A Psychoanalytic Approach to the Space Element in Erich Kästner’s Copyrighted Children’s Books

Faculty of Education, Mersin University, TURKEY
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2020.90.6


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to draw reader’s attention to the author-space relationship in order to fulfill the theoretical deficiency in terms of space-psychoanalysis in the light of qualitative data.

Methods: Qualitative data analysis has been thought to be the best way to deal with the space-psychoanalysis relationship through sampling. In this regard, descriptive analysis and content analysis methods have been adopted.

Findings: The author’s novel, “Ben Küçük Bir Çocukken [When I Was a Little Boy], in which he narrates his childhood memories, was taken as the main book. Indoor spaces identified within the space-psychoanalytic context includes ports hall, basement, house-room-barber, airplane, and boarding school. Identified outdoor spaces were the garden, dune, the Zugspitze, city of Berlin, and Europe. The author embedded the moments from real life in his subconscious. The spaces where he had been present in this process of embedding stayed in the back of his mind. When constructing his books, the author reflected the spaces he had experienced and embedded into his subconscious as well as the events and situations he had experienced at those moments in his works. It is also seen that the real life-fiction relationship is not a coincidence because Kästner’s real life and novels coincide in terms of space. Space was deemed a kind of symbol of the subconscious.

Implications for Research and Practice: Being able to dig deep down into the author’s subconscious in author-work reviews helps to understand the work better. Performing such reviews on the subconscious with a space perception may enable attaining clearer results. Understanding an author better also makes it easier to interpret their work.

Keywords: Children’s literature, novel, psychology, fiction, place.