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ERIC Number: ED400858
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Literature-Comparatively Reading. Thinking about the Pink Bits: A Consideration of the Influence of English Children's Literature.
Webb, Jean
This paper examines the state of children's literature by tracing some of the side effects of nineteenth-century English children's literature. During their early histories, the British colonies, including America, were economically unable to produce their own children's books. Reading materials were imported from the home country, and, likewise, the ideological forces of imperialist England accompanied them. The dynamics of nineteenth-century capitalism compelled literary expression in America and England to take diverse directions. At the end of the twentieth century, capitalist pressures are enclosing the publishing worlds of America and England within the same whirlpool of market demand and creation. The mass culture engendered in this literary world results in the"imperialist" domination of the reading space, and therefore what is and what is not being published for the multinational market becomes a vital area of consideration. Restriction and segregation are arising from commercial reasons and are in danger of enclosing the literary experiences of children and channelling their reading into particular cultural knowledge. As with America, South African children's literature written in English reflects the ideologies of imperialist England. Not only do cultural tensions remain in the substance of the narrative, the action, characterization, and plot, but also in the ways that the narrative is constructed. In Australia, there are also problems with the mismatch between the natural narrative of the culture and the required narrative forms of the dominant literacy, which is again Eurocentric. Thus, in the twentieth century, English children's literature continues to be a radical influence. (AEF)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: British Colonies