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When Toys Come Alive
Author: Lois Rostow Kuznets

ISBN: 9780300056457
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 7 June 1994
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 1.5
Since the eighteenth century, toys have had an important place in European and American stories written for children and adults, often taking on a secret, sensual, even carnivalesque life of their own. In this ground-breaking work, Lois Rostow Kuznets studies the role of toy characters in works ranging from older classics like Pinocchio, Winnie the Pooh, and The Velveteen Rabbit, through modern texts like The Mouse and His Child and the popular comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, to the latest science fiction featuring robots and cyborgs.
Using a variety of intertextual critical approaches, including feminist theory, neo-Freudian Winnicott play analysis, structuralism, and neo-Marxism, Kuznets focuses on how toy characters, like children's play, can be associated with deep human needs, desires, and fears. Anxiety about being "real" - an autonomous subject rather than an object - permeates many of the texts Kuznets analyzes. Toy fantasies also raise existential issues of power: what it means either to dominate or to be dominated by more powerful beings, and what dangers might lie in the transformation of a toy into a living being - an act of human creativity...

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