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Brave New Worlds

Old and New Classics of Children’s Literatures


Elena Paruolo

There is no unanimous and internationally accepted definition of a children’s classic and identifying the «new classics» proves even more problematic. Globalisation, the influence of the new media, and the trend of crossover fiction necessitate a new approach to the definition of classics on an international level that takes into account the transformation of cultural habits.
Many of the great classics have been popularised through translations and adaptations, both within a single culture and among different cultures.
The classics of children’s literature and their translations and adaptations are the theme of this book which collects the papers of the International Conference, Brave New Worlds. Old and New Classics of Children’s Literatures, organised at the University of Salerno, Italy, June 11-12, 2009. Involved in the discussions are representatives of the academic world, including some founders of children’s literature as an academic discipline in Europe, as well as two translators and one illustrator.
The book’s distinctive nature arises from the desire not to restrict the discussion to the pantheon of English language classics, but to spread the net further afield and include classics from a number of other language areas, as well as books that could become the «new classics».
The wide range of works analysed include: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Le avventure di Pinocchio, La Guerre des Boutons, La Belle Lisse Poire du Prince de Motordu, Robinson der Jüngere, Tintenherz, Vernon God Little, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, Sing-Song and ‘Star and Moon’.
Contents: Elena Paruolo: Introduction – Sandra L. Beckett: Crossover Classics: Classics for All Ages – Peter Hunt: British Classics on the Operating Table. Dissecting Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and The Wind in the Willows – Jean Perrot: French Classics: Between a Nostalgia for the Sacred and the Buoyancy of the Playing Child – Anja Müller: From Robinson der Jüngere (Robinson the Younger) to Tintenherz (Inkheart): Tracing German Children’s Fiction between Realism and Fantasy – Morag Styles: «Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat!»: Appraising Old and New Classics of Children’s Poetry – Stefania Ciocia: Vernon God Little: A Future Crossover Classic? – Alessandro Serpieri: Translating Alice: Clash of Logics in a Dream-Like Tale – Roberto d’Ajello: Alice ’int’ ’o Paese d’ ’e Maraveglie (Alice in Wonderland) – Roberta Pederzoli: The «Paratext Effect» in the Translation of Children’s Classics: the Case of La Guerre des Boutons (The War of the Buttons) – Mauro Evangelista: Illustrating the classics – Laura Tosi: «The Witch is not such a Bad Egg»: Adapting «Hansel and Gretel» for a Contemporary Audience.