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Haunted by Humans: Inverting the Reality of the Holocaust in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8894-6911
2016 (English)In: Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature, ISSN 1034-9243, E-ISSN 1837-4530, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 54-81Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines how the magic realist strategy of inversion facilitates the representation of the reality of the Holocaust in Markus Zusak’s YA novel The Book Thief. Inversion is achieved by representing the events from the perspective of the other-worldly character, Death. Death provides the child reader with a means to unfold historical events by gradually opening up the layers of inverted reality. The layers examined are supernatural as natural, humans as ghosts, the real as surreal, and finally, on the deepest level of inversion, readers interpret life during the Holocaust as death. It is not the fantastic that causes fear or horror, but the real: war, violence and human hatred. The technique of inversion overturns beliefs about reality, normalcy and humanity. Focusing on the reversal of the real and the magical this paper explores the ways in which Death’s inverted narrative helps the young reader to discover the humanity of the humans who were dehumanized by the war, while still pointing to the inhumanity of genocide.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 24, no 1, p. 54-81
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
English and Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-6630Local ID: 4dfdcaf4-71f5-4a5f-a95d-ccdc9260b9fbOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-6630DiVA, id: diva2:979516
Note

Validerad; 2016; Nivå 1; 20160622 (oleyar)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-04-30Bibliographically approved

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http://www.paperschildlit.com/current.htmlhttp://www.paperschildlit.com/pdfs/Yarova_Papers_24_1_2016_54_81.pdf

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Yarova, Aliona

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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