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The Poetics of Childhood [Anglais] [Broché]

Roni Natov

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Children's literature provides a medium through which writers re-create or approximate the sensibility of a child. But what exactly is this sensibility, and how does it find creative expression in adulthood? What language can portray the seemingly untranslatable experience of a child?

The Poetics of Childhood, winner of the 2005 International Research Society for Children's Literature Award, investigates these and other questions in a highly original investigation of the elusive sensibility of childhood and the ways writers have tried to capture it over time. Roni Natov traces the development of a distinct poetics – a way of imagining the experience of childhood – from the earliest conceptions of childhood innocence in the Romantic Age through to the present. A variety of literary texts, both those written for children and those engaging a mature readership, are examined for their use of childhood as a lens through which the adult – or the child in the adult – views the world. Her study encompasses a broad sweep of literary traditions, including the pastoral, the dark pastoral, the anti-pastoral, picture books, fantasy, and realism, as well as a remarkable range of authors from William Blake and Lewis Carroll to Doris Lessing and J.K. Rowling. Here Natov finds what is uniquely enchanting about the best of children's literature and why it continues to captivate readers of all ages.

Biographie de l'auteur

Roni Natov is Professor of English at Brooklyn College, CUNY. She co-founded the influential children's literature journal, The Lion and the Unicorn.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 étoiles sur 5  2 commentaires
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Poetics of Childhood 15 janvier 2003
Par Brian Abrams, Ph.D., MT-BC, LPC, FAMI, Assistant Professor of Music Therapy, Utah State University - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In The Poetics of Childhood, Dr. Natov masterfully interweaves archetypal themes of child-centered poetry into a visionary work, which is itself poetic in its aesthetic depth, eloquence, and economy of expression. While it honors the directness, clarity, and playfulness of the child's world, it is simultaneously imbued with the wisdom and maturity of erudite scholarship. The author conveys a vast, comprehensive knowledge of the topic through poignant narratives of beauty and imagination, providing fresh insights into the work of even the best-known poets, and providing new perspectives on the nature of the psyche. Through her literary mastery, Dr. Natov brilliantly plumbs the depths of human consciousness, illuminating the divine in the concrete, and evoking the fantastic in the ordinary. She approaches even the most fundamental themes of childhood with profound respect and revence (as one would approach something sacred), and treats each poem as a living, breathing, art form, with its own life story to tell.
Far beyond informational, The Poetics of Childhood is transformational. It is a moving testament to the resilliance of the human, childhood spirit, which prevails even in the midst of the most intolerable conditions, through its innate artistry and boundless love. As the author portrays dialectic struggles between shadow and light, internal and external, past and present, conscious and unconscious, and body and soul, she simultaneously reveals how each of these dichotomies is ulitmately transcended through the creative process inherent in child-centered poetry. In this way, the reader gains an appreciation of these poetic works as reflections of, and as pathways to, self-integration, healing, and spiritual development.
Because Dr. Natov is forthright about her own life context and peresonal values, the reader is continually aware of her authenticity and genuine presence. The Poetics of Childhood is a compelling, inspirational work, capable of enriching the lives of artists, scholars, and healers of all disciplines. Truly, it provides possibilities for relating in new ways to the child each of us has been, and which each of us still is.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful Contribution to Childhood Studies 9 mai 2005
Par Laurie M. Ousley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The Poetics of Childhood is Roni Natov's most recent contribution to the study of children's literature. The book is remarkable in its breadth and depth, considering, as she states in the introduction,

the literature of childhood through a variety of texts both those conceived and written for children and those that engage an exclusively adult readership. Its focus is those works that provide a shared area where adult and child come together... The majority of works considered here belong as much to adults as to children, as the world of childhood belongs to adults in memory as well as to children temporally. (3)

The close readings of texts from William Blake to Lewis Carroll, Maurice Sendak to Faith Ringgold, Gertrude Stein to Arundhati Roy, Lolita to Harry Potter, allow the reader to consider not only the literature intended for children, but work through a concept, a poetics of childhood itself as experienced by the child and remembered by the adult. Throughout the book, Natov reveals a profound respect for children's books and childhood and children. Lois R. Kuznets, former President of the Children's Literature Association, lovingly ends a review published in the Children's Literature Association Quarterly stating "Natov displays both an acute sensitivity to the joys and pains of childhood-immediate and remembered-and a strong sense of responsibility to the child reader as well as to those adults who empower childhood and children."

Natov's thoughtful analysis of the literature of childhood in Poetics, marks a good first step in "Childhood Studies," which will make as lasting a contribution to the scholarship of childhood as The Lion and the Unicorn, the journal of children's literature scholarship founded by Natov and her long-time collaborator, Geraldine DeLuca. Most importantly, I think, the book advocates a respectful and sensitive means of addressing children and childhood, recognizing the trauma that children around the world face as part of their everyday lives. In her concluding paragraph, Natov argues-perhaps even pleads-that we advocate for and protect our children: "In its broadest sense, then, the literature of childhood represents a challenge to the world. In the voices of children, in their questions about things that seem unfair, this literature demands that we look again at the crippling and divisive forces of racism and sexism. In its depictions of children suffering and struggling against the bleakest and most unstable conditions, it is an indictment of the barbaric effects of poverty on their lives. In response to our current world that criminalizes them, in response to our polluted, wartorn, power-hungry world, the literature of childhood, in its varied imagined landscapes, suggests an inclusive society in which children can find a safe and creative way to live" (262).

It's a wonderful book and clearly the product of a lifetime of thoughtful, respectful study.
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