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The Australian experience; failure vs confidence

August 17, 2011

Another interesting comment by Don Pemberton:

“Strangely,” he writes, “whereas the historians of land exploration and settlement, or of military engagements, and the analysts of – say – marriage and divorce statistices, or of cricket games, seldom neglect to observe that the Australian experience includes a deep understanding of failure, the writers for children (as we view them in the late twentieth century) tend rather to reflect a surging confidence.  The image of the child in this kind of Australian writing is more likely to be clear-lit and sunny than shadowed and bleak. If and why this is so is a subject for further inquiry.”

(my emphases) Don Pemberton (1990) ‘Sources of Resilience: Australian Books for Children and Adolescents” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 15(4); 166-167

I wonder what kind of ‘image of the child‘ New Zealand presents in its literature (fictional, adult, statistical and otherwise). What kind of future is envisaged?


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