Politics of childhood

Milbank again, from the 2005 article in Religion and Literature , arguing for the importance of play not just to sanity but to political critique:

“the sane adult must continue to play—to keep the world of her work in perspective, she must continue to imagine other realities. To sustain, for example, a political critique, within the United Kingdom, she must retain the mythical sense that the island of Britain belongs not just to the current government but to nature, to the past, to the future, and to many hidden communities and changing racial configurations. Perhaps the great British-Irish literary theme from the hero-tales and the Mabinogion through to Brian Merriman (18th C County Cork author of the great Gaelic poem ‘The Midnight Court’, where a fairy judgment is dealt out in favour of Irish women against the male priesthood), Kipling, Yeats, Machen, Buchan, Tolkien, J.C Powys, Hope Mirrlees and now Susannah Clarke that the islands really belong to the Longaevi , the fairies (or else to the giants) is to do with just such an exercise of the critical imagination.”

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