enid Blyton as a barking-mad adulterous bully ...)

Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton is the UK's best-loved writer, according to a survey conducted for the Costa Book Awards. (Blyton voted 'most loved writer')

Blyton, who wrote the Famous Five series and the Noddy books, has sold more than 600 million books worldwide.

(Enid Blyton came top, followed by 2. Roald Dahl 3. JK Rowling 4. Jane Austen and 5. Shakespeare)

Enid Blyton's work is translated into 130 languages!

Why so successful?

She wrote like a ten year-old.

Ask an average ten year-old to write an adventure story and it might read something like this:

"Four children go to stay in an old house at the coast. They make tree houses. They ride bikes and have picnics and go swimming. They find some dark caves with secret passages.

"They take a boat out to a mysterious island. They are captured by smugglers. Without any help from adults, they escape from their incompetent and silly captors and tell their story to the grateful police."

The vocabulary is simple. The story is simple. The prose is child-like. There are no boring descriptions of people or scenery, but there are some details of things like tree houses and picnics and caves.

Blyton has been accused by the horrid PC world of being racist, sexist and snobbish.

But, note well that Blyton's books do not encourage kids to overdose on heroin or commit gang rape.

They encourage kids to enjoy being kids, and they encourage kids to read. Both adults and children can enjoy the books.

Let's take THE ISLAND OF ADVENTURE as an example.

Chapter 1 The Beginning of Things.

A young boy called Philip normally lives with his impatient Aunt, his non-child-loving Uncle, his sister Dinah, and a "stupid" black servant, at a house on the coast called Craggy Tops.

But during the summer holidays Philip, is getting extra tuition at the home of one of his teachers, a Mr Roy.

While staying with Mr Roy, Philip makes friends with a boy called Jack and his sister Lucy-Ann. Jack and Lucy-Ann are looked after by an uncle.

Note that the children do not have straighforward family backgrounds. Blyton's parents were divorced, and she herself got divorced.

Chapter 2. Making Friends.

As there were only four boys to coach, Mr Roy gives them each individual attention.

Philip tells Lucy-Anne that Craggy Tops is "wild" and "queer".

Philip takes a hedgehog out of his pocket. "It was a baby one, whose prickles were not yet hardened.

Observe that the Blyton world was a world free of child abusers and serial killers. Instead it was a world of harmless teachers and hedgehogs in pockets.

Did you know that hedgehogs are bisexual?

Chapter 3. Two Letters and a Plan.

"Uncle doesn't want us back," says Jack. Philip decides that Jack and Lucy-Ann should escape with them to Craggy Tops.

As you can see, the children do some pretty risky things, but nothing cruel and nasty.

Chapter 4. Craggy Tops.

The children arrive at Craggy Tops.

"It was a queer place."

There has still been no violence!

Chapter 5. Settling in at Craggy Tops.

"Lucy-Ann wished she was sleeping nearer to Jack."

Isn't she sweet and innocent.

Chapter 6. The Days Go By.

"It was a queer place to sleep for the first time at Craggy tops."

Jack shares a mattress with Philip.

"Jack soon got warm, cuddled up against Philip's back."

Blyton has suspected paedophile tendencies?

Chapter 7. A Queer Discovery.

The children explore the damp dark caves, some of which have "queer holes in their roofs."

Dinah pushed Philip.

"She had certainly meant to give philip a hard blow."

Philip falls into a hole.

What would Freud think?

Chapter 8 . In the Cellars.

A secret passage is discovered.

Nabokov and Pale Fire?

Chapter 9. A Strange Boat.

Philip - "Even when he was wearing bathing-drawers he seemed able to secrete some kind of creature about his body.

"Yesterday it had been a couple of friendly crabs. But when he had accidentally sat down on one, and it had nipped him....."

Is this why kids love Blyton?

Chapter 10. Night Adventure.

The black servant is involved in some dark doings.

Chapter 11. Bill Smuggs.

The four children visit a cove.

"The children slipped off their jerseys and shorts and went into the water to bathe."

They spy a boat.

"What a queer place to keep a boat, " says Philip.

Is the pace too fast? Are you embarrased by the strip-tease?

I won't describe all 29 chapters, as I'm sure you've got the idea.

Blyton is gentle innocent fun for both adults and children.

The Enid Blyton Story - Part 5

The Enid Blyton Story - Part 6

The Enid Blyton Story - Part 7

The Enid Blyton Story - Part 8



Ali.mostaque said...

Sexual repression in the UK is very strong, even now, especially after the Victorian era. Certainly in earlier times the British were sexually more liberated. This may explain the fondness for S& M, deriving sexual pleasure through pain, during private sessions, in the UK.

Thus it would be no surprise that the national literature, of whatever quality should reflect this national psyche, in WHAT ELSE BUT CRYPTIC WAYS.

Whether its connected to Satanism, well that's a different matter.....in the case of Enid Blyton, whose books I bought and read as an adolescent, can't see any signs of satanism.......just a lot of xenophobia, racism, patriotism, and child like imagination....not acceptable in the modern context, but then again she has sold 600 million books.

I wasn't sexually aroused by reading so many of her books.......the adult women you came across in the real world did that.

Some say "Alice in Wonderland" is a sexual rights of passage, as is "Beauty and the Beast"......and in modern children's programs you have less subtle allusions to sex, and matters related to sex:

Captain Pugwash: Able Seaman, Master Bates, Seaman Stains.

The Magic Roundabout: Drugs mainly.

Penny said...

Roald Dahl is a most interesting character.

Have you read the book about him, hang on I will grab it.....
there we go
The Irregulars- and the war time british spy ring.

I got it for christmas and it was quite interesting.

He was a spy for the Brits, in the US.

Him, Ian Fleming, another one that just won't come to me..
Wait a minute Noel Coward, all of them, though the book is largely about Dahl, who was if I may say, a bit of an a-hole, but an interesting one.

Anyway read this gals books as a kid, don't recall much about them, so.. either they weren't that impressive or I am pretty forgetful, or a bit of both..

Eni said...

In light of the recent BBC movie on Enid Blyton that has aroused recent interest in the writer, I am glad to inform you that I have just published a book on the writer titled, the Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.bbotw.com).

Stephen Isabirye

Anon said...

Dear Ali,mostaque,

I agree that Blyton is not satanic.



Anon said...

Dear Penny,

Thanks for mentioning Dahl. He is a VERY spooky character. His books are not pleasant. I must investigate some time.



hjprice said...

Can't see any satanism in Blyton I'm afraid. I was hoping I had missed something exciting since I always found her books to be really tedious. And as for Noddy. I always found him and his friends to be rather creepy.

But then again, a lot of British childrens literature and older tv is rather creepy. Just look at Worzel Gummidge ... or Bagpuss ... or even the Clangers (loved the Clangers but it was very very strange :-D).

Oh and as for Captain Pugwash. I'm afraid to say that all those sailors with names like "Master Bates" etc is a total myth. See the (yeah I know :-D) wikipedia entry on it.

Oh and the Magic Roundabout? That was originally a French television programme which was taken to the UK by the BBC and a new soundtrack and voices added by Eric Thompson (father of Emma Thompson). So he's to blame for all the dodgy characterisations and dialogue :-D.

Best wishes


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