Barnbokens dilemma - både och eller antingen eller? : om pedagogik och estetik i den polemiska barnboksdebatten
The discussion on whether the aesthetics or the pedagogy of children´s literature is the most important trait of the genre has been going on for quite some time. As children´s literature rose from a will to educate it is argued that pedagogy is forever imbued in the literature that addresses the child as its main reader. Literary scholars voices concern that the discussions about aesthetic expressions are being shunned in favor of that of educational values but does one exclude the other?
In this essay I focus on two of Swedens most prominent authors of children´s literature, Lennart Hellsing and Ulf Stark. They are both part of the aesthetics/pedagogy debate, in their fictional works for children as well as with articles and essays on the subject. And even though they have similar standpoints regarding children´s literature their main directives with their own works differ. While Hellsing, an aesthetically oriented author has pedagogy as his foremost objective, Stark vehemently dissociates himself from that point of view thinking that literature for children should aim to be literature for literature´s sake. In this essay I try to find the opposite directives of these two writers in their own stories for children, that is to say pedagogic designs in Stark´s Liten och Stark and aesthetic intentions in Hellsings Krakel Spektakel-boken.
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