Interculturality in Youth Literature
My work focuses on youth problem novels, which in various ways show the problems related to the contact of different cultures. The red thread of the analysis is the search for a way leading away from the violence and intolerance, and towards an intercultural dialogue, a harmonious coexistence of people who are different in culture, race, and religion. The book deals with ten novels, written by both domestic and foreign authors who, in a wide variety of ways, remove stereotypes and prejudices towards differences, as well as address the young reader in the spirit of tolerance. They achieve this with special structuring of the literary work. Even though the first-person narrative is typical for youth novels, it is shown that the third-person narrative is more appropriate for the portrayal of differences. The emphasis is on the dialogue between the authors and the readers, between the characters and the readers, and among the characters themselves. The focus is on empathy – empathizing with literary figures. The authors write their works in such a way that the reader is aware that the issues they are reading about can happen anywhere, where there is no chance for intercultural dialogue. They show a way towards the harmonious coexistence of people. For this, they use numerous symbols, metaphors, change of time and space, ironic portrayals. The endings of the novels are different. In some (for example in the novel Dreaming of Palestine) the intercultural dialogue is not possible, but others are much more encouraging and hand the reader a message that friendships and warm connections with others are some of the most important things in life. The most complex endings leave the reader at the crossroads of a number of questions that relate to how they would behave in a given situation in order to make their behavior as ethical as possible.