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《语言与符号学研究(英文版)》 2019-02
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Crossover Literature: Transcending Cognitive-Affective Boundaries——Exemplified with a Close Analysis of Anthony Browne's The Big Baby

Xiaofei Shi;Soochow University;  
This article explores crossover literature, that is, literature transcending age boundaries and, in particular, the boundaries between adult and child readership. This article suggests that texts transcending age boundaries are not a recent phenomenon—adults have almost always existed in children's literature as a background authority or a hidden and even active addressee. But it is the changes in a social, historical, and cultural context that call for a new term, crossover, to designate this phenomenon. Central to the discussion of crossover literature is how to conceptualise the different readings that a text can elicit from child and adult readers. Drawing on developments in cognitive literary studies, this article argues that crossover literature is characterised by its potential to accommodate both child and adult readers' different levels of cognitive-affective development, subject to the factor of age. The argument is exemplified with a close analysis of Anthony Browne's picturebook The Big Baby(1995). It is particularly productive and illuminating to discuss how crossover picturebooks can attract both children and adults, contrary to the traditional assumption that picturebooks are merely "kids' stuff." The close analysis of The Big Baby reveals that cognitive literary studies can tease out the implications of the age difference, which are crucial to crossover research, and shed new light on how crossover literature may attract readers of different ages.
【Fund】: part of the research project “Contemporary Western Picturebook Theory”(18WWC005) funded by Jiangsu Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science;; the project “Chinese Picturebooks and Their English Translations”(2017SJB1318) funded by Jiangsu Education Department
【CateGory Index】: I106.8
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