In this Book

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
summary

Although the infant has been a consistent figure in literature (and, for many people, a significant figure in personal life), there’s been little attention focused on infants, or on their place in Canadian fiction, until now.

In this book, Sandra Sabatini examines Canadian fiction to trace the ideological charge behind the represented infant. Examining writers from L.M. Montgomery and Frederick Philip Grove to Thomas King and Terry Griggs, Sabatini compares women’s writing about babies with the way infants appear in texts by men over the course of a century. She discovers a range of changing attitudes toward babies. After being seen as a source of financial burden, social shame, or sentimental fantasy, infants have increasingly become a source of value and meaning.

The book challenges the perception of babies as passive objects of care and argues for a reading of the infant as a subject in itself. It also reflects upon how the representations of infancy in Canadian literature offer an intriguing portrait of how we imagine ourselves.

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. p. v
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. p. vii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-30
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  1. Chapter One: Early Twentieth-Century Infants
  2. pp. 31-50
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  1. Chapter Two: Two Men and a Lady: (Il)legitimacy in Infant Representation, 1940-60
  2. pp. 51-76
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  1. Chapter Three: Speaking of Reproduction: The 1960s and 1970s
  2. pp. 77-136
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  1. Chapter Four: Wider Truth: Infants in the 1980s and 1990s
  2. pp. 137-166
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  1. Chapter Five: The Hope of the World
  2. pp. 167-200
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  1. Chapter Six: The Subject of the Dream Is the Dreamer
  2. pp. 201-208
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 209-226
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 227-230
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 231-242
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 243-255
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