(part of my ongoing Unexpected Literary References series)
Yesterday (11-20-2011) The Simpsons continued its legacy of literary references with an episode featuring Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods, Anansi Boys, and many others . The episode, “The Book Job” (season 23, episode 6), explores the culture of tween lit, specifically stories featuring vampires and magicians, using an Ocean’s Eleven-style heist as the plot backdrop. Though the episode speaks primarily to the idea that tween lit may be hugely factory produced for market consumption rather than intellectual stimulation, the optimistic take-away is that even in a world where television and the internet dominate as means of entertainment and information distribution, books seem to be making a resurgence. This, my hope anyway, will seed these tween literateurs with a life-long love of reading.
About “The Book Job“:
Lisa becomes disheartened when she learns the shocking truth behind the “tween lit” industry and her beloved fantasy novel characters, but Homer decides to cash in on the craze and forms a team to group-write the next “tween lit” hit, with the king of fantasy, Neil Gaiman, lending his expertise to the effort. After catching the eye of a slick industry publisher at the Springfield Book Fair, the team gets an advanced copy of their work and discovers that the corporate lit business is a bigger operation than they imagined.
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About Caleb J. Ross
Caleb began writing his sophomore year of undergrad study when, tired of the formal art education then being taught, he abandoned the pursuit in the middle of a compositional drawing class. Major-less and fearful of losing his financial aid, he signed up to seek a degree in English Literature for no other reason than his lengthy history with the language. Coincidentally, this decision not only introduced him to writing but to reading as well. Prior this transition he had read three books. One of which he understood.