Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nancy Drew, who are you?

Most readers of this blog, as far as I know, know me and know my age. Other readers may already have formed an opinion. If I now post that as a girl I was an avid reader of the original Nancy Drew mysteries, that may confirm my boomerdom.

I was thinking of this the other day because of an article on January 14 in the Albany (OR) Democrat Herald about a new video game called Nancy Drew: Danger by design that is rated for ages 10 and up and has Nancy in Paris working as a gofer for a paranoid deisgner, where players can rack up points "printing replica works of art for tourists." The reviewer John Breeden II of The Washington Post, calls it a "decent adventure[ing] at young girls that keeps you on your toes."

When I was young, Nancy Drew was in books, not games. I enjoyed reading the mysteries, which were not terribly scary. Nancy was a great role model, being independent and a bit of a smart aleck, smart, clever (these are not the same), attractive, stylishly-dressed, and single. I once had quite a full collection of the books, though they were dispersed sometime after I moved to Oregon in 1973 and not in my parents' home when I went back to clean it out for the sale when they had moved West. The way I keep books now, I am surpried that I let them go. They are just the sort of easy reading for an evening, no terrible suspense or adrenalin rush. If I were to reread them now, however, I might be saddened by elements of privilege and hints of prejudice.

It was a long time before I realized that the series author Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym for Mildred Wirt Benson writing for the Stratemeyer syndicate. Once again, as Virginia Woolf said in Mrs. Dalloway, [ Error correction: It is not in Mrs. Dalloway, but in A Room of One's Own which makes much more sense] "For most of history, anonymous was a woman" though according to Wikiquote "[that phrase] appeared as early as 1854 in Anna Jameson's (no relative to me that I know of) Commonplace Book. " [Is this blog my Commonplace book? Wikipedia seems to indicate that this is so. My friend Michael Faris has a separate blog for his Commonplace Book. ]


Blogger Michael Faris said...

In the work that I've read that explores the genealogy of blogs, the genre of the commonplace book is often among those cited, along with the notebook, the journal, letters, editorials, filters, and more. I think all of my blogs serve partially as commonplace books, though I do have one that acts explicitly as such (though the type of excerpts that go there are usually different, more spiritual perhaps, or less academic, more about understanding myself, than the excerpts that go on my other blogs).

10:39 AM  

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