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Things to Do with Imaginary Child.pdf
Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures (2017)
  • 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.
  • counterfeit child,
  • queer childhood,
  • edward albee,
  • lorrie moore,
  • armistead maupin
Publication Date
Fall 2017
Citation Information
Steven Bruhm. "Things to Do with Imaginary Child.pdf" Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures Vol. 9 Iss. 2 (2017) p. 20 - 42
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