Bibi goes travelling: Producing, rewriting, reading and continuing Karin Michaëlis' Bibi books, 1927-1953. United States, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

Anna Wegener

This PhD dissertation resolves a significant problem that has long troubled the criticism dedicated to Karin Michaëlis’ seven Bibi books, released in Denmark between 1929 and 1939.
The first volume was translated into more than twenty languages in the interwar period and the series is known as one of the greatest international successes of Danish children’s literature. Karin Michaëlis is often compared to H. C. Andersen and Bibi, the protagonist of the series, is seen as a predecessor to Pippi Longstocking. However, various Danish critics have also noted that, while the series was very successful abroad, it did not enjoy similar popularity at home. These critics have suggested different answers to the main research question that animates this dissertation as well: “Why did the Bibi books succeed abroad, but fail at home?” The dissertation furnishes new answers to this overarching research question by addressing three other, related questions:
1. How were the Bibi books produced?
2. What are the textual features of the Danish and German rewritings?
3. How were the Bibi books received in Italy?
These questions are posed with reference to the period 1927-1953, since this time span captures the full cycle of the creation of the Bibi series from the publication of the first volume in New York in 1927 to the issuing of the last volume Bibi si sposa (Bibi gets married) by Karin Michaëlis’ Italian translator, Emilia Villoresi, in Milan in 1953.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherKøbenhavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet
Number of pages376
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

ID: 132884594