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Michel Tournier and the Metaphor of Fiction$
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David Platten

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780853238430

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313561

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The Empire of the Child

The Empire of the Child

Chapter:
(p.161) Chapter Five The Empire of the Child
Source:
Michel Tournier and the Metaphor of Fiction
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780853238430.003.0005

This chapter examines the role of the child in Michael Tournier's fiction. It suggests that Tournier writes to recapture the lost islands of our childish imaginings but the idea that he is deeply interested in the relationship of children to the society around them is less persuasive than it might at first appear. The chapter contends that his insistence on the importance of initiation is based on a solid anthropological foundation but his view that a child reader of literature is equal to an adult has proved enduringly controversial. It argues that Tournier's interest in the world of children and his long-held desire to engage the imagination of the child through his work may hold the key to his entire literary enterprise.

Keywords:   Michael Tournier, child, fiction, childish imaginings, initiation, child reader, literary enterprise

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