ERIC Number: EJ891699
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Reality of Fiction and the Ethics of Storytelling in Eleanor Estes's "The Witch Family"
Children's Literature in Education, v41 n3 p260-272 Sep 2010
This essay examines Eleanor Estes's critically neglected 1960 novel "The Witch Family", arguing that the novel anticipates some of the major preoccupations of later children's literature in its early concern with issues of textuality. While Estes is largely known as a writer of simple family stories, "The Witch Family" is an innovative work of metafiction, which explicitly engages with a number of philosophical and literary-critical issues central to postmodern and poststructuralist discussion. Posing central and overt questions regarding the relationship between reality and fiction, the novel illustrates the contextual, communal, and relational aspects of language and finally suggests that the ability to tell stories ethically is tied to the recognition of one's own contingent position within language.
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Postmodernism, Language Role, Ethics, Philosophy, Literary Criticism, Cartoons, Story Telling, Novels
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A