School for scandal : the erotics of progressive education in Gie Laenen’s juvenile novels

  • This article examines three novels by the popular Flemish youth author Gie Laenen, written between 1975 and 1982, in which the theories and practices associated with progressive education in the 1970s are key elements of the narrative. It argues that Laenen, who was convicted in 1973 and again in 2008 of serial sexual abuse of teenage boys, used progressive education as a narrative trope both to suggest to his young readers that close attachments between young boys and adult men were harmless and to provide an exculpatory defence for his own acts. Through narratological analysis and a contextualisation of the novels within the educational culture of the time, the article shows how Laenen – by drawing upon the ideas of progressive education, using these ideas to shape his narratives, and suggesting parallels between himself (as author) and several main characters – effectively appropriated the ideals of progressive education for ulterior purposes to justify his own abusive behaviour.

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Author:Christophe van Eecke
Parent Title (German):Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung : GKJF
Publisher:Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Year of first Publication:2018
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/04/04
Page Number:11
First Page:112
Last Page:122
Institutes:Neuere Philologien / Neuere Philologien
Dewey Decimal Classification:0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 02 Bibliotheks- und Informationswissenschaften / 020 Bibliotheks- und Informationswissenschaften
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 37 Bildung und Erziehung / 370 Bildung und Erziehung
8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
8 Literatur / 83 Deutsche und verwandte Literaturen / 830 Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur
Germanistik / GiNDok
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht