Friday, June 10, 2011

Maurice Sendak (June 10, 1928)

I once saw an exhibit at the Skirball Center in L.A. about In the Night Kitchen; they showed the milk-carton landscape juxtaposed with Sendak’s native Brooklyn skyline. And I was made aware, this is a Jewish writer when I’ve only thought I was reading imaginary children’s stories. In Where the Wild Things Are, writes Illan Stavans, “Jewishness is implied … Max inhabits his own universe; he resists outside authority; he arrives in alien lands but assimilates the inhabitants’ culture so well that he becomes a leader. Most of all, he longs for a return to his origins, the only place he feels truly at home.” (In “Vilde Khaye,” Pakn Treger, Fall, 2010, number 62, p. 16-19)

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