Pippi och utopin: En omslagsbild i den västtyska studentrevoltens kölvatten
Title: Pippi and Utopia. A Cover Illustration in the Wake of the West German Student Revolution
The cover of the West German collection of Pippi Longstocking stories Pippi Langstrumpf (1967) shows a girl standing upside down. The image was drafted by the renowned illustrator Rolf Rettich. This exclusive edition, featuring an additional 200 illustrations by Rettich inside the book, was released in connection with Astrid Lindgren's 60th birthday. The edition positioned Lindgren as an author of ambitious children's literature and established Oetinger’s standing as a successful publisher. Rettich’s cover image is my starting point for discussing the idea of the liberating capacity of the Pippi stories. In the light of the political turmoil of this period, Pippi was both hailed as a representative of fantastic literature and criticized for being pseudo-revolutionary, ensnaring children in daydreaming about a good world, when instead they should learn how to deal with everyday life from realistic literature. In order to analyze the visual rhetoric in its historical context, I choose an approach that in my case unfolds the well-known Pippi figure as a generative ”utopian principle”.
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