Nostalgia and Awareness. Representations of Childhood Nostalgia in Adolescent Literature
Raat, C.W. de
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This dissertation explores the functions and meanings of (childhood) nostalgia in a comparative analysis of postmodern adolescent fiction. Nostalgia is approached as a valuable narrative device; a rhetorical practice, which can foreground philosophical questions about subjectivity, language, reality, belonging and desire. Reflective nostalgia is related to the dialogical construction of identity and postmodern awareness of power structures. Through its exploitation, nostalgia can be used in narrative as to reflect on the mythology of childhood, heritage and the differentiation between children and adults in contemporary culture. The exploitation of nostalgia in narrative is linked to the plot of awareness that distinguishes the young adult novel from the Bildungsroman.