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Deception in Portrayals of History

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Megan Brown

on 8 October 2015

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Transcript of Deception in Portrayals of History

Collection of 23 articles
Selected from the 13th Biennial Congress of the International Research Society for Children's Literature (IRSCL)
Deception in Portrayals of History
A review of
The Presence of the Past in Children's Literature

"an impression of all the dominant themes and approaches which were present in the conference program and to suggest the many ramifications of the subject as a whole and how these have changed over time" (Lucas, xvi)
Edited by Ann Lawson Lewis
Italian lecturer at the University of Hull in UK
Focuses on Italian children's literature & translation work
Organizer for the 13th IRSCL Congress
"writers, in presenting the past, often communicate opinions...relevant to their own era rather than the one described" (Lucas xvii)
Published in 2003
Covering history from the time of Joan of Arc to the close present
Seven Sections:
Part 1:
Presenting the Past - Writers, Books, Critics: Theoretic Approaches
Part 2:
Myths Modernized: Adapting Archetypes from Fact and Fiction
Part 3:
Adventures in History
Part 4:
Colonial, Post-colonial
Part 5:
War, Post War
Part 6:
Modern, Post-Modern: Questions of Time and Place
Part 7:
Masculine, Feminism - The History
of Fantasy
Fiction Verses History: History's Ghosts
article by Danielle Thaler
"The historical novel is based on an illusion namely the belief that history can be rewritten with the help of characters who have never existed and with whom the reader will be able to identify" (3).
History is typically an "adult sphere" where children have no place (4).
Narrative Tensions: Telling Slavery, Showing Violence
article by Paula Connolly
"The problem in publishing picture books about such issue derives from the specific age range of the books' intended audience: to erase the violence of such events would be to mitigate the atrocity itself, yet including violence could easily alienate or terrify very young children" (107).
On the Use of Books for Children in Creating the German National Myth
article by Zohar Shavit
"Books for children play a fundamental role in the construction of a national past" (124).
"In the case of the German past, the prevailing narrative for children fails to acknowledge German responsibility for the suffering caused by the German people during the Third Reich and the Holocaust; this means it cannot come to terms with the existence of German guilt" (130).
"23 chapters cannot adequately convey the breadth of diversity or the depth of common ground, but it hints at the variety of international crossovers that IRSCL exists to encourage" (Lucas xv).
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