Drengen der ikke ville blive stor – og som blev det


The title means "The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up - But Did” and it’s the title of my original, Danish Peter Pan related book from 1999, based on my 1991 Ph.D. thesis.


Back then hardly anything was written about Peter Pan. Sure, Peter Pan was mentioned in J. M. Barrie biographies, but the first 50 years after the “birth” of Peter Pan, you wouldn’t find any literary analyses of the story. Then in the sixties and seventies you could sometimes find a Freudian interpretation or the book was treated and analysed as a children’s book.


Reading the sparse books and articles about Peter Pan, I came to wonder why nobody had ever compared Barrie’s stories about Peter and in this way tried to uncover the main themes and problems of the story. Barrie wrote his Peter Pan story no less than 5 times and in 5 different ways, namely as a novel, an illustrated storybook, a play, a children’s book and a film scenario, but nobody seemed to care when it came to analysing the Peter Pan story.


Because of that I decided that in “Drengen der ikke ville blive stor – og som blev det” I would analyse all five stories and compare them in order to show the development in not only the literary story about Peter Pan, but in his “life story” as well. Because although Barrie tells us that Peter Pan is a boy who doesn’t want to grow up, Peter actually DOES change and grow older. I also show how other characters in the story, such as Wendy and Captain Hook, go through developments as well, and I illustrate how Peter Pan's universe gets more and more obsessed with death and sexuality, the more Peter develops.


When the book was released in 1999, it was hailed as an indisputable literary renewal of Peter Pan-studies.