Doppelsinnigkeit für Kinderphilosophen

Kinderphilosophische Erzähltexte können eine philosophische Gesprächsgemeinschaft zwischen Kindern und Erwachsenen generieren, wenn sie an den philosophischen Impuls von Kindern anknüpfen und zugleich mit den Vorkenntnissen älterer Rezipienten spielen. In einem Beitrag in der Zeitschrift kjl&m (Ausgabe 18.2) untersuche ich im Anschluss an grundlegende Überlegungen exemplarisch die von Doppelsinnigkeit und Mehrfachadressierung geprägten kinderphilosophischen Erzählstrategien der Buchreihe Platon und Co. Mehr Informationen finden Sie hier.

The film adventures of Paul Maar’s “Das Sams”

Almost every German knows Paul Maar’s stories about Das Sams – a strange little creature, a kind of hybrid between Alf and a wish fairy, which more or less happens upon a middle-aged, reclusive man called Bruno Taschenbier. For reasons I am unwilling to explain here (you’ll have to read up on it by yourself), Taschenbier is adopted by the Sams as his “Papa”, which, apart from causing a lot of chaos in his hitherto quiet and boring life, has its benefits, since The Sams finds itself in the possession of a lot of blue freckles on its face, and with every freckle it is able to grant a wish to Bruno Taschenbier. Each of those, however, must be formulated precisely, otherwise… well, see the above concerning chaos.

First published in 1973, it took decades before the author finally agreed to a film adaptation of his book series. For the wonderful edited volume on Paul Maar – Studien zum kinder- und jugendliterarischen Werk (edited by Andreas Wicke and Nikola Roßbach) I have written a little essay on the film adaptations, which are interesting from a narratological perspective since the first film combines the content and story structure of the first three books within 90 minute’s screen time.

More information on the book here.

Multiperspectival narration in Raquel J. Palacio’s “Wonder”

I have written an article on multiperspectival narration in Raquel Palacio’s novel Wonder for the international poen access journal interjuli. The German-language article explores the idea that recent disability narratives gravitate towards more complex forms of storytelling, in this case: towards employing multiple narrators or narrational perspectives. The issue of interjuli contains a number of other wonderful entries.

You can download the article here.

Essay on Artificial Humans in Young Adult Literature

Cover of Sabine Planka has edited the English-language edited volume Critical Perspectives on Artificial Humans in Children’s Literature (Königshausen & Neumann, 2016) whose contributions explore the sophisticated ways in which children’s literature deals with the idea of artificial human beings, and how society, social fears and wishes are reflected and integrated within it. I have contributed an essay to that volume: „Dystopias of Creation: The Evolution of Artificial Humans in Contemporary Young Adult Literature“.

In the article, I argue that, apart from mirroring the growing relevance of scientific research as well as popular-cultural discourse on artificial intelligence (AI) in societies across the globe, literature has played an integral role in fleshing out the consequences of human attempts to generate new forms of sentience. Young Adult Literature adds a specific perspective to the long tradition of occidental storytelling about artificial (human) beings, since its focus on non-adult characters allows exploring the similar challenges shared by adolescents and artificial humans alike: Growing up in a world they are not entirely integrated into yet, embodying a body that still not feels entirely owned, searching for an identity that feels fully theirs. This continues as well as evolves the occidental tradition of telling stories about artificial beings throughout the history of literature and film. Consequently, my article traces the transformations and evolutions of artificial beings in Young Adult Literature, based on a historical overview, followed up by case studies of two recent artificial intelligence narratives: Karl Olsberg’s Rafael 2.0 (2011) and Mary E. Pearson’s Jenna Fox Chronicles (2008-2013).

Neue Webseite für Buchreihe „Kinder- und Jugendliteratur Intermedial“

Für die von uns herausgegebene wissenschaftliche Buchreihe „Kinder- und Jugendliteratur Intermedial“ haben Tobias Kurwinkel, Annika Kurwinkel und ich nun eine eigene Überblicksseite erstellt. Auf finden Sie die wichtigsten Informationen zu den Bänden. Die Publikationen beschäftigen sich mit der Umsetzung von Klassikern der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur im Film. Bisher sind Bände zu Astrid Lindgren, Harry Potter und zum Motiv der Zeitreise erschienen. Bände zu Michael Ende und Otfried Preußler sind in Vorbereitung.

Tobias Kurwinkel, Annika Kurwinkel and I have built a website for our (German-language) academic book series „Kinder- und Jugendliteratur Intermedial“. On we give an overview of the volumes published so far. All of them deal with the adaptation of classical children’s book in film. So far, we have edited or supervised volumes on Astrid Lindgren, Harry Potter, and the motif of time travel. Fortchoming volumes are devoted to the work of Michael Ende and Otfried Preußler.