Abstract

This essay argues that both Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray and J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan offer studies of eternal male children and their consciousness because studies of congenital inversion and childhood were linked in the late Victorian period. Representing the coalescence of three late Victorian fields—developmental psychology (then called Child Study), sexology, and Greek studies—Wilde's Dorian and Barrie's Peter Pan embody perceptions of queerness, hedonism, and arrested development theorized as congenital inversion yet paradoxically understood as the free-floating desire of youth before a "proper" love object is chosen.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-1201
Print ISSN
0885-0429
Pages
pp. 177-198
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-07
Open Access
No
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