those twins

I start out writing about someone’s theory of literature and imperialism and instantly i’ve written like 4 pages about the Bobbsey Twins. christ. that is NOT patagonia. if only there were a BT book about t hem goingn to patagonia. Oh. maybe that would be a fun opening to the paper!!!! aaaaaa! then I’ll make them go to Mars. perfect!

Then I started staring off into space and thinking about the hardy boys and imagining a paper cvalled “On the Disappearance of Oscar Smuff”. In the early books Smuff was an inept detective and I was thinking maybe he is sort of like the badness of authority, bumbling bureaucrats, etc (though he’s not really an authority) it’s this sort of dissing of authority figures and official people you get during the depression … (?) and then later smuff was no longer really a figure in the books. I think it was too subversive to have an inept adult (smuff isn’t bad – just stupid and interfering and unjust to the Boys) Either the adults are Good or they are Bad (often organized bad – smugglers or spies) and are caught by the Boys and punished by the Good Adults. But adults can’t be just … individually annoying in the later Hardy Boys universe. Why is this? The Bobbsey Twins have Danny Rugg, the bad boy, to be their “bad unjust bumbling” smuff-like figure. Nancy drew doesn’t get anyone like that… Hmmm.

The Twins are reallyone of the more perfect examples of weird imperialism. it’s like seeing the dress rehearsal of the play from backstage. you see all the bones of it. Or like standing behind the magician or something. it’s all about appropriation and exploitation… the Twins always learn a native song or dance or legend or instrument and are made an honorary member of the tribe and then their Daddy gets to take all the valuable lumber away…

jesus christ none of this has anything to do with patagonia. aaaaaaaaaaa.

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One Response to “those twins”

  1. Prentiss Riddle



    Some time within the past month the New Yorker did a piece on the creator of the Hardy Boys as well as Nancy Drew and many other series, Edward Stratemeyer. He changed children’s literature away from the instructive to the exciting, but his bigger innovations had to do with mass production and mass marketing. He hired stables of writers who worked to his specifications under pen names that he owned, so he could crank out whole series at a time, flood the bookshelves, and kill or extend the series freely according to what sold well. And he pioneered the cheap hardback, more respectable and more expensive than the pulps but still within the reach of kids’ allowance.
    If I find the mag I’ll send it to you (that particular article isn’t in the online edition).

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