”Og så stansa jeg litt, og så tenkte jeg”. Fascinasjon og tenkning i møte med moderne maskiner i Alf Prøysens ”Mot nye tider”
The Norwegian author Alf Prøysen made use of a number of different media technologies in the production and distribution of his literature for children. But more than that, in some of these stories he also reflected upon modern technology in general. This is the case in his collection of short stories for children, Da jeg var liten (When I was a Child). Here Prøysen emphasises how child protagonists perceive modern technology such as cars, airplanes, and tractors, in a rural setting in the 1920s, with both fascination and anxiety. Still, at the end of the story the protagonist, Alf, exceeds both of these responses when he reflects on the “real” meaning of technology, and comes to the conclusion that nature can create miracles and do things that modern technology cannot. The article discusses how Prøysen’s presentation of modern technologies in Da jeg var liten can be regarded as literary techno-critique, arguing that the protagonist’s change of perception can be interpreted as a shift from what Martin Heidegger more in general has called ”calculative thinking” to that of ”meditative thinking”.
Keywords: Alf Prøysen; techno-critique; children’s literature; Martin Heidegger; technology
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