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Digital Literature for Children

Texts, Readers and Educational Practices


Edited By Mireia Manresa and Neus Real

This book is the result of a research project carried out by the research group GRETEL from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) on children’s and adolescents’ digital literary education. It offers some of the outcomes of this project and combines them with other contributions from internationally renowned authors to address the three pillars of digital literary reader training: the texts themselves, the responses they generate in children and adolescents and digital reading practices at home and at school.
This work is intended as a contribution to international research on digital literature for children and young adults and its impact on the teaching practices of literary education. Its main goals are to guide the inclusion of this training in classrooms and to investigate strategies for accessing multimedia, interactive and hypertextual messages and products that form a part of fictional products today.
The volume begins by contextualising electronic literary reading and specifying the new research framework of digital literature for children and adolescents. It then provides an overview of the relationships between the electronic medium and children and young adult production on the one hand, and of the digital works and their features on the other, to reflect on their potential for literary education. Subsequently, it tackles the effective contact of children and adolescents with this literature in order to determine what happens when different electronic works are made available to children readers without eliminating printed literature from their environment. Finally, the floor is given to two leading creators.
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“Common Places in Children’s E-Lit”. A Journey through the Defining Spaces of Electronic Literature


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“Common Places in Children’s E-Lit”

A Journey through the Defining Spaces of Electronic Literature


Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Introduction. If we cannot define literature, how can we define electronic literature?

If the field of humanities contains a dangerous activity it is the drawing of definitive boundaries for any of its elements. Let us briefly consider, for example, the idea of literature and the enormous conceptual distance that exists between the mimetic vision of Aristotle, who saw in poetry the representation of the possible through language (how many times has this idea been misinterpreted in the history of literary theory!) and the vision of Russian formalist Roman Jakobson who, on defining literature as “organised violence committed on ordinary speech”, placed the weight of “literariness” on the evocative and reflexive capacity of the external language form (Eagleton 2008: 2). If we continue to review the history of literary ontology a little further – adding, for example, a Plato or a Barthes to the equation – we realise the impossibility of reconciling all our readings and desist in our search for a clearly defined vision of what literature is. This, however, does not mean to say that literature does not exist. Literature exists and is palpable, and any group of people with minimum knowledge on the subject would be capable of reaching an agreement, with greater or lesser precision, on whether a particular text is or is...

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