An eye for an I: Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Questions of Identity

Rudd, David ORCID: 0000-0002-2602-3732 (2008) An eye for an I: Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Questions of Identity. Children's Literature in Education, 39 (3). pp. 159-168. ISSN ISSN 0045-6713

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This paper sees Neil Gaiman's Coraline as following a darker tradition in children's literature, most commonly found in the fairy tale. It explores some of the existential issues that concern us all: to do with identity, sex, death, ontology, evil, desire and violence. The article takes a largely psychoanalytical approach, showing how Freud's concept of the Uncanny is particularly helpful in explaining both the text's appeal, and its creepy uneasiness. Namely, our fears about existence and identity as separate beings: our worry that we will either not be noticed (being invisible and isolated), or we will be completely consumed by the attention of another. Lacan's concepts of the Symbolic and the Real provide the theoretical underpinning for this reading, together with Kristeva's notion of the abject.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of the article published in Children's Literature in Education, Springer, Netherlands, 2008,39(3): pp.159-168. The original publication is available at
Uncontrolled Keywords: Uncanny,Lacan,Psychoanalysis,Abject,Kristeva,Freud,Childrens Literature
Divisions: Bolton School of the Arts > English and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Scott Wilson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 12:49
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2018 10:24
Identification Number: 10.1007/s10583-008-9067-7

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