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Literary Communication with Children and Young People

May 8, 2011

How do we use literature to communicate with children and young people?

What do we communicate and why?

(these are questions tied closely to children’s literary scholarship!) …

Anyway, on this topic (in a review of a book by Hans-Heino Ewers), a children’s literature scholar describes how Ewers:

“employs structuralist ideas such as Genette’s concepts of the epitext, the paratext, and the peritext to explore the “twofold communication” that Ewers regards as normative for literature aimed at a young reading audience. [Ewers] seeks to limit “intended children’s reading” (as opposed to “actual children’s reading”).” (my emphasis, p105)…

I am familiar with the paratext and can guess at the meaning of epitext and peritext, but it sounds both interesting and useful as a theoretical tool… worth finding out more!

Ref: J. D. Stahl’s Review of Fundamental Concepts of Children’s Literature Research: Literary and Sociological Approaches. By Hans-Heino Ewers. Trans. from German by William J. McCann. New York and London: Routledge, 2009. in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Volume 35, Number 1, Spring 2010, pp. 105-107

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