Bly: Remaining Children

“As we know from Philippe Aries’s Centuries of Childhood, before the nineteenth century or so there were no clothes designed especially for children. During and after the Middle Ages the child said, ‘I am a small-sized adult,’ and he or she wore clothes similar to those the adults wore. That practice had drawbacks, but the reversal has been catastrophic. When people identify with their wounded child, or remain children, the whole culture goes to pieces. We learn from teenage pregnancies that children cannot mother their own children or father their own children. People lead lives that radiate destruction to the immediate family as well as to the neighborhood. Everyone is in the emergency ward.”

– Robert Bly, Iron John (p. 35)


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