Oxford Literary Review 41 (2):238-257 (2019)

This article argues a different understanding to that in children's literature studies more widely of the implications of the work of Jacqueline Rose in The Case of Peter Pan or: The Impossibility of Children's Fiction for thinking about childhood, animality and children's literature and links these implications to the similar implications of Jacques Derrida's thinking about the child and animality. In both cases, the child and the animal are seen not as psycho-biological entities nor as products of social constructivism nor as categories that must be seen as inclusive of variety, but as memories, where memory is understood in the psychoanalytic sense as a present production of a past, including ‘observation’ as remembered. The implications of the arguments are demonstrated in relation to readings of Jessica Love's award-winning picture book Julián is a Mermaid as well as several reviews of the text in relation specifically to ideas of sexuality, gender, childhood, ethnicity and mermaids. Key here is what is understood to be the shared interest of psychoanalysis and deconstructive thinking in not stabilising definitions but instead in reading them as shifting in perspective.
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DOI 10.3366/olr.2019.0281
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