Friday 18 June 2021

The genius of Enid Blyton (and her Goodness)

Enid Blyton was on the side of Good, a writer of genius, and (genuinely, not faked) a Great Woman: so of course she has-been and is a prime target for the totalitarian Establishment

Over the years I have written a couple of posts about my admiration for Enid Blyton. 

In 2013 I discussed why it was that the British intellectual classes always failed to perceive Blyton's unmatched quality as a writer for the youngest children. 

Then - a couple of years ago - I amplified and confirmed the aspect that what 'They' really hate, hate, hate about Blyton is that she was effectively and explicitly on the side of Good in her writings: she aimed to be, and was, a Good Influence on children (Good, by Christian standards). 

This, combined with her unmatched popularity, makes Blyton very dangerous to those who have taken the side against God in the spiritual war of this world. 

I am also very interested in Enid Blyton the woman, since she was a true genius (as defined in my Genius Famine book). 

Most real women geniuses are literary, and usually worked in prose - and in literature Women have had a highly significant effect; although no woman has matched the supreme heights of Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare or Goethe. 

Thus Jane Austen and George Eliot are among the most important of novelists; and modern children's literature (a very significant genre) was mostly a product of women like Frances Hodgson Burnett and Edith Nesbit. This continues with JK Rowling. 

However, it is a fact that women geniuses are often, even more often than men geniuses, subject to 'mental pathology' - neuroticism, instability, self-destructiveness (including sexually). 

And Enid Blyton was - despite her almost superhuman efficiency as a writer, or perhaps related to it - was no exception. Her two marriages and divorce were apparently driven by a calculated selfishness; while a short period of (apparent) mid-life sexual promiscuity had a reckless and self-destructive quality.  

This makes Blyton what modern leftists mean by 'a hypocrite'; in other words, her moral values were higher than her own behaviour. Also she kept this information out of public knowledge - where, if known, it would surely have been harmful to her reputation and sales. 

And there was of course a further 'hypocrisy' to the extent that Blyton presented herself as dedicated mother; when being the most prolific published author ever, and running a business empire, and sustaining contact with a huge fan base - naturally meant that the time spent on mothering was inevitably considerably sub-optimal. 

But - thanks to Jesus Christ - we are not judged by our sinful behavior but by our choices: by 'what side we take' in the spiritual war between God and Satan. And Blyton was solidly On God's Side - which is exactly why she is so hated by the left.  

If Enid Blyton had been a subversive writer, whose public persona and work encouraged immorality; then she would have been a poster girl for the left. If she had flaunted her bad behaviour and justified it by saying it was Good - she would have been admired and praised. 

If, instead of promoting truth-telling, beauty and honesty - Blyton's writings had subtly advocated sly-selfishness, under-age promiscuity, divorce and destruction - she would have been the darling of the intellectuals - and would have been taught in colleges, featured on bank-notes and stamps, and held-up as an exemplary Strong and Successful Woman (which she certainly was). 

So Enid Blyton has always been attacked, denigrated, bowdlerized and suppressed by the mainstream Left and this continues; while her enduring fame and influence (despite this) is almost wholly a bottom-up phenomenon: driven by generations and multitudes of young children who love reading her; and of ordinary parents who are glad that they do!  


Francis Berger said...

My literary blind zones never cease to amaze me. I'm ashamed to admit that I have never heard of Enid Blyton. Having said that, I appreciate your observations concerning the difference between sin (and hypocrisy) and being on the right side of the spiritual war.

You have often drawn attention to how important this differentiation is in this time and place, and I think it's something all Christians must bear in the mind when confronted with media attacks against figures like Blyton (I am assuming that your post was a response to these current attacks).

As you have so pointed out many times, an individual can be quite "sinful" in terms of behavior and still be on the side of Good in terms of belief, attitude, discernment, love, etc. Conversely, virtually sin-less behavior is no guarantee that an individual is on the side of God and Creation.

This is indispensable!

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - Last I heard, nearly 60 years after her death; Enid Blyton was still the best selling English language author (in the UK, maybe beyond) among children who have just learned to read - up to about age 8. This despite a continual drip-drip of criticism against her books - saying they are out-of-date, too dull for modern kids, morally simplistic etc. (as well as all the leftist political stuff). It seems that somehow kids keep 'finding' her books; despite the efforts to hide them.

Hrothgar said...

I entirely concur with your obvservations on Blyton and the true reasons behind the Left's incessant attempts at "cancelling" her. This antipathy has recently been coming out in the open for all to see, but seems to have been present since at least the middle part of her career (when her success started becoming difficult to ignore) within Establishment inner circles.

If the nature of their true affiliations were overlooked, it would seem extraordinary that such a popular children's writer - one moreover whose values (as expressed through her work) were absolutely congruent with those of the vast majority of the population at the time - should have been recieved a long-standing "ban" from broadcast on the BBC as early as the late 30s, on the most tissue-paper thin and (intentionally?) vague of pretexts, that she somehow lacked "literary merit".

So far as I can tell she seems popular in the English-speaking Commonwealth countries, besides being quite widely translated. My currently Antipodean-dwelling neice tells me that her books are very plentiful in the NZ/Australian second-hand bookshops, though I imagine new editions would be harder to find due to ongoing cancellation attempts from the local Establishments. If anything, she may be even more popular in India, where her readership is apparently growing, and which seems the most reliable source for new editions of her works nowadays, especially the lesser-known ones (as anyone who has tried to purchase any lately will soon find out).

This of course gives the lie to the Establishment's present insistence that their long-standing disdain stems from her "racism", "xenophobia", old-fashioned out-of touch British snobbishness, etc. Curious how these very tendencies in their more evil manifestations, though essentially absent from Blyton, were quite in vogue among the leading lights of the Establishment themselves at the time, as we are not now supposed to remember. I presume that modern Indian children would quickly be put off by such things if they they were really so evident in her work. But since The Establishment have long been very useful servitors of the Father of Lies himself (I wonder when it became an effective requirement to join their ranks?) the narrative shift is not too surprising.

Bruce Charlton said...

@H - she somehow lacked "literary merit".

This is mostly because the people who say it are incapable of making any judgment of literary merit.

Another factor, as I said in an earlier piece, is that she wrote for younger children than the other 'childrens classic' authors - so that the books are rather too simple for adults to enjoy. But - so what!