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On the tolerance of children’s literature criticism: psychoanalysis, neighborliness, and Pooh

Cocks, N. (2023) On the tolerance of children’s literature criticism: psychoanalysis, neighborliness, and Pooh. Humanities, 12 (3). 45. ISSN 2076-0787

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/h12030045


This article challenges David Rudd’s recent criticism of ‘The Reading Critics’ school of children’s literature criticism, which he takes to be problematic in so far as it is intolerant towards traditions that stray outside its own narrow concerns. Rudd forwards in its place an approach that is generous and dynamic. Through a close reading of Rudd’s analysis of both Winnie-the Pooh and psychoanalysis, this article understands the politics and poetics of tolerance to open some difficult questions. What are the limits of tolerance? Is what Rudd forwards merely a tolerance of the tolerable? Is his forgiving attitude to the work of ‘The Reading Critics’, as he mourns their passing, tolerance also? What if these critics were to object to such tolerance, or read violence or erasure within it? Most significantly, this article is interested in how such tolerance, and the celebration of open community, fits within the ‘broadly Lacanian framework’ that Rudd elsewhere champions. As Lacan has, at best, an ambivalent attitude to the politics of neighborliness, this article argues that the defense of a ‘broad’ and tolerant approach to theory that calls upon his work is only made possible by arguments that neglect the specifics of Lacan’s writing.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Identities
ID Code:112179


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