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Things to Do with Imaginary Child.pdf

By Steven Bruhm


This essay considers texts in which adults consciously invent children whom they represent to the world as “real,” children who can then richly investigate the ethical limits that their inventors may test in other people. Drawing on clinical psychological theories of children’s imaginary playmates – and the health that psychologists ascribe to the juvenile practice of inventing imaginary children – I consider what the adult invention of the child might suggest for the “uses” of children more generally. Texts under consideration are Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Lorrie Moore’s Anagrams, and Armistead Maupin’s quasi-biographical The Night Listener

Topics: Arts and Humanities
Publisher: SelectedWorks
Year: 2017
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Provided by: Scholarship@Western
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