Children's History: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry by Seth Lerer

By Seth Lerer

Ever considering the fact that youngsters have realized to learn, there was children's literature. Seth Lerer right here charts the makings of the Western literary mind's eye from Aesop's fables to mom Goose, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Peter Pan, from "Where the Wild issues Are" to "Harry Potter". the one single-volume paintings to catch the wealthy and various heritage of children's literature in its complete landscape, this awesome booklet finds why J. R. R. Tolkien, Dr. Seuss, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Beatrix Potter, and so on, regardless of their divergent kinds and material, have all resonated with generations of readers. "Children's Literature" is a thrilling quest throughout centuries, continents, and genres to find how, and why, we first fall in love with the written observe.

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Nevertheless, as a boy, I found him little to my taste. 14, p. 34). Young boys had been forced to study Homer as a model of style, as a repository of myth, as a cultural encyclopedia, and as, quite simply, the poetic author par excellence of the classical world. Greek education (and, in turn, Roman education grounded in Greek models) began with the memorizing and parsing of Homeric scenes. 18 To read through them is to see the hands of teacher and student forming letters and recording passages.

Education trained the student to put on new roles: the parent, the teacher, the god, the ruler. So, too, in his or her own life, the child would be expected to perform, whether it be as a student in the classroom or as a filius in the family. All the world was, indeed, a stage, and in his or her life each person played many roles. Horace’s Ars Poetica had voiced this view long before Shakespeare appropriated it into his As You Like It. And for the Greeks, too, education was performance. 6 The thought of little boys pretending to be Homer’s gods or heroes may bring smiles to modern faces, but to the Greeks these were the educative lines of power.

In memorizing and repeating such scenes, the ancient student could display his skills at oral recitation and, in the process, gain idioms for and insight into the kinds of rhetorical and forensic displays he might make as an adult. The drama of Homeric epic shared space with the language of the dramatists themselves in many early student papyri and notebooks. A Greek scroll from Egypt in the third century BC keys its texts to oral recitation and the thematics of public performance. It begins with lists of letters and syllables, followed by sets of numbers, lists of proper names (mythological figures, places, rivers), and then words of three, four, and five syllables.

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