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Å andras vägnar: LL-boken som litteratur-, kultur- och handikappolitiskt experiment
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Communications Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
1995 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
On Behalf of the Handicapped : Easy-to-Read Books as an Experiment in Literary and Cultural Policy with respect to the Handicapped A Study of Communicative lnteraction (English)
Abstract [en]

Easy Readers (ER) are books specially designed for adults with reading disabilities. Wellknown classics ought to be available in easily comprehended versions. This idea, originaly from the 1930s has becomea special element in the literary and cultural life of Sweden since it's inception in the 1960s. This experiment was indeed unique, but it was also closely related to other sociocultural experiments initiated by the Swedish Government. Such experiments were designed to encourage and help people on the fringes of society: i.e. disabled people, dyslectics etc. Easy-to-Read Books (in Swedish: LL-böcker) developed books of an aesthetically attractive design with the "normal" book as a model, but always combined with illustrations.

The prospective readers are adults who are physically, mentally, culturally or socially handicapped. The producers, Easy-to-Read enterprises, are the working group of Easy-to-Read Books, and comprise publishing houses, writers, illustrators, photographers, journalists and critics of art and literature, scientists, actors in the ordinary cultural arena and representatives of the readers themselves: i.e. from organisations for the blind, for retarded persons, for persons afflicted by aphasia and dyslexia and similar handicaps.

The aim of this study is to present the arguments and rhetoric of a cultural and litefary experiment. The study comprises a historical description of this experiment drawn from archival research into originalsources assembled and categorized by the National Board of Education and now held at the National Archives, Stockholm. The empirical material consists of memoranda, records, letters, manuscripts, magazine -articles, reports and Easy-to-Read Books. This material has been supplemented by interviews. The history of the Easy-to-Read enterprise provides evidence of the creation of a separate literary sphere. And of an attempt to engender a philosophical outlook on life. And a pedagogical approach to the problems of handicapped people and literature.

One of the conclusions is that the prospective readers are given priority in the Easy-to-Read work. The perspective of the reader is basic to the careful design of the Easy-to-Read publications not only as regards typographical aspects such as the length of the lines, type-faces and illustrations, but also in thejudicious choice of vocabulary.

Another conclusion is that the standard epics of the Easy-to-Read story turn out to be the history of the ordinary, so called "normal" life adapted to produce an Easy-to-Read version.

An additional conclusion is that the Swedish Easy-to-Read work can be seen not only as a communicative process of collective creativity, but also as a series of separate processes at the level of individuals as well as actors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 1995. , 372 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 131
Keyword [en]
Easy Readers, Easy-to-Read Books, Cultural Policy, Handicap, Literary sphere, Communication, Sociology of Literature, Publishing, Readeradaptation, Narrative genres, Emancipation, Pedagogy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35315Local ID: 26288ISBN: 91-7871-579-2OAI: diva2:256163
Public defence
1995-09-15, Domkyrkans församlingshem, Läroverksgatan 9, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-06-07Bibliographically approved

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