Ein poetikk er ein kunstnars kommentar til og forståing av eige skapande arbeid. Men det kan vere stor skilnad på kva ein kunstnar seier, og kva han gjer. Stian Hole har laga mange prisa bildebøker, og skrive ein poetikk som er blitt ein mykje lesen inngang til skapande bildebokarbeid. Denne artikkelen hevdar at poetikken ikkje er på høgde med bildebokpraksisen. Medan poetikken er prega av ein romantisk spørjehorisont, vil praksisen betre bli forstått gjennom ein retorisk teori om kunstnarisk skapande arbeid. Artikkelen legg fram ei lesing av poetikken, samtidig som den presenterer ei skisse til ein retorisk teori som kan bidra til beskriving, utforsking og refleksjon over slik praksis.
A Poetic is an artist's comments on and understanding of his or her own artistic work. But there might be a big difference between what the artist says and what he or she is doing artistically. Stian Hole has made many prized picturebooks, and written a poetic that has been a well known way into that same artistic work. This article claims that the poetic is not on the level of the artistic work. While the poetic is dominated by a romantic way of asking questions, the artistic practice is better understood viewing it through a rhetorical theory of creating processes. The article both presents a reading of the poetic and a theoretical modell describing, researching into and reflecting on such practices.
Artikkelen undersøker bildebokadaptasjonen av animasjonsfilmen Min bestemor strøk kongens skjorter. Den sammenligner ”fortellingen om krigen” og måten den blir fortalt på i film og bildebok, og drøfter det retoriske potensialet i mediespesifikke uttrykksformer for de to teksttypene, spesielt med tanke på at de henvender seg til barn.
This article investigates a picture book adaptation of the animated film My Grandmother ironed the King's Shirts. Thus, two versions of a story from World War II made by the Norwegian author, illustrator and film producer Torill Kove are compared. The focus is on the rhetorical potential of the two media text types and art forms with a special consideration about the address to children.
This article addresses the romantic children's literature criticism in Denmark and pin points the educational ideals and conceptions of childhood of the critics respectively. The theoretic basis of the survey is Hans-Heino Ewers’ account of children's literature being inextricably bound up with the conception of children and childhood. In the light of readings of Adam Oehlenschläger, Poul Møller and Søren Kierkegaard the article argues that this is also the case when it comes to children's literature criticism, and that the evaluation criteria, which underlie it, are based on personal conceptions of childhood and educational ideals. The article concludes that this criticism becomes a source of knowledge of primarily conception of childhood and educational ideals, and that it is possible to deduce from this knowledge how categories such as child and childhood easily become vague specimens, which are moulded at the whim of the critic or in accordance to a personal project.
Bildebøker for barn blir i bildebokkritikken ofte karakterisert eller vurdert som naive eller naivistiske. I vid forstand dreier naivisme seg om en kunstoppfatning som bevisst griper tilbake til blant annet barns måter å uttrykke seg visuelt og verbalt på og til folkloristiske uttrykksformer. Hvilken sammenheng er det mellom den kunsthistoriske og litteraturvitenskapelige forståelsen av naiv kunst og bildebokkritikernes bruk av karakteristikken naiv eller naivistisk? Denne artikkelen søker å svare på dette spørsmålet ved å studere et avgrenset antall bildebokmeldinger der karakteristikken naiv eller naivistisk blir brukt om enten verbalteksten eller illustrasjonene.
Picture books for children are often valued in aesthetic and literary terms as naïve by the picture book reviewer. In a broad sense naïve art is characterized as an expression of art that intentionally resorts on children's ways of expressing them self in both visual and verbal art and on folkloristic ways of expression. What kind of correlation could possibly exist between an art and literature theoretic understanding of naïve art and the picture book reviewer's use of the characterisation naïve? This article attempts to answer the question by scrutinizing a limited number of picture book reviews where the characterisation naïve has been used about either the verbal text or the illustrations.
Artikkelen undersøker forbindelsene mellom beskrivelsen av landskap, karakterenes språkbruk og karakterens stedsbruk i Maria Parrs Vaffelhjarte (2005) og Tonje Glimmerdal (2009). Viktige pilarer i denne undersøkelsen er ulike tilnærminger til topografisk litteratur og språksosiologiske og leksikografiske studier av banning.
This article investigates the compounds between the descriptions of landscape, the character's usage and the character's use of space in Maria Parr's Vaffelhjarte (2005) and Tonje Glimmerdal (2009). The main pillars for the study are various approaches to topographic literature and sociolinguistic and lexicographic studies of cursing.
Criticism of children's literature is not, although it too often may seem so, a phenomenon of the later half of the 20th century. The contradiction between didactics and aesthetics, for many established as an axiom in modern children's literature research, has been contra productive when it comes to differences between older and modern literature. While older has become representative for the didactic, the simple and the single-minded, modern has become representative for the aesthetic, the complex and the multifold (the ambiguous). Beginning with an analysis of the very early research in the field of children's literature, the article points at several inconsistencies in the principles of later research. A presentation of international studies of importance for later surveys and historical works, among them the American scholar William Sloane and his comparative studies of children's literature in the 17th and 20th centuries, is conducted in order to contextualise links between different kind of historical perspectives on literature, art and childhood. The bottom-line is what primarily counts in the history of research. Paradigms in some works easily get the status of established truths and are passed on without discussion, while others simply vanish from the bibliographies without comments.
On basis of an extensive material of texts, theories and pictures (comparisons with pictorial art are taken in) the article analyses from a constructional perspective long lived assumptions and paradigms and argues for a new methodology – the archaeology of children's literature research – that includes both the research itself and the researcher. Examples from recent research (Penny Brown, Beverly Lyon Clark, Marah Gubar) clearly show that contextualising literature within history, criticism and debate may result in new and corrective approaches. Motifs, passions and goals of the researcher are all part of the research. Self-reflection is the central keyword.
This essay explores the concept of transnationalism, defining this term in relation both to the lived experience of transnational subjects, and to transnational texts for children. It argues that rhetorics of globalization have over-emphasized the impact and significance of global cultural and economic flows, although the production of children's books is to some extent shaped by the internationalization of publishing houses and markets. The concept of transnationalism provides a way of thinking about how children's texts address and are informed by diverse, complex influences, sometimes from a variety of cultures and languages. Transnationalism is not a new phenomenon but is visible in colonial texts which are shaped both by the particular, local ideologies of colonial nations, and also by the common concerns and interests of such nations. The essay draws on two contemporary texts to illustrate the workings of transnationalism: the film Howl's Moving Castle, and Shaun Tan's picture book The Arrival. It concludes by considering the concept of transnational literacy as a way of approaching scholarship and teaching in children's literature.
Children's literature in Sweden can be roughly divided into before and after the Reformation. Before the Reformation interesting, didactic texts with entertaining exemplary stories for the young were translated and adapted. During the 16th century very few literary texts – for children as well as adults – were published, mainly because the king had total control over the printing. Only texts sanctioned by the king were published. During the 17th century publications for the young increased and some, but not all of them, also address children or youth in the title or the preface. Earlier this was mainly implied, although some authors were explicit as well. In working with older literature I find it valuable to not just consider the intention of the text but the function as well, since more literary texts had the function of being children's literature in the Middle Ages than has been previously presumed. Folk tales, fairy tales and fables are among the genres that were indeed written for and used to educate children. Modern historical research, as well as my own, shows that there is not one but several different concepts of childhood existing at the same time. I also suggest that children's literature may be used as a perspective. If we try to find a universal, timeless definition it will have to be a compromise that may not help us to answer questions about the literary tradition and of how children and adolescents have been included and addressed, educated and entertained through literature in different historical and cultural contexts.
This essay is an investigation into the use of the fable genre in a Danish children's magazine, Avis for Børn (Journal for the children), published in Copenhagen 1779–1782 by the philanthropist and editor Emanuel Balling. The main purpose is to indicate that the classical, Aesopian genre to some extent was transformed and adapted to fit into the didactic and religious purpose dominating this journal. Some examples from the old lore are given to substantiate the assumption that the attitude of the fable mainly was a very pragmatic one, without the moral and religious orientation typical of the stories presented in Avis for Børn. In nature, Avis for Børn would admire the reign of a benevolent God, while in ancient fable nature is a place reigned by brutes and by arbitrary bestiality. Nevertheless, the journal chose to make some meaningful, yet strained use of the genre, without twisting the genre into pastoral sentimentality, a tendency that during the 19th century in children's literature became predominant.
This article considers the conditions and possibilities of writing a methodologically innovative glocal history of post-war Swedish-language children's literature in Finland. Since previous studies of this literature are, as of today, fragmented and scattered in various publications, a comprehensive and more nuanced picture of the time period is sorely needed. Yet, how is such a project to be carried out in light of recent revisionist debates on the possibility of writing national literary histories? The article proposes that the answer lies in applying transnational, intersectional and visual perspectives onto the material. A working hypothesis is that parallel representations of Finno-Swedishnesses, influenced by shifting notions of the child and childhood and by the liminality of Finno-Swedish culture, permeate the literature under study. Transnational and intersectional perspectives can, therefore, shed new light on representations of ideological and societal tendencies, such as power negotiations between generations, multilingualism, gender, and class distinctions. A fully integrated visual perspective taking into consideration paratextual and material aspects of children's literature would further deepen the discussion. Acknowledging transnational tendencies, an intersectional and visual national children's literature history could thus interrogate established “truths” about Finno-Swedish children's literature and thereby open up new ways of viewing this liminal literature.
Terror in the Twin Towers – dystopia and irony? 9/11 in Darlah and En terrorist i senga. Through globalization of our media society, children as well as adults are endlessly exposed to information and images from all over the world. In Norway, signs of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in USA on September 11th 2001 are now to be found in literature for children and young adults. With globalization theory and post-colonial theory I will examine how two novels present global challenges in general and 9/11 in particular. What does globalization mean for the construction of identity? Who are “we”, and who are “the others”? The novel for young adults, Darlah – 172 timer på månen [Darlah – 172 hours on the moon] (2008) by Johan Harstad, is a dystopia where 9/11 points forward to a full scale catastrophe for humanity. En terrorist i senga [There's a terrorist in my bed] (2008), a novel for children by Endre Lund Eriksen, makes explicit references to 9/11 – but with playfulness and ironic revelation of xenophobia. Both books use aliens from outer space as “the other”, but where Darlah presents a pessimistic view of our global future, En terrorist i senga is optimistic on behalf of the humankind.
This article analyses a specific number of picture book reviews on prize-winning Norwegian picture books from 1998–2008. The subject for the analysis is to examine what kind of aesthetic thinking that is expressed in the reviewer's judgement of the book. I found that it was possible to relate the reviews to two well established concepts in classic aesthetic theory, namely the concept of the beauty and the sublime. To illustrate this I have studied more exhaustive a smaller number of reviews on two different books.
Is non-fiction also a part of children's literature?
In recent decades, children's literature researchers have only considered fiction children's literature (Maria Nikolajeva 1998 and Torben Weinreich 2004), and certain younger researchers have shown a tendency to write about experimental books by prize-winning authors (Bodil Kampp 2002). Very few researchers have shown an interest in non-fiction for children, and the consequence is that a great many publications for children have been overlooked. In the Nordic countries, Nina Goga's doctoral thesis from 2008 is the only exception from this exclusive definition of children's literature.
In this article, I present a definition of children's literature that includes non-fiction. In this definition, literature means ‘something written’ after ‘litera’ (Latin: letter). The purposes of the article are, on the one hand, to discuss different definitions and characteristics of non-fiction for children, and on the other hand to identify ways to analyze these books as literature for children. The article includes a discussion of a series of books about zoology by the Danish author Bent Jørgensen and the illustrator Birde Poulsen. One book in particular is discussed as an example of contemporary non-fiction and that is Om natten (In the Night, 2005). This book is subjected to analytical tools from literature studies, and one of the points is that non-fiction should be interpreted and described through a textanalytical approach.
In my thesis “It could just as well have happened today”: Maj Bylock's Drakskeppstrilogi and historical consciousness in ten- to twelve-year-olds, I provide a textual, thematic analysis of the three novels from 1997–1998. Further, in an empirical study I have documented the reading of Bylock's fictitious, historical trilogy about the Viking era as done by 11-year-old children, whose thematic work and development of a historical consciousness also have been part of the study. This article deals only with the textual analysis aspect, which purpose is to show what in the texts might produce a historical consciousness in children as well as how the characters are portrayed in order for children to identify with them. Two functions of the novels are studied: knowledge and analogy. The focus is on the main character Petite/Åsa and her development with a view to gender, ethnicity and class as seen from an intersectional perspective. I use postcolonial concepts such as diaspora and hybrid identity in order to describe cultural encounters brought on by migration. I portray female characters gaining a higher level of empowerment, a term used by Joanne Brown and Nancy St. Clair. Bylock claims that she is reflecting the present in her historical texts and that this is more straightforwardly achieved when the events are set several hundred years ago. As a result irrelevant details can be removed and the focus be placed on timeless, human phenomena, for instance cultural encounters. In the light of the above and ideas about how best to describe cultural encounters I analyse the cultural contexts in which the main character finds herself focusing on her transition from a girl into a woman and her quest for a multicultural identity. I elaborate on the concepts mentioned in the previous by describing two cultural encounters which provide an analogy with the present.
In my article, “Young rascals of the middle-class – masculinities in Erik Pallins Pojkarna på Klasro”, I argue that Pojkarna på Klasro (1922) in many regards is a typical boy's book, and a good starting-point for mapping out and studying the Swedish branch of the genre, a genre defined by gender. During the 1920s the Swedish author Erik Pallin (1878–1964) wrote five books about the three brothers Erik, Nisse and Anders, which all take place at the family's summerhouse Klasro during school holidays. The stories mainly revolve around typical boyhood adventures and outdoor activities, such as hiking, exploring, swimming, rowing, and fighting other gangs of boys, in this case, preferably boys of the lower classes. Not surprisingly, Pallin's text describes a patriarchal hierarchy, where the boys are adjusted to hegemonic masculinity and driven by homosocial desire, which leads to the excluding of girls; most female characters play subordinated (anonymous) parts and are bound up with the domestic sphere. In terms of power, an intersectional perspective shows that besides gender, age, physical abilities, geographical domicile (in this case Stockholm) and class are important factors when the boys establish their pecking order. An interesting aspect of the fact that the boys belong to the middle-class, is the lack of typical boy's discourse (slang, puns, oaths etc.), which otherwise is common in Swedish boy's books of this era.
Masculinity, courage and morality: Amanda Kerfstedt's “Carl Berg's skoltid”. Amanda Kerfstedt's “Carl Bergs skoltid” describes a boy's journey to manhood in late 19th century Sweden. This article pertains that the text contrasts an ideal of masculinity based on physical strength with an ideal emphasizing morality. Although a true man, as described in the story, is expected to be strong as well as righteous, the moral component is the most important. The text shows that courage and force, which are not checked by a sense of ethics, may turn into brutality and abuse of power. Different types of masculinity are compared in “Carl Bergs skoltid” but masculinity is also defined in relation to ideas about femininity. The association with women is utilized to stress a lack of courage in men as well as to redefine a masculine ideal that has focused too much on physical prowess instead of strength of character.
Packaging and trademarks as representation of everyday life and consumption as liberation. This text shows how the packages in Pija Lindenbaum When Owen's mom breathed fire (2005) represent the everyday life and the reality in contrast to his mother who turned into a dragon. The text also shows how consumption can represent liberation and personal growth in a few Swedish picture books of recent years. It also covers how a rejection of the commercial children's literature can effect our view of the packaging of children's book illustrations. Examples from Gunilla Bergström's books about Alfie Atkins shows how the anonymous and non-recognizable packaging can be perceived.
“Poor daddy” – child's perspective and iconotext in three award-winning picture books. The Western dichotomy between children and adults characterize our opinion both on children and childhood. In this understanding framework the children are seen as something totally different from adults. Can artistic children's literature modify this habitual thinking about such hierarchical levels? The three books to examine closer have all won awards from Ministry of Culture as the best Norwegian picture book that year. Both Svein Nyhus: Pappa [Daddy] (1998), Hans Sande and Gry Moursund: Arkimedes og brødskiva [Archimedes and the Sandwich] (2000) and Stein Erik Lunde and Øyvind Torseter: Eg kan ikkje sove no [I Can't Sleep Now] (2008) are first-person narratives where the main character is a child. In such picture books visual and verbal point of view rarely are the same. The illustrations usually observe the central character from a distance and then allow the reader not only to adopt the narrator's point of view. What kind of ambiguities in the complex relationship between text and images give signals to the readers – and to the understanding of the narrator's position and perspective? What can this perspective and the iconotext in the three books tell us about today's children's role?
Kerstin Thorvall (1925–2010) is a Swedish author of books for children and young adults, as well as books for adults. In 1965, she wrote the article “Do all authors of children's books live in Tomtebolandet?” (“Bor alla barnboksförfattare i Tomtebolandet”, Expressen 1965) in which she claims that gender roles in Swedish children's literature, are depicted in an old and stereotypical fashion. She also wants children's literature to adjust better to the actual lives of it's readers, for example by describing the environments that are recognizable to children in their everyday life, such as kindergarten and apartment buildings in an urban setting. Thorvall's article inspired a debate about children's literature and gender roles that had a great influence in the design of children's books in the following decade. Thorvall herself also wrote picture books showing her version of the best ways to handle these issues in children's literature. This paper will address some of these picture books, namely Mamma, var är du? (1972, Mother, where are you?) and the books about Sara, Sara (1975) and Mer om Sara (1977, More about Sara) with illustrations by Monica Schultz, in order to discuss issues about children's literature and it's depiction of family values during the Swedish 1970s.
In children's literature, power relations are fundamentally assymetrical. This is furthermore accentuated in the process of translation where translation norms, social and cultural norms as well as the power game of adult authorities play a major part. The Swedish author Astrid Lindgren's ideology is based on the notion that no aspects of life should be hidden from the child, making her thematize as well as break taboos in her writing for children. There has been extensive research on Lindgren's authorship per se, but research on translations of her books seems to be limited. The fact that discussions on taboo elements in children's books in general, and Lindgren's source texts and target texts in particular are sparse indicates that this is a vast – and interesting – field still to be explored. This paper focuses on the American and British translations of Lindgren's Madicken (1960) and Madicken och Junibackens Pims (1976) in order to find out why and to what extent these books were censored in translation.
In Astrid Lindgren's authorship, there are many bodies in motion, and one of her most movable and energetic characters is Pippi Longstocking. In the illustrated novels about Pippi (Lindgren and Nyman 1945 1946, and 1948) there are relatively few pictures, and as a result, Lindgren's words carry most of the story. In the novels, her words have a greater functional load (Kress 2003, 46) than Nyman's pictures. Naturally then, the words convey most of the information about Pippi and the other characters’ movements. But how does the portrayal of bodies in motion change when Pippi is portrayed in picturebooks where the pictures have a lot more space, ie, a greater functional load than in the illustrated novels? The aim of this article is to study bodies in motion in Astrid Lindgren's and Ingrid Nyman's picturebook Do you Know Pippi Longstocking? (1947). My main focus will be how words and illustrations – together and separately – provide the reader with information about Pippi's movements in this picturebook.
Eva Billow as picture book artist and graphic designer.
The 1940's and 50's was a dynamic period for the Nordic picturebook. There is a general aspiration to explore picture book aesthetics, a need to find imagery and expressions capturing a new era. In my article, I will discuss how these ideas are expressed in the illustrator and graphic artist Eva Billow's picture books. Her illustration style is originated in a modernist tradition of simplicity, clarity and typographic precision. Also, an idea about books as an art form is evident through her production. Eva Billow's production covers a wide field of graphic design, from picture books, cartoons and illustrations to book art, posters and advertisements. I will discuss Billow's use of aesthetics that can be related to functionalist ideas and will further place this approach in a larger context in the history of Swedish graphic design. The general interest in graphic design and new printing techniques among picturebook illustrators can also be seen as a part of a tendency within Nordic Modernism where the artist aspired to make arts a part of the society. But the appeal for the picturebook among the young Nordic artists and authors, prior and after the Second World War, also expresses an inter-artistic tendency, where the limits between different forms of art are explored.