domingo, 4 de noviembre de 2012

Children’s literature

Children's literature (also called juvenile literature) consists of the books, stories, and poems which are enjoyed by or targeted primarily at children. Modern children's literature is classified in different ways, including by genre or the intended age of the reader.

Children's literature has its roots in the stories and songs that adults told their children before publishing existed, as part of the wider oral tradition. Because of this it can be difficult to track the development of early stories. Even since widespread printing, many classic tales were originally created for adults and have been adapted for a younger audience. Although originally children's literature was often a re-writing of other forms, since the 1400s there has been much literature aimed specifically at children, often with a moral or religious message. To some extent the nature of children's fiction, and the divide between older children's and adult fiction became blurred as time went by and tales appealing to both adult and child had substantial commercial success.

Children's literature by genre

 Children's literature can be divided a number ways. Two useful divisions are genre and intended age of the reader.
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by technique, tone, content, or length.

The Grimm Brothers

 Jakob Karl Grimm was born on January 4, 1785, in Hanau, Germany. His brother, Wilhelm Karl Grimm, was born on February 24 of the following year. They were the oldest surviving sons of Philipp Grimm, a lawyer who served as Hanau's town clerk. As small children they spent most of their time together; aside from a brief period of living apart, they were to remain together for the rest of their lives. Their even-tempered personalities made it easy for them to work together on projects. The main difference in their personalities seems to have been that Jakob, the healthier of the two, had more taste for research work, and it was he who worked out most of their theories of language and grammar. Wilhelm was physically weaker but was a somewhat warmer person and more interested in music and literature. He was responsible for the pleasant style of their collection of fairy tales.

The Grimm Brothers’ first collection of folktales was not published during their lifetime. It was a manuscript containing 53 stories, some written out in detail, others sketched in brief outline form. In December 1810 they submitted this collection to Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim for inclusion in a planned third volume to their successful collection of folk poetry entitled Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Boy's Magic Horn, 3 volumes, 1806, 1808, 1808), which was to be dedicated to folktales. This fairy-tale volume never materialized, and the manuscript was not returned to its authors, but the Grimms' interest in collecting and editing folklore did not die. In 1812 they came out with their own fairy-tale collection.

Charles Perrault (1628-1703) was a member of the Académie Française and a leading intellectual of his time. Ironically, his dialogue Parallèles des anciens et des modernes (Parallels between the Ancients and the Moderns), 1688-1697, which compared the authors of antiquity unfavorably to modern writers, served as a forerunner for the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, an era that was not always receptive to tales of magic and fantasy.
Perrault could have not predicted that his reputation for future generations would rest almost entirely on a slender book published in 1697 containing eight simple stories with the unassuming title: Stories or Tales from Times Past, with Morals, with the added title in the frontispiece, Tales of Mother Goose.
Charles Perrault, in a symbolically significant gesture, did not publish the book in question under his own name but rather under the name of his son Pierre.
He chose his stories well, and he recorded them with wit and style. His narratives belong to a story-telling tradition that has been shared by countless generations. He did not invent these tales -- even in his day their plots were well known -- but he gave them literary legitimacy.

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