Like his mentor Ruth Krauss’s fictive children, Maurice Sendak’s are emotionally liberated people.
That’s one of the points I make in my brief (5-page!) essay “Wild Things, I Think I Love You: Maurice Sendak, Ruth Krauss, and Childhood,” which appeared in PMLA 129.1 (January 2014). In a belated recognition of the second anniversary of Maurice Sendak’s passing (May 8, 2012), I’m posting a pdf of the essay here and on Academia.edu.
Because I didn’t pay attention to the word limit, I wrote around twice as much as PMLA had space to print. So, I repurposed what I’d cut for “It’s a Wild World: Maurice Sendak, Wild Things, and Childhood,” which appeared on this blog in October 2013. Someday, I would like to publish the essay as it was originally intended — with the cut sections integrated into the published (PMLA) version. Maybe, one day, there’ll be a Sendak essay collection where this might appear in full?
Anyway, do check out the Sendak section of the January 2014 PMLA. There are lots of other good pieces there — U.C. Knoepflmacher, Maria Tatar, Amy Sonheim, Jan Susina, many others!
Bonus: In the process of writing this post, I discovered that the full contents of all issues of PMLA since 2002 are available for free (no paywall), at the MLA’s website! Unfortunately, the journal is behind a paywall: I belatedly realized that I was accessing it via my university’s institutional subscription. If anyone wants the Sendak section, then email me and I’ll send you the pdf.
Image above is from Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak’s A Hole Is to Dig (1952).
More on Sendak (mostly on this blog)
- “It’s a Wild World: Maurice Sendak, Wild Things, and Childhood” (15 Oct. 2013). The “unpublished” parts of the PMLA essay… published as an essay of their own! Bonus: links to Sendak posts by my fellow Niblings: Betsy Bird, Julie Walker Danielson, & Travis Jonker.
- “Annotating My Brother’s Book: Some initial thoughts on Sendak’s use of Blake’s pictorial language. A guest post by Mark Crosby” (9 March 2013). Blake scholar Mark Crosby shows us how Blake’s work illuminates My Brother’s Book.
- “The Most Wild Thing of All: Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012” (9 May 2012). My tribute to Sendak, including extracts from an (otherwise unpublished) interview I did with him, back in 2001. At the bottom of the post: links to many other tributes and obituaries from around the web.
- “The King of the Wild Things Is Dead. Long Live the King. Maurice Sendak (1928-2012)”. My obituary for Sendak, which ran in the Comics Journal. A longer version appears as the introduction to Gary Groth’s interview, in the latest print issue.
- “Tributes to Maurice Sendak: Artists Respond” (11 May 2012). In the wake of Sendak’s passing, many people created visual tributes. These are a few.
- “Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012”. The Horn Book‘s tribute includes links to interviews and articles.
- “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry” (8 Oct. 2011). My review of Sendak’s Bumble-Ardy.
- “Maurice Sendak, Uncensored” (23 Feb. 2013). A few thoughts on (and quotations from) Gary Groth’s Comics Journal interview.
- “In or Out?: Crockett Johnson, Ruth Krauss, Sexuality, Biography” (17 Feb. 2011). In which I meditate on how to address (or not) Maurice Sendak’s sexuality in my biography of Johnson and Krauss.
- The Maurice Sendak tag will take you to other posts on this blog.