Children's literature has transcended linguistic and cultural borders since books and magazines for young readers were first produced, with popular books translated throughout the world. Emer O'Sullivan traces the history of comparative children's literature studies, from the enthusiastic internationalism of the post-war period - which set out from the idea of a supra-national world republic of childhood - to modern comparative criticism. Drawing on the scholarship and children's literature of many cultures and languages, she outlines the constituent areas that structure the field, including contact and transfer studies, intertextuality studies, intermediality studies and image studies. In doing so, she provides the first comprehensive overview of this exciting new research area. "Comparative Children's Literature" also links the fields of narratology and translation studies, to develop an original and highly valuable communicative model of translation.
Taking in issues of children's 'classics', the canon and world literature for children, "Comparative Children's Literature" reveals that this branch of literature is not as genuinely international as it is often fondly assumed to be and is essential reading for those interested in the consequences of globalization on children's literature and culture.
Emer O'Sullivan is Professor for Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Luneburg, Germany. Her book, Kinderliterarische Komparastik, on which this book is based, won the International Research Society for Children's Literature Award for Outstanding Research in August 2001.