Deutschland, Österreich, Osteuropa, England, Belgien und Frankreich
The First World War in French Children’s Literature of Today: Between Pacifism and Unilateral View
The following paper focuses on a set of twenty-two contemporary works about the First World War published for young people. This corpus has been defined by some criteria which should be clarified briefly below. Firstly, the anniversary effect should be avoided, and thus any publications dated 2014 have been excluded. I also wanted to focus on works for young readers currently available in libraries and bookshops. I therefore decided to determine a timeframe of fifteen years, between 1998 and 2013. Among children’s literature publications, only works of fiction have been chosen that were first published in French. This selection of narrative fiction allowed me to avoid factual books and gives consistency to my corpus. The 22 works can be divided into two sets: 18 novels and 4 picture books, a full list can be found in the appendix.
The distribution of the 22 works seems rather exceptional. Firstly, we see three novels in a collection which in both name and partner are slightly politically-oriented: “Les romans de la mémoire”, (Nathan éditions), is a series of novels which bear the stamp of the « Ministère de la Défense – Direction de la mémoire, du patrimoine et des archives ». This relationship between a school publisher and the Ministry of Defence may look surprising. We shall see how very specific this situation of French Children’s Literature about the First World War is.
Another publisher has given a major place to the First World War in...
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