Saturday, September 10, 2011

Freud in Oz: At the Intersections of Psychoanalysis and Children's Literature by Kenneth B. Kidd

Freud in Oz: At the Intersections of Psychoanalysis and Children's Literature

Freud in Oz: At the Intersections of Psychoanalysis and Children's Literatureby Kenneth B. Kidd isn't due to be released until November or December of this year. (Academic books don't have hard release dates like bestsellers and I've seen sometime in November and December 1 listed for this one.) But since it's not primarily about fairy tales--but does contain a chapter devoted to them--I thought I would share it now. The good news is that this one will be affordable for the average reader here on SurLaLune, too, with a $25.00 list price for the paperback.

Book description from the publisher:

Children’s literature has spent decades on the psychiatrist’s couch, submitting to psychoanalysis by scores of scholars and popular writers alike. Freud in Oz turns the tables, suggesting that psychoanalysts owe a significant and largely unacknowledged debt to books ostensibly written for children. In fact, Kenneth B. Kidd argues, children’s literature and psychoanalysis have influenced and interacted with each other since Freud published his first case studies.

In Freud in Oz, Kidd shows how psychoanalysis developed in part through its engagement with children’s literature, which it used to articulate and dramatize its themes and methods, turning first to folklore and fairy tales, then to materials from psychoanalysis of children, and thence to children’s literary texts, especially such classic fantasies as Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. He traces how children’s literature, and critical response to it, aided the popularization of psychoanalytic theory. With increasing acceptance of psychoanalysis came two new genres of children’s literature—known today as picture books and young adult novels—that were frequently fashioned as psychological in their forms and functions.

Freud in Oz offers a history of reigning theories in the study of children’s literature and psychoanalysis, providing fresh insights on a diversity of topics, including the view that Maurice Sendak and Bruno Bettelheim can be thought of as rivals, that Sendak’s makeover of monstrosity helped lead to the likes of the Muppets, and that “Poohology” is its own kind of literary criticism—serving up Winnie the Pooh as the poster bear for theorists of widely varying stripes.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Reopening the Case of Peter Pan

1. Kids, Fairy Tales, and the Uses of Enchantment
2. Child Analysis, Play, and the Golden Age of Pooh
3. Three Case Histories: Alice, Peter Pan, and Oz
4. Maurice Sendak and Picturebook Psychology
5. “A Case History of Us All”: The Adolescent Novel before and after Salinger
6. T Is for Trauma: The Children’s Literature of Atrocity


University of Minnesota Press is publishing this one. They don't have a large fairy tale library, but what they have is worth a look. When it comes to folklore they have been republishing classic titles such as the fairy tale illustration work of Wanda Gag. I've written about these before so I'm not planning on individual posts, but wanted to herald their existence again anyway.

Tales from Grimm (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage) More Tales from Grimm (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage) Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage) Three Gay Tales from Grimm (Wicazo SA Review)

They've also reprinted Tales from a Finnish Tupa, whose co-editor was Margery Bianco Williams of The Velveteen Rabbit fame as well as Legends of Paul Bunyan.

Tales from a Finnish TupaLegends of Paul Bunyan (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book)

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