Friday, January 28, 2011

Why we're drawn to read & write about teenagers.

"... Childhood is a self-enclosed world. It defines itself against the self-enclosed world of adults. Adolescence represents the disruption of childhood. It’s the restless time, the time of dissatisfaction. Adolescence looks in two directions and rejects both. It looks one way toward childhood and another toward adulthood, and feels twice banished. It erects its own laws, which it only half believes in. Sometimes it experiences an immense nostalgia for childhood, more often a disdain. It’s suspicious of adulthood, which it fears as a destiny. It tosses restlessly and doesn’t know what to do. The restlessness of adolescence is good for stories. It keeps them uneasy."

-- Stephen Millhauser, taken from an interview online at The Southeast Review.

(Here's another Millhauser piece that I teach on what the short story can accomplish.)