Thursday, June 26, 2014

New Book: Never-ending Stories: Adaptation, Canonisation and Ideology in Children's Literature

Never-ending Stories: Adaptation, Canonisation and Ideology in Children's Literature (Ginkgo Series) by Sylvie Geerts (Editor), Sara Van den Bossche (Editor) is officially released in July, but it is already shipping from book retailers.

I can't find much about this book online--but the description is intriguing. I also found the original call for papers for the symposium that apparently inspired this publication. So this is a collection of papers edited by the symposium organizers. I would love to see a full table of contents and will share one if I find one!

Book description:

The roots of children’s literature are commonly known to lie in adaptation. The texts most frequently adapted for a child audience are either canonised literary works for adults or children’s books which have acquired a high status of their own. In both cases, the stories are adapted to fit the needs of new readers in other contexts. This volume frames adaptation in children’s literature against a broader socio-cultural background, focussing on the ideological implications of the process. Emphasising both diversity and evolution, it deals with oppositional forces and recent trends informing adaptation. At its core are issues of transmediality and new reader roles, adaptations' orientation towards the ideology associated with the pre-text, as well as canonisation of the pre-texts and of the adaptations themselves. The volume is characterised by a broad international and diachronic spread, with topics ranging from traditional Western fairy tale adaptations to retellings of South African oral stories and Persian myths. The evolution discernible in the cases presented neatly illustrates how the process of adaptation allows canonical texts to develop into never-ending stories.

SYLVIE GEERTS and SARA VAN DEN BOSSCHE are researchers in the Department of Literary Studies at Ghent University.

I found this listing for one fairy tale related article in the book, so I know there are some articles within that will interest SurLaLune readers:

Title: How immortal is Disney's Little Mermaid?

Other Titles: The Disneyfication of Andersen's 'The Little Mermaid'

Authors: Van Coillie, Jan

Issue Date: 2014

Publisher: Academia Press

Host Document: Never-ending Stories - Adaptation, Canonisation and Ideology in Children's Literature pages:127-142

Abstract: Focusing on Disney’s adaptation of Andersen’s fairytale The Little Mermaid, this study reveals some essential characteristics of the so-called ‘Disneyfication’. In order to do so, a comparative analysis is carried out, based on concepts from narratology. The analysis focuses on changes in the plot, characters, space, time and perspective. The central question is in how far these changes are due to the inevitable differences caused by the transfer from text to screen or to the interpretation of Disney as it is reflected in the typical characteristics of his feature films. The analysis makes clear how Disney changes the essence of Andersen’s story. Through these fundamental changes, the story is made to conform to Disney’s world vision and American animation design. More precisely, the adaptation reveals a different view on growing up, gender roles, the relation between adults and children and life’s final destiny.

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