ERIC Number: EJ757658
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Crossover Literature and Abjection: Geraldine McCaughrean's "The White Darkness"
Children's Literature in Education, v38 n1 p35-44 Mar 2007
This article provides a close reading of Geraldine McCaughrean's award-winning novel, "The White Darkness". It argues that this is a key text in the increasing debate about "crossover" literature. Whereas, traditionally, adolescent books were seen to offer compensatory fantasies to the adolescent reader, McCaughrean's text goes beyond this, exploring adolescence in deeper terms: not simply as an age-defined period but as a time when the traditional coordinates of the self are thrown into crisis, or become destabilized (as an "open psychic structure", as Kristeva puts it). Adopting such a psychoanalytical approach, it is argued, we can begin to understand this book's appeal (and others like it) to adolescent and adult alike; that is, it stages a shift from an imaginary identification with a stable self to a more realistic, albeit less secure recognition of the flimsiness of identity. The white wastes of Antarctica provide the perfect backdrop for this confrontation with the ungraspable Real.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Antarctica