For citation:

Kunesova K. Juvenile Literature, Does It Know Any Frontiers? (Between Tradition and Transposition in Czech Literature for Young Readers). Studia Litterarum, 2020, vol. 5, no 2, pp. 124–145. (In French)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2020-5-2-124-145

Author: K. Kunesova
Information about the author:

Kveta Kunesova, PhD in Philology, Professor, Departement of the French language and literature, Faculty of Pedagogy, University Hradec Kralove, Rokitanského 62; 500 03 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: June 19, 2019
Published: June 25, 2020
Issue: 2020 Vol. 5, №2
Department: World Literature
Pages: 124-145

UDK: 821.162.3
BBK: 83.3(4Чех)
Keywords: children’s literature, French literature, Czech literature, translations, topics for children and youth, book, novel, story, translation.


This article deals with the history of Czech children’s and juvenile literature and its tradition in both national and European contexts. It examines foreign authors (French, German, Russian, English, American, and some others) and their works translated into Czech that played a significant role in the Czech literary scene. The rediscovery of Czech folklore in the 19th century coincides with the revival of the national culture and restitution of the language as reflected in fiction and poetry. The development of literature for children and youth owes much to translations. In the 19th century, Jules Verne was the must read for children and so was Antoine de Saint- Exupery in the 20th; his Little Prince has undergone multiple editions. The second part of the study examines contemporary children’s and juvenile literature by comparing the situation on the book market in France with that in Czech Republic. The analysis focuses on two novels for young people that present young characters who have to cope with different crises and help ill people they love (Céline Lavignette-Ammoun and Ivona Březinová). The essay’s conclusion, based on the polls among children and young people as well as on literary criticism, shows that neither the theme nor the approach of the authors or the preferences of the readers in the two countries considerably differ. This is due to the fact that juvenile literature knows no borders as it gives preference to the interplay of fantasy and imagination. What characterizes contemporary juvenile literature, however, is its openness to the hitherto tabooed themes as well as its interest in the relation between the sameness and the otherness.


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