‘I shouldn’t even be telling you that I shouldn’t be telling you the story’: Pseudonymous Bosch and the postmodern narrator in children’s literature

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Abstract

This article furthers the somewhat underdeveloped area of research regarding the consideration of complex theoretical concepts such as postmodernism and metafiction in relation to children’s literature by concentrating on a stunningly complex—although by no means rare—experimental text aimed at 8–12 year-olds. Using The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch as example, I examine how children’s literature can use such strategies to engage a child-reader and make them a tangible part of the construction of the novel. Drawing on elements of Text World Theory, diegetic narrative levels and the concept of the internal author, this study primarily explores the role of the interactive, visibly inventing, postmodern narrator, and, by extension, the dramatization of the reader as a part of the story. Framed against an academic background in which children’s literature was deemed unworthy of study or outright dismissed, this article illustrates why children’s literature is not only worthy of rigorous academic study in its own right but also that it often readily displays enough literary, linguistic, and narratological complexities to rival even the most sophisticated literature for adult readers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-248
JournalLanguage and Literature
Volume30
Issue number3
Early online date18 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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