#4 Fantasy and History: Time-Traveling in E. Nesbit and Rudyard Kipling
February 8 and 22, 2013
Ulrich Knoepflmacher, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Department of English and Comparative Literature
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Our seminar discussions will contrast two books that expose children to their cultural antecedents. Nesbit's The Story of Amulet and Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill actually appeared in the very same year, and, in fact, even briefly overlapped when they were illustrated by the same artist and serially published in the same family magazine. Yet the two texts are shaped directly by contrary ideologies and are also radically different in mode and form: Nesbit's four siblings directly visit ancient civilizations (pre-dynastic Egypt, Babylon, Minoan, Pharaonic Egypt) whereas Kipling's brother/sister duo are visited by fourgotten figures that Puck hauls in from different layers of Britains's own multicultural past (Saxon, Norman, Roman, Hebrew).
Uli Knoepflmacher, Ph.D., the Paton Foundation Professor Emeritus of Ancient and Modern Literature, retired from Princeton's English department in 2007. He has authored, edited, or co-edited a dozen books in both 19th C British literature and children's literature, and has written over a hundred articles in these two fields. His children’s book, ”Franny, Randy, and the Over-the-Edge Cat Person”, appeared in 2009, and his edition of "Victorian Hybridities: Cultural Anxiety and Formal Innovation” in 2010. Among his recent articles are "Children’s Texts and the Grownup Reader” (2009) and "Oscar Wilde at Toad Hall” (2010), and "Boy-Orphans, Mesmeric Villians and Film Stars: Inscribing "Oliver Twist” into "Treasure Island” (2011), and "Kipling as Browning: from Parody to Translation" (2012).