Angels and Wild Things
The Archetypal Poetics of Maurice SendakBook - 1993
Offers an analysis of Sendak's writing and pictures, focusing on the eight books which Sendak has both written and illustrated
Blackwell North Amer
Over the course of more than eighty books that he has written and illustrated in a career that has spanned four decades, Maurice Sendak has become the most influential and, at times, the most controversial creator of works for children. Each of the books in his trilogy—Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, and Outside Over There—has been precedent-setting, dramatically expanding the boundaries of subject matter and images that have been conventionally accepted in books for younger children. In this first comprehensive reading of Sendak's key works, John Cech considers the symbolic child who has appeared and developed in Sendak's books and remains at the center of his vision.
By fusing biographical, historical, cultural, and literary materials with the insights of depth psychology and archetypal theory, this study traces the evolution of Sendak's work—from its first, bold steps in the 1950s, to its liberating breakthroughs of the 1960s and early 1970s, to the rich complexity of his most recent books. Though touching on many of the works that Sendak has been involved with, Cech concentrates on those books that Sendak has both written and illustrated. It is in these books that we can see most clearly the poesis of Sendak's art, the alchemy of his creative process that has woven together the remembrances of his own things past, the spirit of his times, the history of children's literature, and Sendak's animating concern with the archetypal figure of the child—a symbol of creative potential, emotional vitality, and spiritual renewal.