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Baby Power

Marina Warner

6 July 1989
The Romantic Child: From Runge to Sendak 
by Robert Rosenblum.
Thames and Hudson, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1989, 0 500 55020 4
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Caldecott & Co: Notes on Books and Pictures 
by Maurice Sendak.
Reinhardt, 216 pp., £13.95, March 1989, 1 871061 06 7
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Dear Mili 
by Wilhelm Grimm, translated by Ralph Manheim and Maurice Sendak.
Viking Kestrel, £9.95, November 1988, 0 670 80168 2
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Grimms’ Bad Girls and Bold Boys: The Moral and Social Vision of the ‘Tales’ 
by Ruth Bottigheimer.
Yale, 211 pp., £8.95, April 1989, 0 300 04389 9
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The one who set out to study fear 
by Peter Redgrove.
Bloomsbury, 183 pp., £13.95, April 1989, 0 7475 0187 4
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... of Enchantment, in which he argues that the horrors and threats and subterfuges in the stories help children through the loneliness and haplessness of childhood and the difficulties of growing up. MauriceSendak, author and illustrator of the unforgettable dream tale Where the wild things are, has interpreted the lessons of the analyst’s couch to produce many children’s books that are copybook ...
18 October 2001
Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books 
by H.J. Jackson.
Yale, 324 pp., £19.95, April 2001, 0 300 08816 7
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... The primal scene of Marginalia takes place at a book-signing by the children’s writer MauriceSendak. Pushed to the front of the queue by his star-struck parents, a boy begs Sendak not to ‘crap up my book’. Jackson’s central question – are marginalia crap? – has no simple answer, for her study uncovers our passionate ambivalence about unauthorised writing. One might ...

In the Nightmare Kitchen

Rivka Galchen: Kafka’s Boyhood

16 March 2017
Kafka: The Early Years 
by Reiner Stach, translated by Shelley Frisch.
Princeton, 564 pp., £27.95, November 2016, 978 0 691 15198 4
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... Born​ in 1928, MauriceSendak grew up in Brooklyn, the child of Polish immigrants. On the day of Sendak’s bar mitzvah, his father learned that his family in Poland had all been killed. ‘And I was having the big party at the colonial club, the old mansion in Brooklyn,’ Sendak recalled. His mother ...

I am the decider

Hal Foster: Agamben, Derrida and Santner

17 March 2011
The Beast and the Sovereign. Vol. I 
by Jacques Derrida, translated by Geoffrey Bennington.
Chicago, 349 pp., £24, November 2009, 978 0 226 14428 3
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... but not for us. In the meantime, as Santner suggests, we might look to the creaturely as a ‘resource for new kinds of social links’. This is what Max suggests, too, in the famous story by MauriceSendak. When his mother calls him ‘Wild Thing!’, Max is cast outside the pale of the family, and it is then that he becomes his wolf costume and the Wild Things appear. (In the movie-and-novel ...
23 May 1985
Secret Gardens 
by Humphrey Carpenter.
Allen and Unwin, 235 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 04 809022 0
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Reading and Righting 
by Robert Leeson.
Collins, 256 pp., £6.95, March 1985, 9780001844131
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Pipers at the Gates of Dawn 
by Jonathan Cott.
Viking, 327 pp., £12.95, August 1984, 0 670 80003 1
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... the right questions to provoke the response he’s after: the most pretentious one. He’s no sooner through the door than he’s quoting Zen Buddhist monks at Dr Seuss, Conversations with Kafka at MauriceSendak, and Bachelard at Astrid Lindgren. How beautiful, how interesting, come the replies: with what intonation one can only guess. Are the poor authors overwhelmed by Cott’s erudition (in the ...
1 June 1989
English Children and their Magazines 1751-1945 
by Kirsten Drotner.
Yale, 272 pp., £16.95, January 1988, 0 300 04010 5
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Frank Richards: The Chap behind the Chums 
by Mary Cadogan.
Viking, 258 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 0 670 81946 8
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A History of Children’s Book Illustration 
by Joyce Irene Whalley and Tessa Rose Chester.
Murray/Victoria and Albert Museum, 268 pp., £35, April 1988, 0 7195 4584 6
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Manchester Polytechnic Library of Children’s Books 1840-1939: ‘From Morality to Adventure’ 
by W.H. Shercliff.
Bracken Books/Studio Editions, 203 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 901276 18 9
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Children’s Modern First Editions: Their Value to Collectors 
by Joseph Connolly.
Macdonald, 336 pp., £17.95, October 1988, 0 356 15741 5
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... in particular, affected later water-colourists like Beatrix Potter. Their survey, in fact, covers pretty well the whole range of children’s book design, from its 17th-century beginnings to MauriceSendak – following on from F.J. Harvey Darton’s Children’s Books in England (1932, revised edition 1982) and Percy Muir’s English Children’ Books 1600-1900 (1954). They distinguish between ...

Door Closing!

Mark Ford: Randall Jarrell

21 October 2010
Pictures from an Institution: A Comedy 
by Randall Jarrell.
Chicago, 277 pp., £10.50, April 2010, 978 0 226 39375 9
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... best read in short bursts, or dipped into, for Jarrell’s determination to sparkle at every turn can become a little wearing. Although he published two children’s books in the 1960s illustrated by MauriceSendak, he never attempted another novel. Dwight Robbins, the president of Benton, is described as being ‘so well adjusted to his environment that sometimes you could not tell which was the ...
3 October 1996
Pierre, or The Ambiguities 
by Herman Melville, edited by Hershel Parker.
HarperCollins, 449 pp., £15.99, May 1996, 0 06 118009 2
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... vision of the Enceladus in Book XXV. In an extensive Introduction, Parker tries to explain why this new edition is worth owning, aside from the fact that it is handsomely produced and has pictures by MauriceSendak. Parker makes it clear that his reconstruction is not meant to replace the Northwestern-Newberry edition of the standard version. Nonetheless, he quite heatedly insists that his shorter ...

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