GROTESQUE AND GOTHIC CHILDREN'S LITERATURE: FROM NINETEENTH-CENTURY PICTUREBOOKS UP TO TIM BURTON [Tesi di dottorato]
Università degli Studi di Milano, 2014-04-03
The aim of the present dissertation is to show that Tim Burton’s imaginative universe can be considered as a remediation of a past tradition of grotesque and Gothic children’s book illustration which I have identified with the picturebooks realised by some illustrators who lived between the nineteenth and the twenty-first century. The first two chapters are meant to provide a historical and theoretical background to the development of the works specifically discussed in the last two chapters. At the beginning of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the young protagonist asks what is the use of a book without pictures or conversations. Turning Alice’s question upside down, in the first chapter I investigate what is the use of picturebooks. I start by tracing a brief history of picturebooks showing that it is strongly connected with the changes and improvements undergone by children’s literature and by book illustrations. Subsequently, I identify in the interaction between words and images the distinguishing feature of picturebooks. Text-picture interaction is what makes picturebooks original and unique, and what explains their usefulness in the development of both verbal and visual literacy and especially of the literacy of the imagination. The second chapter deals with the grotesque and the Gothic. Despite the fact that they are examined separately, I do not conceive the grotesque and the Gothic as two distinct entities and in this chapter I show that they share many elements and they can be considered as complementary. I especially pinpoint that in the beginning both the terms grotesque and Gothic are used in the artistic field and only later start to be applied also in literature. As far as the grotesque is concerned, I examine the etymology of the word and all its changes and developments over the centuries in order to identify its main features. The same procedure is then applied also to the analysis of the Gothic. This study is useful to make some remarks about the grotesque and the Gothic in children’s literature, thus introducing the examination of some grotesque and Gothic picturebooks. As a matter of fact, in the third chapter I take into consideration the following illustrators lived between the nineteenth and the twenty-first century: Alfred Crowquill, Heinrich Hoffmann, Edward Lear, Richard Dadd, John Tenniel, Wilhelm Busch, Arthur Burdett Frost, Charles Addams, Ronald Searle, Edward Gorey. These artists are examined in chronological order, according to their date of birth. For each of them I provide some biographical information and I analyse the most significant works. Both the illustrators and their picturebooks have been chosen according to the following criteria: - Their style is strongly characterised by the presence of grotesque and Gothic elements - Their imaginative universes may have influenced the Burtonesque style Tim Burton is the protagonist of the fourth and last chapter, where I examine his figure of “visual storyteller” in order to show that his whole artistic production can be considered as a remediation of the picturebooks analysed in the previous chapter in particular, and of the children’s literature in general. Taking into consideration his movies, his picturebooks and his drawings and sketches, which are the basis of his creative process, I identify the main features of the so-called "Burtonesque", providing evidence of its being at the same time an appropriation and a remediation. This is the reason why Burton’s imaginative universe succeeds in exploring the limitless possibilities of grotesque and Gothic picturebooks, respecting its main feature, that is the imaginative activity and the development of the literacy of imagination..
diritti: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
tutor: F. Orestano
L.A. De Michelis ; coordinatore: A. Costazza
ORESTANO, FRANCESCA
COSTAZZA, ALESSANDRO
Settore L-LIN/10 - - Letteratura Inglese


Tesi di dottorato. | Lingua: Inglese. | Paese: | BID: TD16001671