So, I am going to do my thesis on melancholy and childhood. That way I can include dolls, dollhouses, imaginary friends, death, Edward Gorey, childhood play, Gilead, The Sweet Hereafter, crossover books (picture books for young adults, books that teeter over from YA into adult fiction), Margaret Wild, magic, robots, butterflies... In fact so many things that I am realising I will have to further zero in because I have about 50 chapters worth of ideas. I guess some of the things I'm most interested in is the relationship between time, space and memory, and also whether or not melancholy transforms a book from a child's text into an adult text, because it somehow objectifies childhood and its child characters, rather than writing about kid characters in an immediate and engaging and present way (I'm thinking particularly of Sonya Hartnett's novel Of A Boy here, which is a book about a young boy and really the content isn't any more confronting that the content of her other novels which are marketed at children, but something transformed it into an adult book, apart form just the decisions of the publishers, and I'm wondering if that was her use of melancholy and nostalgia - distancing the reader from the immediate experience of the child character...thoughts are unfinished on this).
Anyway, thanks everyone for your suggestions because it really really helped. Hooray for talking to myself out loud and small voices inside my computer answering.
*(From Edward Gorey's book The Gashlycrumb Tinies)