»A Dream of a Dream«

Selbstreflexives Träumen in der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur


  • Joanna Nowotny




[English title and abstract below]

In Franz Hohlers Tschipo (1978), dem ersten Teil einer Trilogie, erlebt ein Schweizer Junge Abenteuer auf seltsamen Inseln. Und in Maggie Stiefvaters Serien The Raven Cycle (2012 – 2016) und The Dreamer Trilogy (2019 – ) bekämpft ein amerikanischer junger Erwachsener mit Namen Ronan Lynch magische Gefahren. Was haben Tschipo und Ronan gemeinsam? Eine seltsame Gabe: Von ihren Träumen bleibt am Morgen etwas zurück.


»A Dream of a Dream«
Dreaming as a Metafictional Device in Children’s and Young Adult Literature

This article analyses the relationship between dreaming, art and identity in Franz Hohler’s Tschipo (1978) and Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle (2012 – 2016) and The Dreamer Trilogy (2019 – ). At the centres of their fictional universes lies the fantastic ability of specific characters to take things out of their dreams; an ability which is both a plot element and a narrative principle. In Tschipo, dreaming is used in analogy to storytelling, with the storyteller inventing worlds that are so vibrant that the audience is unable to discern what is ›real‹ and what is ›just‹ invented or dreamed. In Stiefvater’s books, the character of the dreamer is revealed to be a kind of artist who thrives on the thrill of creation and transgression. In all the texts, the concept of taking things out of dreams is transgressive on two levels: Formally, it is used to subvert traditional storytelling and to question the role of the narrator. In terms of plot, it is employed in order to articulate nonnormative identities, lifestyles and desires. By using dreaming as a central narrative device, Tschipo, The Raven Cycle and The Dreamer Trilogy are therefore highly metafictional, revealing that literature addressed to younger audiences participates in a cultural conversation about fact and fiction, and draws on narrative strategies similar to those employed in literature addressed to adults.