179 • Blight on Blight

179 • Blight on Blight

I have only two problems with ‘Noddy’,
The plots and the writing (both shoddy).
If only Ms Blyton
Had worked with the light on
(Or simply been flung in a wadi).

These lines paraphrase my earliest memory of literary criticism. Ms Nicholls’s passion was commendable, her logic less so. A wadi-flinging before 1922, when Blyton published her first title, might have seemed arbitrary and over-harsh. Yet once she’d made it into print, the damage was irreversible – the smug racism, compulsive sexism and wooden stereotyping were out there, a viral formula spreading relentlessly from mind to mind to mind, yea, even unto the third and fourth generation.

2 thoughts on “179 • Blight on Blight

  1. I feel I can die content now I have seen with my own eyes ‘Noddy’ rhymed convincingly with ‘wadi’ in a limerick…

    1. Hi Loris,

      I’m always glad to receive readers’ remarks (and I’m immensely flattered by the word ‘convincingly’ here) but I’m alarmed by the thought that anything I’ve written is likely to precipitate the death of one of them. Would you prefer me to take this rhyme down?


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