Cover

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pp. 1-5

Contents

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pp. v-v

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Introduction: Reopening the Case of Peter Pan

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pp. vii-xxvii

The serious study of children’s literature,” writes Michael Egan in a 1982 essay on Peter Pan, “may be said to have begun with Freud” (37). Freud was interested in a genre now firmly associated with childhood, the fairy tale, and thanks to his encouragement, “almost every single major psychoanalyst wrote at least one paper applying psychoanalytic theory to ...

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1. Kids, Fairy Tales, and the Uses of Enchantment

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pp. 1-33

The idea that the fairy tale is an appropriate narrative genre for children predates psychoanalysis, but psychoanalysis nurtured that idea, building upon existing associations of childhood and primitive/folk culture. Psychoanalytic advocacy for the fairy tale began long before Bruno Bettelheim made the case in ...

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2. Child Analysis, Play, and the Golden Age of Pooh

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pp. 35-63

In a provocative essay about theory and psychoanalysis, Michael Payne likens scenes of child sexual curiosity in Freud’s 1908 The Sexual Theories of Children (1963d) to chapter 7 of A. A. Milne’s 1926 Winnie-the-Pooh, about the alarming arrival of Kanga and Baby Roo in the 100 Aker Wood. “The subsequent, charming conversation among Pooh, Piglet, and Rabbit,” writes ...

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3. Three Case Histories Alice, Peter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz

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pp. 65-102

Jacqueline Rose’s The Case of Peter Pan (1984) is not only the best-known theoretical statement on children’s literature; it is also the best-known example of what we might call literary-critical case writing: the building of an argument or analysis around a single text, usually literary, and in this instance a text for children. Rose was not the first to practice such case writing. We recall Crews’s ...

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4. Maurice Sendak and Picturebook Psychology

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pp. 103-137

In 1963, humorist Louise Armstrong and illustrator Whitney Darrow Jr. published a picturebook entitled A Child’s Guide to Freud. Dedicated to “Sigmund F., A Really Mature Person,” A Child’s Guide to Freud is a send-up of Freudian ideas, pitched to adults and specifically to upper-middle-class New Yorkers. Armstrong was a confirmed Manhattanite and Darrow a longtime New Yorker cartoonist and children’s book ...

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5. “A Case History of Us All”: The Adolescent Novel before and after Salinger

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pp. 139-180

Like the adolescent, the adolescent novel has long been understood as a psychological form. This chapter historicizes the psychologization of adolescence and its literature, beginning not with the so-called problem novel for teenagers in the 1960s and 1970s,1 a familiar starting place, but rather much earlier, with the foundational work of G. Stanley Hall. I identify three major stages in the psychologization of the ...

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6. T Is for Trauma: The Children’s Literature of Atrocity

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pp. 181-205

Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, children’s texts about trauma, and especially the traumas of the Holocaust, have proliferated. Despite the difficulties of representing the Holocaust, or perhaps because of them, there seems to be consensus now that children’s literature is the most rather than the least appropriate forum for trauma work. Thus in “A New Algorithm in Evil: Children’s Literature in a Post-Holocaust ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 207-210

I am grateful to the many people who helped make this book a reality. Top billing goes to my dreamy partner Martin Brooks Smith, whose love is deeply sustaining. Much gratitude also to Carolyn, Allison, Dylan, Austin, Jason, Rosie, and Lou, for welcoming me into the family. My parents, Byron and Doris, gave me ridiculous amounts of ...

Notes

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pp. 211-240

Bibliography

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pp. 241-273

Index

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pp. 275-297