Children's Literature and the Fin de Siècle
Roderick McGillis, International Research Society for Children's Literature. Congress, International Research Society for Children's Literature, Children's Literature Association (U.S.)
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 223 pages
The close of a century invites both retrospection and prognostication. As a period of transition, it also brings a sense of uncertainty, finality, and apocalypticism. These feelings stem from various events, such as political turmoil, scientific advancements, and social change. As might be expected, literature reflects such changes and the feelings they engender. But perhaps more surprisingly, children's literature is especially sensitive to such matters, and fiction for children often struggles with dark and unpleasant issues. This book examines fin de siEcle tensions in 19th- and 20th-century children's literature from around the world.
Each chapter is written by an expert contributor, and the volume ranges over a disparate variety of topics. These include poetry, series books, pacifist fiction, gender issues, religion and literature, eco-criticism, minority experiences, humor and the Holocaust, fantasy and science fiction, and computer culture. In exploring these issues in relation to children's literature, the contributors reveal the shifting nature of our values and the world in which we live. Global in nature, the chapters look at children's literature from such places as Germany, Holland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.