Klart slut varulvstjut – den litterära pojkhumorn och exemplet Bert

Magnus Öhrn

Abstract


“Literary boy homour and the books about Bert as an example”. In this article I outline the roots of boy humour in children’s literature. In Swedish tradition this category is intimately associated with the genre “tjuvpojksboken”(stories about young rascals). I argue that one important condition for the development of a humour of this kind, are the concept of the boy as a gentle savage, a central character in boyology. A discourse comprising descriptive and prescriptive writing on boyhood across a variety of genres. In Making American Boys (2004) Kenneth B. Kidd shows how the boyologists of the early twentieth century reworked themes and tropes they picked up from the American Boy Book (like Aldrich, Twain, and Tarkington); foremost the idea of the wildness of boys as a necessary step in becoming a man. Another important condition for boy humour is that the stories are told from the boy’s perspective, which in turn makes way for different boy’s discourses, such as “slanguage”. After examining the issue from a historical point-of-view, I turn to Anders Jacobsson’s and Sören Olsson’s popular books about the boy Bert (23 books between 1987–2010), with focus on the first title Berts dagbok [Bert’s diary]. Here I concentrate on three characteristic features: the carnivalesque degrading of the adult world, the grotesque realism (the world interpreted through the boy’s bodily experience), and play on words, such as rhymes, puns, jokes and deliberately misreading of foreign and difficult words. My point is that the readers (boys) through channels like this, learn the humorous discourse and that it creates intimate bonds between the narrator and the readers.

Keywords: boy humour, boyology, bad boy books, Anders Jacobsson & Sören Olsson


Keywords


boy humour; boyology; bad boy books; Anders Jacobsson & Sören Olsson

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14811/clr.v34i2.124

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Barnboken – Journal of Children's Literature Research eISSN 2000-4389
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