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Showing posts with label my brothers book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label my brothers book. Show all posts


My Brother's Book (2013)

By Maurice Sendak

Michael di Valuable Books

What a wonderful find this was, tucked in with the new releases at the library, and so strange! Last year I talked about one of my favorite Sendak books, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy, and here - posthumously - Jack and Guy have returned for a last dance on Sendak's grave, and what a strange, erie dance it is. The tone of it - to me - suggested Outside Over There. I don't know what it all means, but I trust the artist implicitly.

The text is adapted from Shakespeare's play The Winter's Tale. I learned this from the foreword to the book. Otherwise, were it not for that foreword, I would have assumed this came entirely from Sendak's imagination, and would not known what to make of it. I still don't know what to make of it. Knowing now that its from Shakespeare actually makes it weirder.

On a bleak midwinter's night
The newest star! - blazing light!
So crystal bright! - eclipsing the moon,
Scorching the sky,
Smashed! - and heaved the iron earth in two,
Catapulting Jack to continents of ice -
A snow image stuck fast in water like stone,
His poor nose froze.

The pictures looked to me like someone on acid trying to illustrate the book of Revelations. Trees are
melting, the stars are melting, our characters are naked and in... anguish? Ecstacy? The planet Saturn rises over the ruins of an ancient civilazation... but my eyes keep going back to the phrase, "His poor nose froze," and I'm trying to figure out, wait, is that supposed to be funny? Was that a joke?

This is a love story about two brothers who seem to represent something very elemental about the world, even more elemental than Max and his wild things, or Mickey and his milk. They are filled with mysteries, and this is a book to puzzle over. I felt at once at the beginning of time and at the end of time. I have never seen or read a book like this one. It is beautifully designed, small, misshapen, lovely.


Enfolded in his brother's arms.

Passing worlds at every plunge

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