(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘kids

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest”*…

Adventures of a Dog, and a Good Dog Too, 1857

The “children’s book” effectively dates from the mid-18th century (before which children’s reading was generally confined to literature intended for their education and moral edification rather than for their amusement). Since then, there’s been an extraordinary– and illuminating– flowering…

We can learn much about how a historical period viewed the abilities of its children by studying its children’s literature. Occupying a space somewhere between the purely didactic and the nonsensical, most children’s books published in the past few hundred years have attempted to find a line between the two poles, seeking a balance between entertainment and instruction. However, that line seems to move closer to one pole or another depending on the prevailing cultural sentiments of the time. And the very fact that children’s books were hardly published at all before the early 18th century tells us a lot about when and how modern ideas of childhood as a separate category of existence began.

“By the end of the 18th century,” writes Newcastle University professor M.O. Grenby, “children’s literature was a flourishing, separate and secure part of the publishing industry in Britain.” The trend accelerated rapidly and has never ceased—children’s and young adult books now drive sales in publishing (with 80% of YA books bought by grown-ups for themselves)…

More– and a chance to do your own exploration– at “Enter an Archive of 6,000 Historical Children’s Books, All Digitized and Free to Read Online,” from @openculture. Go directly to the 6,000+ titles in the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature here.

And as a bonus, visit the 1,800+ titles in UCLA Children’s Book Collection at the Internet Archive.

* C. S. Lewis

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As we turn the page, we might turn back to “adult” literature and recall that today– and every June 16– is Bloomsday, a commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce, during which the events of his novel Ulysses (a modern classic set on this date in 1904) are relived: Leopold Bloom goes about Dublin, James Joyce’s immortalization of his first outing with Nora Barnacle, the woman who would eventually become his wife.

The first Bloomsday was observed on the 50th anniversary of the events in the novel, in 1954, when John Ryan (artist, critic, publican and founder of Envoy magazine) and the novelist Brian O’Nolan organized what was to be a daylong pilgrimage along the Ulysses route. They were joined by Patrick Kavanagh, Anthony Cronin, Tom Joyce (a dentist who, as Joyce’s cousin, represented the family interest), and AJ Leventhal (a lecturer in French at Trinity College, Dublin).

 The crew for the first Bloomsday excursion

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 16, 2022 at 1:00 am

“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today”*…

 

Kids

 

One of Lapham’s Quarterly‘s  amusing– and remedially instructive– collection of elder laments tough the ages… The worrisome fashions of younger generations: “Kids These Days.”

* Hesiod

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As we Boomers say OK, we might recall that it was on this date in 1430 that then 18 year old Joan of Arc was captured.  A heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War, she had claimed to have received visions of the archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination.  In 1429, the unanointed Charles VII sent Joan to the Siege of Orléans as part of a relief army.  She gained prominence after the siege was lifted only nine days later, and became both a rallying point and a military leader.  Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII’s consecration at Reims– a boost to French morale that helped pave the way the way for the eventual French victory.

But in the meantime, on this date in 1430, Joan was captured by the Burgundian faction, a group of French nobles allied with the English, and handed over to them.  She was tried by the pro-English bishop Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges.  After Cauchon declared her guilty, she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, dying at nineteen years of age.

In 1456, a Catholic inquisitorial court examined the trial, debunked the charges against her, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr; Joan was canonized by the Church in 1920.

200px-Joan_of_Arc_miniature_graded source

 

Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 23, 2020 at 1:01 am

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood”*…

 

Sabayon of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar

Lyla Hogan (favorite food: “good ice cream in a hard cone”) reviews the French Laundry, which Anthony Bourdain has called “the best restaurant in the world, period.”  (It won that title officially in 2003 and 2004 and is still the #1 restaurant in California and #3 in the country.)  Lyla is the youngest person ever to eat a full tasting menu in the storied dining room.

Given the widespread and well-earned prestige of the restaurant, it’s not difficult to find countless multiple-syllable reviews from professional critics. Bold Italic demonstrates that there is no purer critique than the facial expressions of a teeny tiny child.

[TotH to @nextdraft]

* Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker

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As we obsess about wine pairings, we might send birthday greetings to Macaulay Carson Culkin; he was born on this date in 1980.  Like Lyla, Culkin began his career when he was four years old, appearing in New York theater productions.  He made his feature film debut alongside Burt Lancaster in 1988’s Rocket Gibraltar; then In 1989 appeared in the John Hughes comedy Uncle Buck with John Candy.  But Culkin would skyrocket to fame as Kevin McCallister in Hughes’ 1990 blockbuster Home Alone.  He went on to start in the Home Alone sequels, then in 1991 became the first child star to earn $1 million for a film role in My Girl.  At the height of his fame, he was regarded as the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple– indeed, Culkin ranks number two on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Kid-Stars” and E!’s list of the “50 Greatest Child Stars.”

Culkin in 1991

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

August 26, 2014 at 1:01 am

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