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MEMORY THREATENED. STORYTELLING TREES


MARTINO NEGRI
University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

Issue:

CP, Number 19

Section:

No. 19 (2014)  Editorial

Abstract:

The paper deals with particular ways of telling History to children. The analysis refers to Les arbres pleurent aussi (written by Irène Cohen-Janca and illustrated by Maurizio A.C. Quarello; 2009) and Memorial (having Gary Crew as author and Shaun Tan as illustrator; 1999). Conceived in different cultural contexts – European and Australian – these picture books are linked by specific expressive choices, regarding content items and formal solutions: in both books, the main characters are trees which become unexpected witnesses of History and frail guardians of Memory. Images are thus endowed with a semantic and narrative function: they amplify the strength of the story, without falling into pathos or rhetoric. These are stories that show the expressive dignity which visual language can take when it intersects with words in the definition of a text conceived as textum, as discursive fabric whose overall design depends both on verbal and iconic threads. The way these images ‘talk’ to the reader is metaphorical. They operate through figures which offer themselves as a field of exploration open to multiple possibilities of signification.

Keywords:

(teaching) History, memory, trees and stories, war and stories, Shaun Tan, Irène Cohen-Janca, Maurizio Quarello, picture book, textum.

Code [ID]:

CP201419V00S01A0006 [0004332]


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