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ERIC Number: EJ1215493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jun
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
Red Letter Childhoods: "The Translator's Invisibility," "The Hidden Adult," & the "Foreignizing" Nonsense of Dr. Seuss
Tulloch, Bonnie J.
Children's Literature in Education, v50 n2 p160-177 Jun 2019
This article explores how adult writers of children's literature are implicitly positioned as translators between "adult" and "child" culture. Adopting the lens of metaphor theory, it traces the conceptual correspondence between adult metaphors of childhood (e.g., the child-savage analogy) and the metaphor of the adult translator of childhood. In examining the partially structured nature of these metaphoric representations of "child culture," it contends that translation theory, like postcolonial theory, provides a useful critical framework for exploring the power dynamics inherent to children's literature and the conceptual system that underlies it. Specifically, it argues that different models of translation (i.e., "domesticating" and "foreignizing" translation) are a productive lens through which to examine adult authors' approaches to writing for children. After considering the way children's literature, like "domesticating" translation (in: Venuti, "The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation," Routledge, London, 1995, p. 20), attempts to conceal the subjectivities of its adult creators (in: Nodelman, "The Hidden Adult: Defining Children's Literature," The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2008), I suggest that "foreignizing" translation offers an alternative approach through which to understand the adult act of writing for children (Venuti, 1995, p. 20). A close reading of Dr. Seuss's "On Beyond Zebra!" (1955) (Random House, New York, 1983/1955) is given to demonstrate the foreignizing significance of his nonsense poetry, which, in exposing the partially structured nature of its representations of childhood, disrupts the domesticating discourses of the genre in which it participates.
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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