13 terrible claws. A tribute to Maurice Sendak…

1. Max’s wolf costume is not a disguise.

2. Darkness makes us susceptible to the irrational. We lose our grip, if only slightly. That scratching noise could be a monster.

3. The colour yellow is suggestive of cowardice or being pissed off. Do the yellow eyes of the wild things signify melancholy?

4. Words in patterns, making rhythms, like a spell.

5. The boat bears his name. It could be argued that this delightful little vessel is not so much Max’s property as a symbol of him.

6. We’ve all met the wild things. When we look at their pictures they don’t surprise us.

7. Art is a wild rumpus.

8. Max’s crown doesn’t fit. He doesn’t know how to enjoy his despotism. Mimicking mummy, he loses himself.

9. What does Max’s mum look like? She’s a voice, a reproach, morality, accepted values. In Freudian terms, she may represent the superego.

10. Max’s dream recurs every time anyone reads the book.

11. The offer of a homecoming: “We’ll eat you up, we love you so!”

12. Max’s tale is one of transgression, forgiveness and redemption. But don’t let that put you off.

13. Everything I have ever written has been a variation on Where the Wild Things Are.


All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.


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