Good news: the dissertation has been completed, polished, printed, binded and handed in!
This is the culmination of a very peculiar and intense year of studies, where I had the opportunity to transform what was a passion, a curiosity, into something much more defined and informed. I really enjoyed doing this MA in Children's Literature, in all its aspects: critical studies, historical perspectives, illustation analysis, reader response theory, comparative studies. They have enriched my knowledge and my perspectives, they have opened windows on so many different areas and aspects of children's books that I couldn't have foreseen. And I enjoyed the research for the assignments, ranging from feminist revisions of Cinderella to the carnivalesque in Sendak's picture books, from the influence of Locke's theories of education on the chidren's book trade in the eighteenth century to the implied reader of The Little Prince, from the story of the representation of the black minority in children's literature to the tension between pedagogical aims and sympathy for the rebel in The Adventures of Pinocchio: so many occasions to learn, to wonder, to be inspired.
Handing in the dissertation feels a bit like completing a marathon: I am exausted, physically and mentally; I feel like I need to catch up with things that have been left behind in this last great effort; I am longing to spend lots of time doing not very much with people I love - that is, cuddling with H and the kids. I am also trying to figure out the next step: how to channel this inspiration, how to apply the skills that I have gained through the MA - doing a PhD, returning to work, something else altoghether. Que sera, sera. That can be postponed: time for some celebrations now - bring on the Peter Rabbit grape juice!