My love for Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan | rougeimaginaire

In my explorations of the 1960s and 70s for one of my literature classes last semester, I rediscovered Bob Dylan. I was re-watching “Upp till kamp“, a Swedish tv-series that’s set in that period (which I really recommend, but I have no idea if it’s available with English subtitles somewhere), and there was this one scene where one of the characters was listening to “Girl From the North Country” – which reminded me of the fact that the sixties also were Bob Dylan’s initial period. Later on, when I was writing my paper for that class, I decided to listen to some of his albums, kind of to get in the spirit, and then I kept listening for most of June. I also watched a documentary about him (called “No direction home“) and I learned that although he was often seen as a folk singer or a protest singer, in reality, he was kind of opposed to everything and he didn’t want to be labeled as anything.

I know pretty much everyone already knows Bob Dylan, but in case you never really listened to his music and you’d like to give it a try, I made a playlist on Spotify with some songs I really like. My favourites are “Song to Woody”, “Girl From the North Country” and “I Was Young When I Left Home”, but I also added som other ones. You can find it here! By the way, let me know if you prefer me sharing music on Spotify or some other way.

I finished my master’s thesis!

I finished my master's thesis! | rougeimaginaire

Hi people, time for a life update! Last week, I finally handed in my master’s thesis :) The title is “Barnboken som leksakslåda”, which means “The Children’s Book as a Toy Box” (ugh, that doesn’t sound nearly as good as it does in Swedish) and it’s about children’s books written by children. Even though children’s books are supposed to be directed to children in the first place, it’s usually adults who write them. So that’s why I thought it would be interesting to see if children’s books written by children reflected the same thematic and aesthetic ideas as the ones written by adults. Also, I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of literature children between 10 and 12 years old would produce, to see to what extent they’re aware of literary conventions.

As it turned out, most of the books reflected a lot of the typical aspects of children’s books, both traditional and modern, and they also played with them sometimes, for example by mixing different genres. They had themes like desert islands, doors to fantasy worlds, and there were also a couple of problem-oriented books on themes like bullying. The most striking difference with children’s books written by adults was that the distinction between children and adults wasn’t as sharp as it usually is. A lot of times, the protagonists in children’s books kind of oppose themselves to adult ideas and rules (think of Pippi Longstocking ;)), and leave home to go on their own adventure, but that wasn’t exactly the case in these books. For example, there was one book where the parents and the children went on an adventure together and never returned home.

I mainly chose this subject because I wanted to explore the theoretical background of children’s books a little more. Even though I also wrote about children’s books in my bachelor thesis, I didn’t really study them from that perspective. It was really interesting to find out things like how the concept of childhood (just like the modern ideas about family and motherhood) didn’t really exist before the 18th century, because there simply wasn’t enough prosperity — and how child readers often have a preference for pulp literature and why that’s totally fine. So now, I just have to wait for my results!

PS: You can read my thesis here (it’s in Swedish, though).