Voice

The first mention of “voice” as metaphor appeared in 1587 when Golding De Mornay wrote that “there is . . . a dubble Speech; the one in the mynd, . . . the other the sounding image thereof, . . . vttered by our mouth” (Oxford English Dictionary). Four centuries later, doubleness had become multiplicity. As Charlotte Otten and Gary Schmidt (1989) note, the “word voice itself is undergoing changes: it has moved from being a strictly descriptive term into the realm of metaphor that now includes more than point of view and that encompasses all that identity itself connotes.” However, “voice” as a narrative metaphor is arguably the defining quality of literature for children and adolescents, and the notion of “dubble speech” marks the inherent tension in determining whether a book is a “children’s book.” The issue of voice is, then, the critical issue of how, …

This essay may be found on page 225 of the printed volume.

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