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Friday, May 11, 2012
The 20th century did its best to dismantle innocence and inflict ideologically based suffering on children so as to darken human psychology for generations to come. Sendak dealt in honesty to make sense of bleak legacies.

Maurice Sendak (1928-2012).


A master dies, and everyone musters to analyse his contribution to children’s literature. Probably, it can be summed up by the way in which he tapped into childhood memories, dreams, dramas – awake and asleep; this ability makes Sendak’s work so influential. I don’t recall his most famous book, Where The Wild Things Are (1963) nearly so much as I remember the imprint of the much criticized In The Night Kitchen (1970) on my childhood recollections of reading.


Max, the hero of Wild Things, was just a naughty boy. I did not relate to him in the way that I found the intimidating and surreal landscape of Mickey’s adventures in the Night Kitchen more impactful. So, what that says about me I’m not sure! (Paging Dr. Freud!)


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