Having discussed Rose’s case about how the figure of Peter Pan, the eternal child, is deployed in children’s literature to cover the various ruptures that make us the ‘split’ subjects of the Symbolic — that is, at how Peter Pan figures as an imaginary, idealised being — let me now look more closely at the divisions that exist within the latter, the Symbolic: of gender, race, and so forth. In my Introduction I voiced concern that criticism of children’s literature often gave one a sense of déjä vu; and that sometimes children’s literature critics adopted tactics reminiscent of the stepsisters in Cinderella, trying to shoehorn texts into ill-fitting footwear. I also suggested that, as a result, a rather procrustean reading of a work sometimes emerged, in which the vibrancy of the primary text was hobbled.
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