chapter  5
22 Pages

Becoming ‘Civilized’:The Child and the Primitive

In her afterword to States of Fantasy, Jacqueline Rose writes with respect to the study of literature that it is ‘something of an anthropological undertaking. There is no single automatically available culture, not even when you’re reading Jane Austen’.1 Here Rose is cautioning against complacency in the face of a literature that may seem (to us) to derive from a self-evident, self-explanatory milieu. Though the question, as this chapter will suggest, revolves precisely around the identity of this ‘us’ and what the implications are of how it is constituted as such in literary texts. This relates too, as we shall see, to my promise in the previous chapter to discuss the implications of how the narrator of the Taffy stories is positioned visà-vis his characters.