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The Global Village of the Damned: A Counter-Narrative for the Post-War Child.pdf
Narrative (2016)
  • Steven Bruhm
John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos and the films it engendered (Village of the Damned and Children of the Damned) represent the Child as both the post-World War II promise of a new global community and the very threat that such a promise entailed. These Children are seemingly without race, class, or even gender, and possess preternatural intelligence with the ability for unfettered communication among the other children of their kind. While such racially and nationally transcendent self-possession was the basis for the dream of post-war global harmony, it also constitutes in the Children of Midwich the threat of global annihilation. As such, these counterfeit Children sustain an exploration of post-war childhood, its theoretical underpinnings, and the contesting narratives necessary to make “childhood” signify as a human category in the twentieth century: they produce a range of contesting narratives as to what the Child might mean, and what it might have meant within the new globalizing forces following the Second World War. These contesting narratives, I maintain, both depend upon the masterplot of the Child as our sentimental culture imagines it, and interrupt that masterplot to make of the Child a dangerous and fatal force. As our Children run askew, they become a counter-fit to the sentimental, political narrative, signifying instead the more primitive, psychoanalytic narrative of death’s inexorable drive. 
  • counterfeit child,
  • child-murder,
  • in-fancy
Publication Date
Spring May, 2016
Citation Information
Steven Bruhm. "The Global Village of the Damned: A Counter-Narrative for the Post-War Child.pdf" Narrative Vol. 24 Iss. 2 (2016) p. 156 - 173
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