The Future of the Nineteenth-Century Dream-Child: Fantasy, Dystopia, Cyberculture, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Future of the Nineteenth-Century Dream-Child

Fantasy, Dystopia, Cyberculture, 1st Edition

By Amy Billone


180 pages

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Paperback: 9780367346225
pub: 2019-05-17
Hardback: 9781138938915
pub: 2016-07-05
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pub: 2016-06-10
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This book investigates the reappearance of the 19th-century dream-child from the Golden Age of Children's Literature, both in the Harry Potter series and in other works that have reached unprecedented levels of popular success today. Discussing Harry Potter as a reincarnation of Lewis Carroll's Alice and J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, Billone goes on to examine the recent resurrection of Alice in Tim Burton's Alice, and of Peter Pan in Michael Jackson and in James Bond. Visiting trends that have emerged since the Harry Potter series ended, the book studies revisions of the dream-child in texts and films that have inspired mass fandom in the twenty-first century: Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, E.L. James's 50 Shades of Grey and Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. The volume argues that the 21st-century desire to achieve dream-states in relationship to eternal youth results from the way that dreams provide a means of realizing the fantastic yet alarming possibility of escaping from time. This current identification with the dream-child stems from the threat of political unrest and economic and environmental collapse as well as from the simultaneous technophilia and technophobia of a culture immersed in the breathless revolution of the digital age. This book not only explores how the dream-child from the past has returned to reflect misgivings about imagined dystopian futures but also reveals how the rebirth of the dream-child opens up possibilities for new narratives where happy endings remain viable against all odds. It will appeal to scholars in a wide variety of fields including Childhood Studies, Children's/YA Literature, Cinema Studies, Cultural Studies, Cyberculture, Gender Studies, Queer Studies, Gothic Studies, New Media, and Popular Culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "I Open at the Close": In the Wake of Harry Potter 1. "Quicker and Easier than Falling Asleep": Harry Potter, Dreams and Specters from the Past 2. Sentenced to Neverland: Three Contemporary Resurrections of Carroll’s Alice and Barrie’s Peter Pan 3. From Twilight to Fifty Shades Freed: "Childhood is the Kingdom where Nobody Dies" 4. "Keep Your Eyes Open": Dreams, Alertness and Innocence in the 21st Century Conclusion: The After-Life of the Dream-Child

About the Author

Amy Billone, Associate Professor of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, specializes in the long nineteenth century and Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Her many publications include Little Songs: Women, Silence, and the Nineteenth-Century Sonnet (2007) and the Introduction and Notes for Peter Pan (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2005).

About the Series

Children's Literature and Culture

Founding Editor and Series Editor 1994-2011: Jack Zipes

Series Editor, 2011-2018: Philip Nel


Founded by Jack Zipes in 1994, Children's Literature and Culture is the longest-running series devoted to the study of children’s literature and culture from a national and international perspective. Dedicated to promoting original research in children’s literature and children’s culture, in 2011 the series expanded its focus to include childhood studies, and it seeks to explore the legal, historical, and philosophical conditions of different childhoods. An advocate for scholarship from around the globe, the series recognizes innovation and encourages interdisciplinarity. Children's Literature and Culture offers cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections considering topics such as gender, race, picturebooks, childhood, nation, religion, technology, and many others. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Science Fiction & Fantasy
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies