Dying To Know You Seminar

ImageTo what extend do you think Dying To Know You embodies Aidan Chambers’ desire for literature to be ‘sustained, passionate contemplation’ (18) which makes us reflect on the experiences presented as well as be completely absorbed in the text? (The Difference of Literature Children’s Literature in Education 24.1 (March 1993): 1-189) Are there models of this in the text? How is it articulated by the text? What attitudes to language are there?

What ideas about the self and identity is Chambers suggesting? Is this the kind of bildungsroman you have seen previously?

Why do you think dyslexia and mental illness are so central to the text? What is significant about their inclusion?

Does the text challenge social views and stereotypes? Consider the attitudes to learning disabilities, ageing, relationships, sex, the family, class and employment for example.

Consider the form. Does Dying To Know You challenge literary expectations? The text is predominantly dialogue between two characters. How does this differ from the other texts in the module formally?

The book is self-conscious and self-reflective, the authorial presence is strong and the narrator reminds us the text is a construction throughout, why do you think that is? What metafictive elements can you pick out in the text?

What does first person narration add? Why is it told by the writer and not Karl ? What kind of narrator is the writer? Whose story actually is this?

Is Dying To Know You as clear in its ideologies as the other stories in the module? Who constructs meaning in this text?

How does the construction of the young adult in this text differ from that of the child and young adults in other texts? What about the construction of the mother and father roles?

Think about the use of place and space. What sacred spaces are there in the text?

What conflicts, tensions and struggles for control can you detect in the text?

What role do creativity and art play in the text?

How is sexuality constructed in the text? How are sexual behaviour and stereotypes treated?


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