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The Case of Peter Pan: Or the Impossibility of Children's Fiction

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Peter Pan, Jacqueline Rose contends, forces us to question what it is we are doing in the endless production and dissemination of children's fiction. In a preface, written for this edition, Rose considers some of Peter Pan's new guises and their implications. From Spielberg's Hook, to the lesbian production of the play at the London Drill Hall in 1991, to debates in the En Peter Pan, Jacqueline Rose contends, forces us to question what it is we are doing in the endless production and dissemination of children's fiction. In a preface, written for this edition, Rose considers some of Peter Pan's new guises and their implications. From Spielberg's Hook, to the lesbian production of the play at the London Drill Hall in 1991, to debates in the English House of Lords, to a newly claimed status as the icon of transvestite culture, Peter Pan continues to demonstrate its bizarre renewability as a cultural fetish of our times.


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Peter Pan, Jacqueline Rose contends, forces us to question what it is we are doing in the endless production and dissemination of children's fiction. In a preface, written for this edition, Rose considers some of Peter Pan's new guises and their implications. From Spielberg's Hook, to the lesbian production of the play at the London Drill Hall in 1991, to debates in the En Peter Pan, Jacqueline Rose contends, forces us to question what it is we are doing in the endless production and dissemination of children's fiction. In a preface, written for this edition, Rose considers some of Peter Pan's new guises and their implications. From Spielberg's Hook, to the lesbian production of the play at the London Drill Hall in 1991, to debates in the English House of Lords, to a newly claimed status as the icon of transvestite culture, Peter Pan continues to demonstrate its bizarre renewability as a cultural fetish of our times.

30 review for The Case of Peter Pan: Or the Impossibility of Children's Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ann Bjerregaard

    While this is a seminal work in Children's literature criticism and some of Rose's points were really interesting and well-argued, I found her writing rather impenetrable, which is a shame as it made her arguments somewhat difficult to follow. While this is a seminal work in Children's literature criticism and some of Rose's points were really interesting and well-argued, I found her writing rather impenetrable, which is a shame as it made her arguments somewhat difficult to follow.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kristína

    A tenacious inquiry into the fantasy of childhood in children's fiction. Rose skillfully unpicks the multiple layers of meaning in the various renderings of Peter Pan. Examining the language and mythology of childhood, Rose draws out poignant and (still) relevant questions about the institutions that help sustain children's fiction as well as our own relationship with "language, sexuality and death". The overabundance of references to Freud did irritate my occasionally. Oh well, 1984. A tenacious inquiry into the fantasy of childhood in children's fiction. Rose skillfully unpicks the multiple layers of meaning in the various renderings of Peter Pan. Examining the language and mythology of childhood, Rose draws out poignant and (still) relevant questions about the institutions that help sustain children's fiction as well as our own relationship with "language, sexuality and death". The overabundance of references to Freud did irritate my occasionally. Oh well, 1984.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Anyone with an interest in children's literature, or the way children are represented in literature, should read this book. It raises a lot of issues and questions that have become foundational to studying children's literature, and it is an extremely insightful, intriguing, and interesting analysis. Anyone with an interest in children's literature, or the way children are represented in literature, should read this book. It raises a lot of issues and questions that have become foundational to studying children's literature, and it is an extremely insightful, intriguing, and interesting analysis.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This was only really half useful to me, which is slightly disappointing seeing as I want to write my essay on Peter Pan.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cj Forneste

    I think this book is more enjoyable after reading through Perry Nodelman's critical theories and critiques on Rose. I think this book is more enjoyable after reading through Perry Nodelman's critical theories and critiques on Rose.

  6. 4 out of 5

    SSShafiq

    Aug 2020: recommended in Jen Campbell’s Peter Pan video. Thought I’d give it a shot given my interest in the actual author’s life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cara Byrne

    This is a smart book that complicates "children's literature," as Rose argues: “There is no child behind the category of ‘children’s fiction’, other than the one which the category itself sets in place, the one which it needs to believe is there for its own purposes” (10). While analyzing Peter Pan - in all of its variations - is at the heart of her analysis, she brings in other works and philosophical perspectives (Freud, Rousseau, etc.) to complicate popular notions of the child and the role a This is a smart book that complicates "children's literature," as Rose argues: “There is no child behind the category of ‘children’s fiction’, other than the one which the category itself sets in place, the one which it needs to believe is there for its own purposes” (10). While analyzing Peter Pan - in all of its variations - is at the heart of her analysis, she brings in other works and philosophical perspectives (Freud, Rousseau, etc.) to complicate popular notions of the child and the role adults play in creating "their" literature. The introduction and 1992 forward were really captivating, but the rest of the book was a bit slow. I'm not sure I will utilize this work much in my studies, but reading her text alongside Nodelman's _Words about Pictures_ really helped me think more about the genre as a whole and conceptions of the child reader.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bethan

    'Instead of asking what children want, or need, from literature, this book has asked what it is that adults, through literature, want or demand of the child.' Read as part of my research project on Children's Literature. Interesting and thought provoking, I have a number of pages marked with possible quotes I could use. Possibly a little outdated, as it was first published in 1984, but still holds points that are still valid today. 'Instead of asking what children want, or need, from literature, this book has asked what it is that adults, through literature, want or demand of the child.' Read as part of my research project on Children's Literature. Interesting and thought provoking, I have a number of pages marked with possible quotes I could use. Possibly a little outdated, as it was first published in 1984, but still holds points that are still valid today.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Borasinski

    Thought-provoking and insightful. A thoroughly interesting piece of critical theory

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lise

    A great study of language, discourse (and society) in Peter Pan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  12. 4 out of 5

    William Taylor

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary Tsiara

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Littell

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leah

  16. 4 out of 5

    Oroacdc Yea Ju

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ali Şahin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryta

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jess Mcmahon

  20. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

  21. 5 out of 5

    M

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  23. 5 out of 5

    M

  24. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Stoker

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zoeeloise

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frenchy Faith

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alerte

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt Cope

  30. 5 out of 5

    Will

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