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Document Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Title: When the Ordinary Meets the Jiggery‑Pokery: Towards a Wittgensteinian Reading of Lindgren’s Karlson on the Roof
Journal: Children’s Literature in Education
Authors: Zarębski, Tomasz
Keywords: Children’s literature; Astrid Lindgren; Karlson on the Roof; Pippi Longstocking; Wittgenstein; Language games; Otherness; Nonsense
Issue Date: 26-Mar-2020
Abstract: The article is mainly concerned with philosophical interpretations of Astrid Lindgren’s Karlson books. Inspired by Gaare and Sjaastad’s reading of Pippi Longstocking, the article discusses the philosophical ideas embedded in Lindgren’s books about Pippi Longstocking, stressing, in particular, Lindgren’s implicit critique of Western culture. Next, an attempt is made unsuccessfully to locate the figure of Karlson of the Karlson trilogy (Karlson on the Roof, Karlson Flies Again and The World’s Best Karlson) in this critical context. Instead, it is shown that the figure of Karlson may be better understood in the context of the later Wittgenstein’s conception of language games. In such a reading, Karlson appears as a figure of the other. The otherness can be here understood as a distancing act from everyday language games, and the habits and Lebensformen that they function in. While the existing language games’ rules constitute the sphere of the ordinary, the deviation from them forms the sphere of unusualness, extra-ordinariness, otherness, or “jiggery-pokery,” to use Karlson’s words. Presenting such otherness to the reader implicitly serves two pedagogical goals. First, it acquaints children with possible forms of “being other.” Second, it opens a sphere of “whatifness”, that is, the account of what the world would look like if certain concepts, or practices, were different. It is claimed that the domain of “whatifness”, by presenting alternatives to the ordinary, brings the reader closer to a better understanding of the conditions of their own Lebensform.
ISSN: 1573-1693
Appears in Collections:WNP – Publikacje i manuskrypty

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