Thornton, Sara and Chowdhary, Tanvi. ‘Blyton's ghosts : Childhood receptions in India and Britain’ dans Memory and Identity : Ghosts of the Past in the English-speaking World. Edited ByLinda Pillière, Karine Bigand, London : Routledge 2022 - Université de Lorraine Access content directly
Book Section Year : 2022

Thornton, Sara and Chowdhary, Tanvi. ‘Blyton's ghosts : Childhood receptions in India and Britain’ dans Memory and Identity : Ghosts of the Past in the English-speaking World. Edited ByLinda Pillière, Karine Bigand, London : Routledge 2022

Abstract

In the century between Blyton’s first publication in Britain and the current context in which her books are published, the tastes and sensibilities of both adults and children have changed drastically. Despite this, her popularity in the reading market remains as strong as ever. Blyton’s writing occupies a unique yet contested place, its spectre still haunting the experience of childhood in many parts of the world. Her writing is accessible and inaccessible by turns: sometimes aspirational for readers in postcolonial contexts, yet not reflective of the diversity of readers’ experience. Juxtaposing two very different historical and social contingencies, one English, the other South Asian, this chapter reflects on the ways in which Blyton is received, and more importantly, how her writing is to be negotiated in the worldview of the child. To reuse and reimagine Blyton’s rigid ideological stances is part of the political engagement that comes with reading her works. The reader’s sense of never quite belonging means they can truly visit the text as an outsider and haunt it like a spirit. The question, then, is why do child and adult readers continue to rework Blyton’s symbols and find ways of converting and decolonizing them? This book examines the ways in which ghosts haunt and shape cultural identities and memory, considering the manner in which the fluctuations of such identities sometimes imply the rethinking or rewriting of the past. Drawing on case studies in historical, political, literary and linguistic studies, it explores the narratives that produce imagined communities and identities and the places in which cultural identities are constructed through memory, asking how far these identities and memories disinherit or exclude otherness, and how far ghosts disturb orderly narratives, inviting multiple readings of the past. Thematically organized to consider the persistence of ghosts within present memory and identity, the creation of new identities through intertwining narratives of the past, and the reclamation of identities in postcolonial contexts, Memory and Identity: Ghosts of the past in the English-speaking world offers a multi-disciplinary examination of the concept of haunting. Memory and Identity will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and history with interests in memory and identity.
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hal-04046704 , version 1 (26-03-2023)

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Sara Thornton. Thornton, Sara and Chowdhary, Tanvi. ‘Blyton's ghosts : Childhood receptions in India and Britain’ dans Memory and Identity : Ghosts of the Past in the English-speaking World. Edited ByLinda Pillière, Karine Bigand, London : Routledge 2022. Memory and Identity: Ghosts of the Past in the English-speaking World Edited By Linda Pillière, Karine Bigand, 1, Routledge, 2022, ⟨10.4324/9781003178040⟩. ⟨hal-04046704⟩
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