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Back to the Tableau or the Gerontoscopy of Wounded Men
To read a picture book for children in the name of the imaginary of childhood is to subscribe to a particular construct of the album de jeunesse, or what in English is called the picture book, which is, after all, just a kind of book marketed to chiIdren. In this construct, the picture book for chiIdren models an alternative to the imaginary of grown-ups, an imaginary “once removed” yet somehow housed in the imaginary certified as adult, and which, through its difference, affirms the imaginary of readers who don’t happen to be children. One of the powers of the adult imaginary is to invent a speculative childhood, and to fill it with toys, books and fiestas, just as we have filled other “ages of man” with iconic paraphernalia like canes and walking sticks.