Tuesday, July 22, 2008
62: Characters in the Present Tense
There are certain bits of media from childhood that we all love: The Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock.
And, of course, working in the children's section at a bookstore brought me back to Sylvester (and his magic pebble), Eric Carle's magic kingdom, Grover as the monster at the end of the book.
I hadn't realized two media favorites were originally novels: The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story.
Using the frame tale as a vehicle, these films use the novel as point of entry, playing on the imagination of the audience, asking that question: How many times have you imagined yourself as a character within a book? I find it so interesting, these pieces of media, which begin with a book and open a whole fantastical world. Is there a term for this? What kind of literary device, more specific than a frame tale? There must be one... (I just learned that eclogue is a pastoral poem, often in dialog. How is it that these words can slip by me? Me, the one who hands out thick packets of lit terms to her honors students, foists Wednesday quizzes upon them.)
Oh, do you remember Muppet Babies? So much of that was about imagination's journeys. And The Magic School Bus Series, my most beloved books of childhood.
I hope that sense of wonder strings along for a good long while in my own children. I know I've just begun to regain my own. It comes in fits and starts, but I feel the drive to find out more.