The year of 1997 could have been declared as the Year of Fairy Tale, says Kęstutis Urba in the introductory article. Just three centuries ago the famous book “Histoires on contes du temps passe” by Charles Perrault was published. That date as well as the 370th birthday anniversary by Perrault influenced the content of the present issue of RUBINAITIS.
The fairy tales by Perrault are well known in Lithuania, but they have never been discussed in our literary periodicals, there isnʼt almost anything written about their author. The article by the MA student Lina Satkute (Vilnius university) is to be one of the first devoted to Perrault life and works. The sources of the fairy tales, the composition, the style, the world of heroes are discussed in the article.
Sandra L. Beckett opens the “Articles” section with her “The Art of Crosswriting Child and Adult in Contemporary France”. The first statements of the article are: “In recent years, an increasing number of authors seem to be writing for a dual readership of children and adults. It is perhaps not surprising that this widespread phenomenon is particularly striking in France, where the art of crosswriting child and adult has a long tradition dating back to Charles Perrault and La Fontaine”. Further Sandra L. Beckett informs about the works of Marcel Ayme, Henri Bosco, Michel Butor, Jean Giono, Michel Tournier etc. Upsala university teacher Lena Kareland introduces the great “Babar the Elephant” by Jean de Brunhoff. Those classic picture books were totaly unknown to the Lithuanian readers.
The caption “Introductions” contains short presentation of The International Charles Perrault Institute and the caption “Letʼs Read Together, Mama” this time features “The holiday of the Little Nicola” by Sampe / Goscinny. The list of Perrault tales, published in Lithuania, is inserted in the “Bibliography” section. Thus, one can notice, that the greatest attention in this issue of RUBINAITIS is payed to the French Childrenʼs Literature. Thatʼs why it is published thanks to the financial support from the French Embassy in Lithuania.
Another heroe of the anniversary is Astrid Lindgren. Maria Nikolajevaʼs article “The importance of Astrid Lindgren” is a little bit adapted excerpt from her beautiful book “Childrenʼs Literature Comes of Age” (1996) and is published with permission of “Garland Publishing Inc.”
“The strong impact of Astrid Lindgren and the source of her popularity in Eastern Europe is the fact that she overtly takes the part of the child – that is, part of the weak, the powerless, the oppressed. /…/ But Astrid Lindgren allows her characters to defy the dictatorship of norms and conventions, of dull reality, of authority, of structure and order. /…/ To read “Pippi Longstocking” or “Karlsson – on – the – Roof” in a Russian context was equal to reading a clandestine, underground protest pamphlet against oppression: from society, school, or authoritarian parents”, – writes M.Nikolajeva.
The traditional caption “Books of My Childhood” carries the answers by the children poet Ramutė Skučaitė (b. 1931). She says she remembers quite well the content, the covers, the illustrations of such books as “Heidi” by J. Spyri, “Notes of the Little Rabbit” by V. Tamulaitis, “Doctor Dolittle stories” etc. But now when I write for children I have to see the world from the point of view of a modern child, states R. Skučaitė.
The values of the three new books are analised in the section “At a Closer Look”, that is “Missis Elephant” by Emilija Liegutė, “The Witches” by Roald Dahl, “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole” by Sue Townsend.
Žurnalas „Rubinaitis“, 1997 Nr. 2 (7)