Postcolonialism in Literature for Young Readers, or: We Have a Problem! Cover Image

Postkolonializm w literaturze młodzieżowej, czyli… mamy problem!
Postcolonialism in Literature for Young Readers, or: We Have a Problem!

Author(s): Barbara Tomalak
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Polish Literature, Philology
Published by: Akademia Techniczno-Humanistyczna w Bielsku-Białej
Keywords: postcolonialism;children’s literature;stereotype;Negro;

Summary/Abstract: What we recommend to young readers is never neutral. In my article I attempt to show that in his literary cycle of adventure novels about Tomek Wilmowski Alfred Szklarski makes an extensive use of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s works such as Letters from Arfica and In Desert and Wilderness. In doing so he embraces stereotypes about people with dark skin which are present in those works. The generations of readers who were educated with the use of Szklarski’s novels about Tomek now have children and grandchildren and we can assume that their relation to “Negroes”is stabilized in cultural terms, yet in the meantime the world has changed. Multiculturalism – both: postulated and practiced – has been transforming our world. Books such as In Desert and Wilderness or Adventures of Tomek Wilmowski will always be read due to their popularity and unquestionable literary, historical, geographical and natural values, yet, like never before, they require a commentary (from teachers and parents alike) since without it they may support racism.

  • Issue Year: 2/2017
  • Issue No: 29
  • Page Range: 87-104
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Polish