J. M. Barrie: Peter Pan

(2417 words)
  • Andrew Nash (University of Reading)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 11: Theory, Philosophy, Concepts: History of Ideas and Science.

Peter Pan is one of those works that defies – and often defeats – critical summary. Because of its complex textual evolution, its conspicuous appeal to mythic status, the ideas it projects about authorship and creation, the various cultural transformations that it has received, any attempt to pin it down is not only difficult but self-defeating because it goes against the very grain of the work.

Firstly, there is the problem of which text and whose text (belonging to which author) we are talking about. The character Peter Pan first appears in a novel The Little White Bird (1902) where he forms part of a story that the narrator is telling inside the novel to a little boy. These chapters were later …

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Nash, Andrew. "Peter Pan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2833, accessed 28 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Children's Literature