• Constructing Age in Children’s Literature: A Digital Approach to Guus Kuijer’s Oeuvre

    Author(s):
    Wouter Haverals, Vanessa Joosen (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Group(s):
    Children's literature and digital humanities
    Subject(s):
    Children's literature, Aging--Study and teaching, Digital humanities, Research, Methodology, Dutch literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Age studies, Digital humanities research and methodology
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/x8g3-es57
    Abstract:
    This article applies digital methods to gain more insight into the role of age in the oeuvre of the Dutch author Guus Kuijer. The concept of “age” is relevant to Kuijer’s oeuvre in various ways: he is a crosswriter who has authored fiction for children, adolescents, and adults, and intergenerational relationships are a recurrent thematic feature in his work. Since discussions on age in his works have so far been limited to case-based research, this article offers a fuller understanding of the role that age plays in Kuijer’s oeuvre, in particular the explicit and implicit age norms that his books offer and the extent to which the age category of the intended reader determines the form and themes of Kuijer’s fiction. Kuijer’s juvenile literature is the prime place where he reflects on age. The negative and restrictive discourse about adulthood that has previously been addressed in selected titles (Joosen, Adulthood in Children's Literature), stretches out over his entire oeuvre. Both the analysis of implicit age norms in the vocabulary that the characters use as a consideration of those negative statements in context put that negativity into perspective, however. Moreover, reflections on childhood are also prominent in Kuijer's adult work, mostly to express sentiments about adult characters.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    8 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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