Edited by Elina Druker and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer
[Children’s Literature, Culture, and Cognition 17] 2023
► pp. 22–42
This chapter analyzes the first known photographic picturebook for children published in Swedish, En barndomsdag. Sex bilder ur verkligheten (A childhood day. Six pictures from reality, 1879, original Ein Tag aus dem Kinderleben. Scenen nach dem Leben componirt, 1877) by M. Scherer and H. Engler. The photographic images in collotype were accompanied by a lyrical translation written by the well-established Fenno-Swedish author Zacharias Topelius, reassuring a success on the Swedish-speaking book market. The overarching aim of the chapter is to analyze the book’s visual and verbal interplay in light of the intermedial context surrounding its publication, as En barndomsdag not only was set to music and played both in Sweden and Finland, but also adopted into a theatrical performance in six tableaux, presenting a child’s life on stage accompanied by songs. This chapter therefore considers the interplay between the visual and verbal in En barndomsdag in its historical context and examines translation as an ekphrasis practice with ideological and aesthetical implications.