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Issue Details: First known date: 2000... 2000 All Our Christmases Come at Once: War, Peace and the 'Fin de Siecle'
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Scutter examines a range of children's texts which are predominantly British, although a few American and Australian works are represented, including Gillian Rubinstein's Beyond the Labyrinth and Sonya Hartnett's Sleeping Dogs. Fascinated with representations of Christmas in children's fiction, Scutter argues that 'In many children's books...the mythos of Christmas forms a motif which sets a particular kind of family, child, nation and culture against the mythos of war' (32). Focusing on the fin de siecle, as characterised by 'tranformative millenialism, enervation and impotence' (32), she says 'The anxious enervation of our culture is marked not only by early rehearsal of ends of cycles, and of cultural rituals such as Christmas and Easter, but also the end of childhood to adolescent and young adulthood' (32). While there has been a shift in representations of Christmas, war and peace, Scutter concludes that the fin de siecle of children's texts continues to rely on a sense of apocolypse in what she views as as ongoing and 'anxious attempts to recuperate threatened cultural values' (36).


  • Paper presented at the Children's Literature and the Fin de Siecle Conference, joint conference of the ChLA and IRSCL held in Calgary, Canada, 5-9 July 1999.

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Last amended 8 Nov 2007 11:09:43
32-37 All Our Christmases Come at Once: War, Peace and the 'Fin de Siecle'small AustLit logo Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature