❴PDF❵ ✩ Comparative Children's Literature Author Emer OSullivan – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk WINNER OF THE 2007 CHLA BOOK AWARDChildren's literature has transcended linguistic and cultural borders since books and magazines for young readers were first produced with popular books translated th WINNER OF THE CHLA BOOK AWARDChildren's literature has transcended linguistic and cultural borders since books and magazines for young readers were first produced with popular books translated throughout the worldEmer O'Sullivan Comparative Children's PDF \ traces the history of Comparative Children's Literature studies from the enthusiastic internationalism of the post war period which set out from the idea of a supra national world republic of childhood to modern comparative criticism Drawing on the scholarship and children's literature of many cultures and languages she outlines the constituent areas that structure the field including contact and transfer studies intertextuality studies intermediality studies and image studies In doing so she provides the first comprehensive overview of this exciting new research area Comparative Children's Literature also links the fields of narratology and translation studies to develop an original and highly valuable communicative model of translationTaking in issues of children's 'classics' the canon and world literature for children Comparative Children's Literature reveals that this branch of literature is not as genuinely international as it is often fondly assumed to be and is essential reading for those interested in the conseuences of globalization on children's literature and culture. A great book indeed Full of great ideas and really informative O’Sullivan crafts an articulate and long overdue plea for the necessity of a comparative literature approach to be incorporated into contemporary children’s literature criticism Her opening chapters focus on articulating a theory of comparative children’s literature studies rather than simply drawing upon current comparative literature theory written with adult texts in mind while the second half of the book looks closely at issues surrounding the translation of books for childrenAfter discussing previous attempts at comparative children’s literature studies in Chapter 1 O’Sullivan’s chapter 2 proposes 9 theoretical areas that comparative children’s literature should incorporate They are Theory of children’s literature Three theoretical issues make the study of children’s literature different from that of adult literature “its definition as texts assigned by adults to the group of readers comprising children’ and young people the asymmetry of communication in children’s literature and its belonging to both the literary and educational realms” 21 Contact and transfer studies “Contact studies today no longer look for cause and effect but focus on dynamic processes of exchange between cultures; these studies are a point of departure for uestioning the particularities of a given work and its function in that specific historical and cultural situation” 22 Comparative poetics Studies the poetics of different cultures organization; narrative methods; structure features motifs and themes dialogic elements such as intertextuality and metafictionality and aesthetic categories such as humour” 27 For theme and motif don’t just list books but analyze how the thememotif functions 29 Intertextuality studies examine what texts reference what other texts why and howfor what purpose Intermediality studies Looking at how children’s texts are transferred to the larger realm of children’s culture Such studies analyze adaptations and commodifications of children’s texts” 36 37 for example Margaret Mackey’s work on The Tale of Peter Rabbit Comparative genre studies When and where did certain genres arise? When and where did they flourish? When and where did they wane? Comparative historiography of children’s literature How does the history of children’s literature in one country compare to that of another? Comparative history of children’s literature studies looks at “culture specific aspects of the study of children’s literature which in turn are influenced by how the subject is institutionally established in different cultures ie in what academic discipline did children’s lit scholarship begin and develop? It should also take account of the theoretical approaches and historiographical writings developing from that institutional situation and the connection between the theory and the actual production of literature for young people” 46In chapter 3 O’Sullivan puts some of her earlier articulated theories into practice as she argues against Zohar Shavit’s “universalizing” account of how and why children’s literature emerges in different countries the educational ideology of intellectual movements presenting instead different models by looking at the development of children’s literature in African countries and in IrelandChapters 4 6 take up issues of translation in children’s literature In chapter 4 O’Sullivan examines the level of cultural and linguistic norms in translation – on “shifts in the story what is being told – incidents characters objects locations etc” 81 She outlines several different types of such changes including “Changes of characterization and conduct Toning down the mention of physical functions ‘Correcting’ the creative use of language in translation misspellings for humor; insults; bad language Toning down certain linguistic registers that do not conform to the stylistic norms of children’s literature in the target culture often in translation of varieties of humour” 82 collouial language; class based languageChapter 5 focuses on the translator “in order to identify his or her presence in the translated text” 104 O’Sullivan argues that “in translated texts therefore a discursive presence is to be found above and beyond that of the narrator of the source text namely that of the implied translator” 107 O’Sullivan describes three types of implied translator the amplifying narrator one who adds to the source text’s narration; the reductive narrator one who deletes material from the source text’s narration; and the narrator who by significantly changing the narrative voice drowns out the original source text’s narrator While in adult translation studies the “invisible” implied translator is the norm deviations from the “invisibility” model are common in translations for children’s literature and studying these deviations should form a key component of comparative children’s literature studies O’Sullivan suggestsIn the final chapter O’Sullivan calls into uestion contemporary attempts to create a world canon of children’s literature suggesting that such attempts run up against two problems First “failure to discriminate between translations and original texts is inappropriate because of the influence of social linguistic educational and cultural values and norms on the transference of children’s literature across barriers of language culture and time and because of changes brought about in the practice of translation some of them radically affecting the narrative structure” 147 Second “interpretations of the original text that try to name the elements which made it a classic do not apply to every translation and adaptation of it and certainly not to every media adaptation” 147 Despite these problems however O’Sullivan argues that a canon is necessary and that a comparative approach can “shoulder the task of promoting an objectively legitimate canon” 148 Such a canon would be for scholars not based on books’ appeals to current day childrenO'Sullivan's challenge to the Anglo centric focus of much contemporary children's literature criticism is certainly warranted and the brief examples of comparative criticism that O'Sullivan includes throughout her work to illustrate her theories prove how fruitful such a comparative approach can be Most of what she writes is common sense but it is common sense that few twentieth century critics took into account in their work Her clear outline for how to approach comparative children’s literature work as well as the many examples she provides of comparative scholarship yet to be undertaken should serve as a ready blueprint for future work in this area and help twenty first century scholars shed their English only lenses I didn't expect to find this book especially riveting I intended only to read the first chapter and learn what 'comparative literature' is about I ended up reading the entire book because it offered something interesting every couple of pagesWho knew children's books were so political?
- 205 pages
- Comparative Children's Literature
- Emer OSullivan
- 13 June 2016 Emer OSullivan