Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorSommers, Joseph Michael
dc.descriptionDissertation (Ph.D.)--University of Kansas, English, 2007.en_US
dc.description.abstractMy project conducts a historical study of the narratology of children's and adolescent literature in post-World War II United States and Great Britain. More specifically, I demonstrate the rapid flourishing of the field's prosaics as arising directly out of those children's writers' reconsideration of nineteen-century European folklore during the socio-political climate of World Wars period (roughly 1900-1950). I argue that the authors of twentieth-century children's literature writing post-World War II internalized the socio-cultural mores of the first half of the twentieth-century, and, as resultant to growing up during this period, they reinterpret the purpose and architecture of the children's literature that they create. Prior to the World Wars, folk traditions emphasizing the preservation of static nationalism dominated the landscape of what would then have been called children's literature. These fairy tales and folklore emphasized straightforward didacticism keyed to the oversimplified binaries writers believed a child would best comprehend. After the World Wars, the writers of children's literature began re-examining the former static constructions of nation and community with greater chrono-spatial, or as Mikhail Bakhtin termed it, chronotopal, complexity germane to their place in history and the audience they addressed.

Therein, I argue that the first half of the twentieth-century marks an intersection, really more a conflation, of what Bakhtinian scholars refer to as the Quest/Romance chronotopes and the bildungsroman/entwicklungsroman into a single chronotope whereupon the linearity of the one form and circularity of the other are reconciled through the emergence of the Fantasy genre from what was earlier only known as the novelized fairy tale (and later still, the rise of the genre of Young Adult fiction). Chapters will deal specifically with the works of The Grimm Brothers, L. Frank Baum, C. S. Lewis and Judy Blume. Each will be shown to make advances upon the complexity of the children's novel as the twentieth-century progresses until the novel reaches a point that transcends what a children's novel could hope to accomplish with its audience, and we enter a new chronotope designed specifically for children in their adolescent years.
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansasen_US
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.en_US
dc.subjectLanguage, literature and linguisticsen_US
dc.subjectAdolescent literatureen_US
dc.subjectAmerican literatureen_US
dc.subjectBakhtin, Mikhailen_US
dc.subjectChildren's literatureen_US
dc.subjectGreat Britainen_US
dc.subjectUnited Statesen_US
dc.titleThe inheritance of modernism: Contemporary children’s literature and the construction of new chronotopes in the United States and Great Britainen_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record