A Hypermodern Quest for Simpler Times: Book-jumping into Children’s Classics
MetadataShow full item record
The book-jumping trope, in which a character from one book jumps into another book, has been used in children’s literature increasingly often since the start of the twenty-first century. Simultaneously, scholars like Gilles Lipovetsky observed that society had changed away from postmodernism towards a new era, which Lipovetsky calls the hypermodern era. Lipovetsky determined that hypermodern individuals have a desire for content depicting shared memory sites. Moreover, David Rushkoff observed that children in the early twenty-first century particularly enjoy media depicting shared memory. However, previous research has not assessed the way the book-jumping trope can answer to these specific wishes. This research tries to determine how the travelling of characters of contemporary children’s stories into literary classics reflect the way authors and readers at the start of the twenty-first century engage with their hypermodern society. To answer this question, I have analysed the content and writing style of three books aimed at a younger audience that display the book-jumping trope: Pages & Co. Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James, The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, and The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser. The main finding of these analyses is that the three books use the book-jumping trope, particularly by employing devices like pastiche and metafiction, not just to introduce young readers to the classics but also to help young readers to identify more easily with the worlds and worldviews in these works they might not recognize. The more contemporary context, then, helps the reader form a bridge between the desired past and the hypermodern present, as it provides a relatable context to the young reader.