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ERIC Number: EJ1208858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
Is There a Text in This Child? Childness and the Child-Authored Text
Beauvais, Clémentine
Children's Literature in Education, v50 n1 p60-75 Mar 2019
This article explores child-authored texts, both real and fictional, and the adult discourse surrounding or commenting on such texts. It focuses on the example of young Marcel's writing in Proust's "In Search of Lost Time," and on the critical commentary on the juvenilia of child authors of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. I argue, using Peter Hollindale's concept of childness, that adult texts written about and around child-authored texts have a tendency to perform, themselves, the kind of childly characteristics that they hope to see in the children's texts. The childness of child-authored texts is an all-but-illusory characteristic if it is envisaged as an intrinsic or essential feature of the texts; however, the adult awareness of the existence of a child-authored text shapes and deforms adult discourse around it in ways that are attributable, at least in part, to the characteristics of childness expected of young writers in a given place and time. Thus, I conclude, the adult text ends up more childly than the child's; and, by conditioning the reader's approach to the child's text as "childly," it is the adult's text, paradoxically, that contaminates it with childness.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A