Growing up with (ir)replaceable parents: Neil Gaiman's The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book

Variant title
Dospívání s (ne)nahraditelnými rodiči: Den, kdy jsem vyměnil tátu za dvě zlaté rybky, Koralína a Kniha hřbitova Neila Gaimana
Author: Oziewicz, Marek
Source document: Bohemica litteraria. 2016, vol. 18, iss. 2, pp. 83-98
Extent
83-98
  • ISSN
    1213-2144 (print)
    2336-4394 (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
License: Not specified license
Rights access
embargoed access
Abstract(s)
One of the most popular fantasy authors today, Neil Gaiman has been notorious for representing children's ambivalent perceptions of parents and creating stories based on a child's fantasies of replacing parents with better or kinder ones. This essay offers a reading of The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish (1998/2004), Coraline (2002), and The Graveyard Book (2008) as narratives in which this desire is sublimated, allowing the young reader to vicariously experience the empowerment and the danger that accrue from replacing, getting rid of, or exchanging one's parents. I demonstrate that in each of the three books Gaiman confirms the child's perception of parents as potentially replaceable, but suggests that this awareness serves a vital developmental purpose. First, it helps the child protagonist outgrow dependence on the parents and, often in rebellion to them, begin to move toward emotional and psychological independence. Second, it leaves the protagonists with a more mature understanding of the parent-child relationship – a realization that the agency they seek is spurious when achieved by finding parents who would cater to all of one's desires. In struggling to come to terms with their parents' limited availability and imperfections, Gaiman's protagonists learn that lasting human relationships are built not in the absence of but despite our own and other people's shortcomings.
Neil Gaiman, jeden z nejpopulárnějších fantasy autorů současnosti, proslul zobrazováním rozporného vnímání rodičů dětmi a vytvářením příběhů založených na představě dítěte o výměně vlastních rodičů za nějaké lepší nebo laskavější. Tato studie nabízí čtení textů Den, kdy jsem vyměnil tátu za dvě zlaté rybky (1998/2004), Koralína (2002, první vydání česky 2003) a Kniha hřbitova (2008, česky 2008) jako vyprávění, v nichž je tato touha vyplněna, takže mladý čtenář zprostředkovaně zažívá pocity moci a zároveň nebezpečí, které vzešly z nahrazení, zbavení se nebo výměny rodičů. Ukazuji, že v každé ze tří knih Gaiman potvrzuje dětské vnímání rodičů jako potenciálně nahraditelných, ale naznačuje, že toto povědomí hraje důležitou roli ve vývoji dítěte. Za prvé, pomáhá dětským protagonistům přerůst závislost na svých rodičích a, často prostřednictvím vzpoury proti nim, je vede směrem k emoční a psychické nezávislosti. Za druhé, opouští protagonisty s vyspělejším pochopením vztahu rodičů a dětí a s poznáním, že cíl, jehož se snaží dosáhnout, se ukazuje jako falešný v okamžiku, kdy uspějí a naleznou rodiče, kteří jim splní všechna přání. Ve snaze vyrovnat se s omezenými možnostmi a nedostatky svých rodičů Gaimanovi hrdinové poznávají, že trvalé lidské vztahy fungují navzdory našim i cizím nedostatkům, nikoli díky jejich absenci.
Document
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