DO WE NEED A NEW HISTORY OF CROATIAN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE?

Author:
Berislav Majhut
Email:
berislav.majhut@ufzg.hr
Summary
This study shows that the essence of contemporary accounts of the history of Croatian children’s literature lies in its picture created by the theoretician of children’s literature Milan Crnković (1925 – 1988) in the 1970s. Crnković’s history of Croatian children’s literature has served as the basis of almost all most important historical and theoretical works in this field. The paper will analyze the content of his historical paradigm: its beginning, specific characteristics, the development of literary genres, the creation of the canon and historical and social circumstances. The paper aims to find out which historical and literary- historical developments had a decisive impact at the time when Crnković wrote the main works for his history. In addition, the reasons why this paradigm may no longer be able to satisfy the need for a solid theoretical basis of contemporary research of children’s literature are considered. The paper points out that Crnković was not able to produce a satisfactory picture of Croatian children’s literature because his research data were mostly based on children’s magazines of that time. In his research Crnković establishes that Croatian children’s literature begins with the literature written by teachers. Also, it is important to mention that due to circumstantial restrictions Crnković did not thoroughly explore the period from 1941 to 1955. Our reexamination of the basic elements of Crnković’s paradigm points out that it is necessary to reevaluate some of the main authors and works in order to shed new light on Croatian children’s literature.
Key words
history of Croatian children’s literature; Milan Crnković; Mato Lovrak; young adult fiction; Croatian children’s magazines
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