2. The rider does not ride a horse, and on request, cows, bull, goat, calf, dog, chicken, cat, etc.
VII. Reversals of bodily disabilities
1. The blind see.
2. The dumb scream.
3. The armless steal.
4. Legless run.
5. The deaf are eavesdropping.
VIII. Shifting characters
1. The gate barks from under the dog.
2. A man beats a stick with a dog.
3. The village is driving past the guy.
In this way, we see, that in all this confusion there is, in fact, perfect order.
This “madness” there is a system.
Involving the child in “upside down world”, we not only do not harm his intellectual work, but, opposite, we contribute to it, for the child himself has the desire to create such “upside down world”, in order to be more surely asserted in the laws, ruling the real world.
These absurdities would be dangerous to a child, if they obscured the real, real relationship of ideas and things. But not only do they not overshadow them, they nominate them, set off, emphasize. They enhance (rather than weaken) the child has a sense of reality.
This is the educational value of all such absurdities.. wise you, what biennial, three-year, four-year-olds have been showing this addiction for centuries!
For their mind – они чувствуют – this food is healthy.
And if at all his children's games are useful for the child, helping him navigate the world around him, the more useful to him these mental games in the reverse coordination of things, – and I insist, what are these games, almost indistinguishable from any others.
In general, not everyone has learned, what a close connection there is between children's poetry and children's games.
Evaluating, eg, book for young children, critics often forget to apply the criterion of play to this book, and meanwhile, most of the children's songs preserved among the people did not only arise from games, but in itself the essence of the game: word games, playing rhythms, sounds.
Shifters are the same product of games.
The essential advantage of these games is, that they are by their very nature comic: no other brings a child so close to the fundamentals of humor. And this is a big task.: to bring up humor in a child is a precious quality, which, when the child grows up, will increase his resistance to any unfavorable environment and put him high above the little things and squabbles.
The child generally has a great need to laugh.. Give him good material to meet this need – one of the non-final tasks of education.
That is why I considered it necessary to devote a special chapter to the study of explicit and deliberate nonsense., to discover, that even such nonsense, that, it would seem that, do not dare to claim any pedagogical meaning, – even they are supremely valuable, natural, useful.
These rhymes attracted me precisely because, that they have been despised for a long time as absurd and, moreover, deliberately harmful; that there is no such homegrown Froebel, who would not consider it his duty to protect small children from them. Exploring these rhymes in Russian and partly foreign folklore, observing from year to year, how does a small child react to them, in the end I could not help but come to the conviction, that they are discredited in vain, as they meet the most urgent needs of the child's mind and serve as an important help in his cognitive activity.
Rehabilitating slandered works of folk poetry, I am thus trying to establish the inadequacy of the naive-utilitarian criteria, with whom we have recently approached all sorts of poems for children, and even now they are still suitable in many articles and reviews.
Here, in this small example, we are convinced for the thousandth time, what a philistine “common sense” – unreliable support for everyone, who is looking for scientifically based truth. Here is a clear illustration of that situation., which is expressed in “Anti-Duhringe” Engels: “A sane human mind, a very respectable companion in the four walls of his household, experiencing the most amazing adventures, as soon as he dares to enter the wide field of research”*.
* Marx and Engels, compositions, t. 20, pp. 21.
Only by going out into this open space, we could discover through careful comparison and analysis of the facts, that that category of phenomena, which to the philistine “common sense” seems pointless and harmful, should actually be regarded as useful, vital.
I don't mean to say, that children should be brought up only in such a way “nonsense”, but I think, what children's literature, from which these “nonsense” thrown out, does not meet many of the fruitful needs of a three to four year old child and deprives him of the most useful mental food.
It seems to me, that the undeniable right of this kind of poetry to occupy its own may be, and humble – place in oral and written children's literature and that those, who drives them out of the everyday life of children, are not guided by any scientific principles, but the so-called logic “common sense”, which is not always true.
No wonder K. D. Ushinsky, typical representative of the sixties, introduced “Extravagance” in its “Mother Tongue”*.
* K. Ushinskiy, Sobral. Op., t. WE, M.-L. 1949, pp. 97.
And I dare to hope, what is that angry reader, who demanded from me in a formidable letter, so I “did not fill the heads of our guys with all sorts of confusion”, will give up his delusions and in the end will allow me to continue to compose such poems for children:
Fish on the field walk,
Toads are flying in the sky,
Mice have caught the cat,
The trap planted.
To the sea blue went,
Sea blue lighted.
Sea flame lit,
I ran out of the sea whale:
“Hey, firefighters, run,
For after all of the above, even the most unintelligent will guess, that in such verses, the wrong coordination of things only contributes to the assertion of the correct one and that through such fiction we assert children in their realistic view of the world. I, at least, I don't know a single child, who would have been deceived even for a minute by the fables of such verses. in front of, favorite intellectual work of three and four year olds – expose fables, confront them with real facts. As if these verses were created for this, to stimulate the mental powers of the child to combat the perversion of the truth.
When I start reading to kids about the miracle tree, on which the shoes grow, i know in advance, that they will certainly declare to me with the greatest vehemence, that there are no such trees in the world, that shoes are made this way and that they are bought here and there. This fable is so amusing for them, that it is easy to refute and the polemic against it becomes like a game, with which kids, so to speak, exam themselves.
For this extremely useful game in the folklore of children around the world, there are many shape-shifting poems, where sometimes each line is a new violation of the true coordination of objects.
Do we have the right to banish such beneficial gymnastics of thought from everyday life of children??
* * *
This article was published in 1924 year, and soon I saw with great satisfaction, that my proposed term “upside-down poems” entered the scientific literature about children *.
* Georgy Vinogradov, Children's folklore and everyday life, 1925; ABOUT. Kapitsa, children's folklore, 1928. Recently a talented book by V.P. Anikin was published “Russian folk proverbs, sayings, riddles and children's folklore”, M. 1957. The author fully shares my belief in the pedagogical value of shape-shifters..
Yet I was often bothered by the question: do the thoughts contradict, set out in this article, great ideas and principles of modern Soviet science about children?
Is there any serious error in the considerations put forward here about the positive role of, played by shape-shifters in instilling in children the correct ideas about the world around them?
This question has been recently answered with an authoritative answer.. Prominent Soviet psychologist prof. A.V. Zaporozhets, with obvious sympathy, outlined the main idea of my present article in such a clear and unambiguous formula: “Older children are so entrenched in a realistic position, that all sorts of shape-shifters begin to love. Laughing at them, the child discovers and deepens his correct understanding of the surrounding reality”*.
* A. V. Zaporozhets, Psychology of perception of a fairy tale by a preschool child. “Preschool education”, 1948, № 9, pp. 30.
These lines gave me the liveliest joy: so, i was not wrong, proving, that flip-flops are one of the ways to strengthen the child in realism. Think, which was once treated as an empty paradox, now finds its confirmation in science.
true, the scientist is not talking about poetry here, but about fairy tales, that's why he ascribes his love for shape-shifters to older guys, but if he talked about poetry, is he, undoubtedly, would note, that younger children are also fond of the shape-shifters of this genre, barely two years old.
In general, the idea of the pedagogical value of such unbelievable, offered to middle and senior preschoolers, fraught with many ample opportunities, for it reveals the complete inadequacy of those naive-utilitarian criteria, with whom we have recently approached “great literature for small”.
There is one wonderful work of poetry in Soviet literature, shape-shifting: “That's how absent-minded” С.Маршака.
It makes fun of the awkward behavior of a citizen, wearing pants instead of a shirt, instead of boots – gloves, instead of a hat – frying pan, etc. Each such action of the hero is motivated by his phenomenal absent-mindedness.. The author condemns more than once:
That's how absent-minded
From Basseinaya street!
The popularity of this poem is immense.. Written back in the twenties, it has withstood dozens of editions and has been translated into almost all languages. Expression “scattered with Bassein” immediately became a popular saying, you hear him in the movies, and in the tram, and in the club:
– Oh you, scattered with Bassein!
Laconic, merry, sonorous lines “Scattered” are full of shape-shifters is it not because they have attracted millions of childish hearts for a long time?
In that laugh, with which children meet every action of the hero, you feel self-satisfaction, not devoid of pride: “We know something, what a frying pan – no clothes and no gloves!”
The awareness of their mental superiority over the unlucky hero of the poem, which is flattering for them, elevates them in their own opinion..
All this is directly related to the knowledge of real life.: after all, in this way, kids consolidate the gains of their everyday experience.
That's why I was so surprised, when discovered, that kindergarten teachers overwhelmingly rank this poem as humorous, comic and do not notice that role, which it plays in the child's mental life. Meanwhile, this poem should have long been placed alongside such poems by the same author., as “Forest planting”, “War with the Dnieper”, “What is the year?”, the cognitive value of which is indisputable.
V. ANCESTORS OF THEIR ENEMIES AND PUNISHERS
If we apply those grossly utilitarian criteria, which rappists of all stripes and shades have recently applied to literature for small, not only shape-shifters will have to be completely destroyed, but in general, all the best works of folk poetry, most loved by children. This is what would-be teachers of all countries did for many centuries.: they zealously eradicated these “confusion and nonsense”. But the children turned out to be stronger: they defended the inviolability of their mental lives from the centuries-old onslaught of highly wise teachers and parents, who considered it their moral duty to protect them from such “nonsense”.
Many teachers and parents were eager to introduce the child to this information., which they have, in adults, were revered in this era by the most needed.
In England in the XVI century, there was such a William Copland (William Copland), who produced an extremely useful book for three-year-olds “The Mystery of the Secrets of Aristotle” and recommended her as “very good”*.
* A Century of Children’s Books, by Florence V, Barry (Methuen), London, 1922, p. 4.
One can imagine, with what contempt this Copland would look at that eccentric, who would dare to stutter, that a ridiculous rhyme about sea strawberries is more useful for a child than all Aristotles.
Another children's writer of the 16th century – Winquip de Ward (Wynkyn de Worde) that's what he called his book: “Three year old sage” (“Wyse Chylde of Thre Year Old”), where is he, by the way, asked a three-year-old baby with a question:
“Wise child, how the heavens were created?” (That is, how the Lord created them.)*
* A Century of Children’s Books, by Florence V, Barry (Methuen), London, 1922, p. 4.
The then children's authors hated in the child – baby. Childhood seemed to them some kind of obscene disease, from which the child needs to be treated. They tried to grow up as soon as possible and take the child seriously.. That is why in world literature until relatively recently there was not a single funny children's book.. Childishly laugh with a child – before that writers were not humiliated. Chaucer himself, genius storyteller, when he became a children's writer, composed for a little son “Treatise on the astrolabe”, extremely tedious and boring.
It looks like this, as if a baby was force-fed with steaks instead of his mother's milk. Such a desire of adults to impose their own, Adult, was especially noticeable in those times, when it seemed to adults, that they have some one saving truth, what are the steaks, with which they currently satisfy their hunger, – the only healthy food.
So, during the dictatorship of the Puritans, every children's writer tried to make a child a saint, miniature of the pious William Penn. The only books, which were considered at that time suitable for three-year-old babies, there were cemetery reflections on death!
A typical children's book of the time was “Sign for children” James Jenway – “about the painless and blessed death of many godly babies”! At that time were considered, eg, extremely helpful, valuable such verses, as “Caution for the pretty girl”, which I quote here in my exact translation from English:
I know, looking in the mirrors,
That I am handsome and sweet,
What seductive flesh
The Lord gave me the merciful.
But it's bitter to think, she
Doomed to burn in hell.
And here is a poem by John Banian, famous author “Pilgrim's way”, which is known to Soviet readers mainly from the fragment, translated by Pushkin. (Pushkin's fragment is entitled “Странник”.) Banian wrote a very instructive book for the guys called “Sacred Emblems, or the corruption of things”. From this book, I translated the following verses about the frog for a sample.:
Cold and wet frog,
Wide mouth, gluttonous belly.
She sits, shamefully ugly,
And croaks, inflated spesivo.
You, hypocrites, like her in everything:
You are just as cold, arrogant and spiteful,
And your mouth, how is her, wide
Blasphemes good and praises vice…
“Ideological” such verses were beyond doubt, and the prudes of that time warmly recommended them to children.
The only feeling, which the then books tried to evoke in the child, was horror. These are the dialogues that were published in published by American Puritans “First book to read”:
“- Will you be good in hell?
– I will be tormented terribly.
– Who do you have to live with??
– With legions of devils and myriads of sinners.
– Will they bring you comfort?
– Not, but very likely, that they will multiply my hellish torment.
– If you go to hell, how long will you suffer there?
* Blanch and Weeks, Literature and the child, New York, 1935, pp. 78.
If at that sanctimonious time there was a book about some aunt Gabbard, with a dog riding a goat, this book would be burned by the hand of the executioner: only dull graveyard books were approved at that time by the authorities.
Genuine children's book was supposed to be smuggled into the children's environment.
The peddlers roamed the highways, merry, thieving, drunk people, who, among other goods, traded cheap fairy-tale books, ballads, songs. Every peddler was a musician, singer and storyteller. The peddlers sang about Robin Hood, about Fortunatus, about Hector, or Dr. Faust, about that, that a cow jumped over the moon, and the kittens found gloves on the road, and the frog married a mouse, – and all these songs were considered malicious at that time, and every peddler, caught in their distribution, pious Puritans hammered into stocks and whipped mercilessly.
The ideologist of that era, George Fox, in his “A word of exhortation to teachers” condemns, among other children's sins and vices, “addiction to fairy tales, funny stories, fables, I'm quiet, pribautkam”.
Thomas White, protestant priest, at “A little book for little ones” (1702) advises English children:
“Read no Ballads, not stupid fiction, but the Bible, as well as a very light divine book “What every common man should do, to go to Paradise”. Read also “Lives of the Martyrs”, who died in the name of Christ. Read more Conversations on Death, ob Ada, about the Last Judgment and about the sufferings of Jesus Christ on the Cross”*.
* Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. XI, Cambridge, 1914, pp. 369-371.
He goes on to tell heartbreaking stories of martyrs.: his head was cut off, boiled in a boiling cauldron, his tongue was cut off, thrown to be eaten by tigers.
White narrates all this self-mutilation and torture with such ferocious gusto., that one can suspect in him a sadist.
But then, when the puritanical yoke ended, “funny stories, rhymes, pribautki” still continued to be considered malevolent, albeit on other grounds.
Adults at that time began to get involved in the sciences, and, of course, they wanted to immediately make every young child a scientist.
The era of bourgeois industry was approaching, and the genius forerunner of bourgeois utilitarianism John Locke began to gradually adapt children to this era. The slogan of pedagogy has become: to enrich children as soon as possible with the most useful scientific information – by geography, stories, mathematics; Down with all the baby, childlike, all sorts of games, rhymes and fun! – you only need an adult, scholar, generally useful. Locke's system managed to treat poor babies so monstrously, that by the age of five they could show any country on the globe.
It's only a pity, that by the age of ten, these miniature Lockes were becoming idiots without exception. Is it easy not to become an idiot to, from whom childhood was forcibly taken away.
You admire locke. You can not not admire: beautiful free mind, rebel against dead dogma. Many of his thoughts – for a thousand years. But Locke did not rise above the era, and for him children's age – nature's mistake, world disorder, oversight. This error needs to be corrected – and the sooner, all the better! If it’s impossible, so that children are immediately born multi-learned Locke, we will make them Lockes in the shortest possible time – by the fifth, by the sixth year of their life! Naturally, that with such an arrogant attitude towards the true needs and tastes of children, Locke rejected without mercy all the then children's books, ballads, poems, fables, fairy tales, sayings and songs, which in his eyes are already bad, that they are not geography or algebra. All children's literature, necessary for a child as air, Locke, no offense, called rubbish, “useless rubbish” (trumpery) and recommended a single book for children's reading – Aesop's fables *.
* The Works of John Locke, vol. VIII, London, 1824, p. 147.
It took hundreds of years, that adults recognize the right of children to be children. Slowly won the child respect for himself, to your games, interests and tastes. In the end we understood, what if a three year old child, getting a geographic globe, does not want to hear about continents and seas, and wants to roll this globe, twirl this globe, catch this globe, – so, he doesn't need a globe, and the ball. Even for the mental (but only physical) the development of three-year-old children, the ball is more useful than any globe.
But when it came to a children's book, before nursery rhymes, the teachers of that time stubbornly threw out everything truly childish – such, what seemed to their adult minds unnecessary and meaningless.
characteristically, what is now the English philistinism, as it shreds, more and more ashamed of the mighty and daring poetic quirks, inherited from his ancestors, and, reprinting, eg, “Old woman goose”, folklore book, where are collected folk nursery rhymes, riddles, counting rhymes and other poems for children, trying to adapt her to his trivial common sense. The other day I came across one edition of this classic book, where the most mischievous verses are so nicely smoothed, which look like Sunday hymns. Famous “Gay diddl, diddl” – about a cow, who jumped over the moon, and about the dog, who laughed with human laughter, – remade by some well-meaning Quaker so: the dog is not laughing, and barks, the cow does not jump over the moon, and under the moon, at the bottom, in the meadow*.
* Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes. Tales and Jingles, London and New York. (Frederic Warne and C°.)
Just a few words changed, and it turned out to be a very sensible book, which has only that disadvantage, that no rods can make a child fall in love and sing her text. And that, meaningless, lawless, гонимая, has been living for four hundred years and will live for another thousand, because it is quite consistent with the most peculiar methods, by which the child asserts himself in the knowledge of the true, real relationship of objects.
The English bourgeoisie is just as successful in fighting the fantasy of these brilliant poems with the help of a whole system of drawings., illustrating these verses. for example, to that riddle song, which is translated by Marshak:
Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Two to five
2. The rider does not ride a horse, and on request, cows, bull, goat, calf, dog, chicken, cat, etc.