Oxford Literary Review 41 (2):202-218 (2019)

The childlike elements of deconstruction—deconstruction's suggestion of play—require an interdisciplinary attention that they have previously not been afforded in scholarly discourse on Derrida. The power of the child in children's literature scholarship has similarly been immune to binary-disrupting forces common in adjacent literary fields; such immunity has been granted under the banner of ‘aetonormativity,’ which norms adult power while subverting that of the child. In light of the posthumanist turn in critical thinking, which demands a dissolution of binaries in favour of heterogeneity, deconstruction offers a novel approach to analysing the child in children's literature. In this paper, I draw upon Donna Haraway's diffractive approach to textual analysis to read Derrida's discussion of pharmakon through Maria Nikolajeva's conceptualization of aetonormativity. The resulting shift in understanding of both concepts allows for a reading of Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio that explores a figure I term the posthumanist child, whose undecidable embodiment works to disrupt the aetonormative binary.
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DOI 10.3366/olr.2019.0279
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