08 October 2007

No happy endings in sight

A few days ago, a post from Fatmammycat had startled me, but did not actually surprise me . It seemed a new-ish foundation was campaigning to have sad endings banned in children's literature. It appalled me - children love sad endings when they read them from a safe place, and it is one of the main aims of children's literature to let children experience. I was again reminded of this today in my reading of Oittinen's Translating for Children.

As long as there have been children's books, they have been censored by adults, either at the publicaation or at the translation stage, or when they are read aloud. For instance, if we as parents do not want our children to be afraid, we simply do not read "frightening" stories to them (stories we as adults find too frightening for our children). Yet in this way we may be denying the child's right to be frightened.

My favourite book as a small child involved a goat being killed and eaten by the wolf after a long a bloody battle that lasted all night. My own children always loved sad or scary books, and some still do...

However, it now appears that the foundation does not exist, and the whole press campaign was an elaborate hoax to promote Lemony Snicket books...

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