Play does not value closure

“Eli studies the scene, watching Marianne build up [-p.11] the walls of the crib. To play or not to play is not his question. Of course he must play. Quickly he scoops up a scattering of little shells and fills the bottom of the pail. Holding an imaginary cell phone to his face he says, ‘I’m bringing home chicken nuggets, Mother. Look out the window. I’m in the SUV.’
Eli and Marianne are a pair of dramatists, though often inclined toward different outcomes for individual scenes. But they both wish for stories that blend the familiar with the uncommon. As in a really good research study, play does not value closure. It seeks new direction and unexpected results. We want to be surprised but also reassured that we know the territory. The next wave may open a new vista, and we want to be prepared.” (pp.10-11)

Ref: (emphases in blue bold mine) Vivian Gussin Paley (2010) The boy on the beach: building community through play. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London

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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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