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Issue Details: First known date: 2001... vol. 11 no. 3 December 2001 of Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature est. 1990 Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature
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  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2001 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Fixity and Flow in Garth Nix's Sabriel, Alice Mills , single work criticism
Mill's reads Garth Nix's fantasy novel Sabriel using Frued's notion of the 'uncanny' to explore the contradictory and paradoxical use of water as a metaphor for life and death in the novel. Mill's maps out how the novel subverts the typical pattern of the quest narrative in a number of ways, however she argues that while the imagery 'is not reducible to binary opposites', essentially 'the world of Sabriel is morally simple' (p.19). Furthermore, she states that in this novel, the return of the repressed signifies the 'uncanny return of the father' while the underlying pattern is one of 'daughters assuming the father's functions' and as such, the representation of women in the text works to reinforce the 'inherently ancillary role' alloctaed to women in a male-dominated culture. (pp.15,19).
(p. 15-23)
Abjection in Contemporary Australian Young Adult Fiction, Kim Wilson , single work criticism

Wilson argues that '...[A]n understanding of abjection is crucial to perceiving both the implied and explicit limitations placed upon the human construction of agency and the effect it has on the construction of teenagers within story discourses' (24). Wilson critiques three novels, Night Train (Judith Clarke), Touching Earth Lightly (Margo Lanagan) and Peeling the Onion (Wendy Orr) alongside the concept of abjection, which is 'intimately associated with the repulsive, despicable and loathsome aspects of human nature and society ' (24). Wilson points out how most young adult novels are concerned with narratives of maturation and the construction of (adult) subjectivity and as such abjection 'is a constant threat to subjective development' through its ability to disturb ordered systems, which includes one's identity (24). According to Wilson,the novels demonstrate an 'ubiquitous concern...with issues of subjectivity and maturation' in fiction for young adult readers and essentially support the view that 'the identity of the subject engulfed by abjection will ultimately be erased' (29-30).

(p. 24-31)
Construction Sites of Sexual Identity : A Reading of Emily Rodda's Bob the Builder and the Elves, Elizabeth Parsons , single work criticism
Parsons offers a comprehensive critique of gender roles in Emily Rodda's Bob the Builder and the Elves, and claims that the narrative is 'profoundly conservative' in its underlying promotion of heterosexual ideology (34-35). She points out that while children's literature has usually been perceived as 'innocent' of sexual politics, 'no text is innocent of ideology' and goes on to argue that in Rodda's text, '...the story's correlation of heterosexuality with correctness, normality and 'happily ever after' borders on the homophobic' (32). In his influential text, Language and Ideology in Children's Fiction, John Stephens says that literature is used to teach children 'how to live in the world' and in childrens' texts, representations of sexuality and gender often function at an unconscious level which reinforces the dominant hegemonic worldview (8). This is, says Parsons, 'ideology's most powerful aspect, its hidden nature and the subtley of its messages' and the job of children's literary criticism is to 'identify the ideological tensions in the texts we offer to children and balance these kinds of representations appropriately' and to encourage a society in which alternative sexualities are accepted and not alienated by social structures (38).
(p. 32-38)
Multiculturalism and Social Values in Australian Fiction: Allan Baillie's Secrets of Walden Rising and Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi, Maria Jose Fernandez , single work criticism

Fernandez discusses developments in contemporary Australia regarding ethnic identities through a reading of Alan Baille's Secrets of Walden Rising and Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi. In relation to the changing nature of Australia's 'ethnic mix', Fernandez views both texts as examples of Australian literature that 'mediates the conflicts between two or more distinct cultures as well as hybrid cultures that have arisen from generation to generation' (p.39). A common feature of multicultural narratives says Fernandez, is the 'breakdown of existing structures of society and the representation of individuals as well as whole communities in a state of transition' (p.42) and in this case, she argues, both texts 'help to open the channels of cross-cultural exchange and social debate' and minimize 'the marginalizing potential of being an ethnic minority' (p.45).

(p. 39-46)

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Last amended 28 Jul 2008 13:12:30