Gunilla Lindqvist argues that although Vygotsky stated he was against
nonsense stories for children, such as "Crocodile", in Educational
Psychology (1926), he left this position. In Psychology of Art
(1925) he was already writing about the connections between nursery
rhymes and children's play, writing that by taking a child into a
nonsense world we can see the child's intellectual work and
perception of reality. Then, in Imagination and Creativity in
Childhood (1930), Vygotsky links reality and imagination through a
discussion of creativity.
I will find this in Lindqvist's work and see if she has more to say
on this that is of interest.
On Nov 12, 2006, at 9:34 AM, Ana Marjanovic-Shane wrote:
> This is all very new to me, although I have read Chukovsky's "From
> 2 to 5" and also used some of his examples. It is very intriguing
> and I am paying close attention to more information.
> Mike Cole wrote:
>> I will be following up on all this, David.
>> I view Chukovsky (as well as LSV!) a very complicated figure. I
>> have taught
>> "From 2-5" in dialogue with "1984", which, given what you say about
>> Chukovski's antisemitism and
>> stalinism is just a little ironic. I have ordered his book on
>> from the library. I will be interested in what others think about the
>> substance of the two men's ideas in the 1920's
>> and early 1930's. LSV changed a good deal between pedagogical
>> psychology and
>> thinking and speech and in his thinking about imagination (the
>> piece points to this). And
>> I hear somewhere the Chukovsky as an expert on aespopian language,
>> cannot find any refs.
>> Perhaps Natalia Gajdamashko can help here? She is very busy but
>> perhaps has
>> some relevant historical knowledge.
>> On 11/11/06, Kellogg <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> Dear Mike:
>>> The hostility between Vygotsky and Chukovsky is, I think, quite a
>>> and it's almost completely untold. Yes, there is some stuff
>>> available on the
>>> web, but my feeling is that there's a lot more to it. Here's my
>>> contribution, for what it's worth
>>> Well, to begin there's the famous footnote to Esthetic
>>> Education, on p.
>>> 270 of Educational Pedagogy, to wit:
>>> "So fashionable and, now, so popular a work as Chukovskii's
>>> like all
>>> of Chukovskii's stories for children, is one of the better
>>> examples of
>>> this perversion of children's poetry with nonsense and gibberish.
>>> seems to
>>> proceed from the assumption that the sillier something is, the more
>>> understandable and the more entertaining it is for the child, and
>>> the more
>>> likely that it will be within the child's grasp. It is not hard
>>> to instil
>>> the taste for such dull literature in children, though there can
>>> be little
>>> that it has a negative impact on the educational process,
>>> particularly in
>>> those immoderately large doses to which children are now
>>> subjected. All
>>> thought of style is thrown out, and in his babbling verse
>>> Chukovskii piles
>>> up nonsense on top of gibberish. Such literature only fosters
>>> silliness and
>>> foolishness in children."
>>> I've always felt that was a little harsh, since I have liked what
>>> I've read of Chukovsky (remember, I have no Russian). But when I
>>> Chukovsky's book, "From Two to Five" I realized that the feeling
>>> See Chukovsky's comments about the Kharkov school (Vygotsky and his
>>> students) in the year 1929 (p. 188 of From Two to Five), Chukovsky's
>>> disparaging reference (p. 127) to pedagogues from Gomel (Vygotsky's
>>> hometown) and Chukovsky's attacks on "leftism" (p. 130 passim).
>>> Part of this antipathy is probably Chukovsky's not very well
>>> anti-semitism. Yale University Press recently published his
>>> diary, and there
>>> are coy hints of anti-semitism throughout.
>>> On 215, for example, we read that he goes to visit Krupskaya
>>> about the
>>> "pedagogue's" criticisms of "Crocodile" and succeeds in
>>> thoroughly offending
>>> her. He is consoled by Demyan Bedny, with the following words,
>>> which he
>>> quotes approvingly: "Have you noticed that the opposition is 1)
>>> all Jews and
>>> 2) emgres? Kamenev, Zinovyev, Trotsky. Trotsky will announce any
>>> day now,
>>> 'I'm going abroad', but we Russians have nowhere to go. this is
>>> our country,
>>> our spiritual property". (Both Demyan Bedny and Chukovsky were
>>> slated by
>>> Trotsky in "Literature and Revolution".)
>>> On p. 281 of the diary, Chukovsky says his hatred for Trotsky is "an
>>> aesthetic viewpoint: his hair, his weak chin, his cheap provincial
>>> demonism--he's a combination Mephistopheles and court clerk."
>>> Interestingly, on p. 161 of the diary, Chukovsky worriesthat he
>>> might turn
>>> out to be Jewish himself--his mother is of good Ukrainian peasant
>>> stock, but
>>> he is illegitimate and doesn't know who is father was. He
>>> needen't have been
>>> concerned, of course; you need a Jewish mother to be a real Jew.
>>> Howevery, I think there is more to the Chukovsky-Vygotsky
>>> antipathy than
>>> racial hatred and Chukovsky's finely tuned instincts as a future
>>> hack. Chukovsky believes that semantic meaning is learned partly
>>> by flouting
>>> it; no sooner does the child learn the meaning of a horse than
>>> the child is
>>> flouting it by talking of saddled flies and flying horses.
>>> Vygotsky shares
>>> this view, but for rather older children; he believes that
>>> imagination is
>>> something that comes to the child from the outside, through
>>> social practices
>>> such as imaginary play.
>>> I think I want to take up your suggestion to continue the
>>> dialogue on
>>> forgiveness in a separate thread, possibly even under a new
>>> subject line,
>>> because it occurs to me this morning that it might indeed be
>>> possible to
>>> have recontextualization without decontextualization, and that to
>>> a certain
>>> extent that is exactly what is involved in metaphor.
>>> David Kellogg
>>> Seoul National University of Education
>>> Some refs:
>>> Chukovsky, K. (2005) Diary 1901-1969. New Haven and London: Yale
>>> University Press.
>>> Chukovsky, K. (1928, 1963) From Two to Five. University of
>>> Press: Berkeley.
>>> Vygotsky, L.S. (1997) Educational Pedagogy. Boca Raton: St. Lucie.
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