Enfances handicapées : une liminarité indépassable ? Une approche ethnocritique de la littérature de jeunesse

Abstract : This thesis is a study of the narrative and iconographic representations of physically handicapped children and teenagers in contemporary fiction for children and young adults. The corpus under study includes picture books, comic books, novels and plays. We propose an ethnocritical approach to these texts, based on both a poetics of the literary text and an anthropological approach to the symbolic. The first part of the thesis focuses on the process of initiation of the character. We show how the handicapped child or adolescent constructs his/her identity within the framework of child or adolescent cosmologies which are to some extent recreated or reshaped by the narrative (or iconographic) destiny of the character. Particular attention will be paid to the role of games, art, deep literacy, and imagination. The second part examines the cultural and symbolic representations surrounding the body of the handicapped person. From this point of view, two opposite (but sometimes complementary) attitudes appear: the first one focuses on the over-visibility (and sometimes even on the abnormality/anomaly) represented by the handicapped body and the other, inversely, on its erasure or euphemisation, and thus on its more or less sublimated liminal status. We will attempt to demonstrate how the relationship between text and image often leads to a dialogue between these two attitudes. What is at stake from an ethical and educational point of view in a literary “stylization” of physical handicaps and in the forms of symbolic return to a wild state involved in contemporary representations? And what strategies for overcoming or transcending physical handicaps are offered by activities involving play, dreaming or critical distance? Is it possible to detect a new attitude, a new art?
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Eugénie Fouchet. Enfances handicapées : une liminarité indépassable ? Une approche ethnocritique de la littérature de jeunesse. Littératures. Université de Lorraine, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LORR0070⟩. ⟨tel-01893523⟩

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