- Abstracts of Papers Read at the Ninth Annual ChLA Conference
Christa Kamenetsky—"The Irish Fairy Legends and the Brothers Grimm"
The paper investigates the question why the Brothers Grimm translated Croker's Fairy Legends of the South of Ireland into German, and why Croker, in his turn, translated Wilhelm Grimm's long introduction to the work into English. On the basis of the correspondance between Croker and the Brothers Grimm, and within the context of prevailing Romantic theories pertaining to folktale collections, the paper attempts to re-establish the value of the Fairy Legend as a milestone in the history of folklore research and children's literature.
Perry Nodelman—"Beyond Explanation, and Beyond Inexplicability, in Eleanor Cameron's Beyond Silence"
If stories become complete and satisfying by explaining the events they describe, Beyond Silence is an odd story. Not only does it insist some of the events it describes are inexplicable; it seems to have many loose ends. My paper shows how it is complete, and how Cameron uses these apparent loose ends to achieve completeness.
Virginia L. Wolf—"Belief in Tom's Midnight Garden"
This paper explores narrative technique, rather than historical or scientific explanation, as the source of credibility in Tom's Midnight Garden. It concludes that Philippa Pearce uses her protagonist's point of view, plot structure and an evocative style to still readers' questions about and to assure their participation in mysteries she never explains away.
Catherine M. Lynch—"Winnie Foster and Peter Pan: Facing the Dilemma of Growth"
Both Peter Pan and Tuck Everlasting explore two alternative solutions to a conflict central to childhood experience: to grow up to adult responsibilities or not to grow up at all. By introducing readers to the Tuck family who magically can not die in a world where everyone else does die, Natalie Babbitt's novel deepens the Peter Pan "myth" by dramatizing the fact that the choice of embracing adulthood includes, of necessity, choosing death.
William Blackburn—"Peter Pan and the Contemporary Adolescent Novel"
Many contemporary adolescent novels deal with the passage from innocence to maturity. J. M. Barrie's Peter [End Page 47] Pan is relevant to the study and teaching of such novels because it too deals with the loss that maturity brings, but, unlike many contemporary novels, also offers a consolation for that loss. The presence or absence of such consolation is one criterion by which contemporary adolescent fiction may usefully be judged.
Ellin Greene—"Eleanor Farjeon: The Shaping of a Literary Imagination"
This paper explores the relationship between childhood fantasy play and the shaping of a literary imagination by drawing on the writings of one literary artist, namely, Eleanor Farjeon, British writer of original fairytales. The author attempts to show how the literary-theatrical-musical milieu in which Farjeon grew up directed her talent toward a kind of writing in which fantasy is believable and reality magical, and how her childhood imagination informed her creative work as a whole. Farjeon's childhood imagination influenced her choice of material, the direction (fantasy) of her writing, its characteristic form (daydream) and even the conditions necessary for creative effort.
Margaret M. Dunn—"In Defense of Dragons: Imagination as Experience in the Earthsea Triology"
If an adult is to cope with the inevitable tragedies and incongruities of life, then it is the faculty of imagination which, having been nourished in him as a child, will provide him with the inner resources to do so. In the Earthsea Trilogy, Ursula LeGuin offers just such imaginative sustenance—a symbolic rendering of the journey from childhood to adulthood. Although clearly clothed in the habiliments of fantasy, this imaginative journey may in fact be more relevant to the lives of its young readers than an entire shelf of numbingly factual and matter-of-fact books.
Nina Mikkelsen—"Censorship and the Black Child: Can the Real Story Ever Be Told?"
In its broadest definition, censorship of the black child in American children's literature has meant the neglect, misrepresentation, and limited picture of the black child through the decades; in its more specialized definition it has meant the rejection, banning, or revision of books. Real stories are being told today, just as they...