At the center of all children's literature—which is in my mind, means at the center of all literature, the same way the eye is the center of a hurricane—swirl fairy tales. All fairy tales—the anonymous and the authored, the crazy bloody European ones and the witty, teasing African ones and even, by now, the ridiculous sanitized modern ones lumbering around with power they may not have earned but still hold.
And who went to the center and tried to grab that power and let it rip through him until it came out in insane, wonderful, heartbreaking stories? Maurice Sendak, that's who (and yes, probably a lot of other people, but he is who I am concerned with at the moment).
I believe entirely that Maurice Sendak was there. And I believe, too, that the power jolted through him and created his amazing work. And then other people, through Sendak's work, have the power surging through them, like he's the sucker who held onto the electric fence and they formed a chain (yes, yes, I mix metaphors, so sue me) and it shocked them each in turn.
Where I am going with this? Right back to where we here, at the Diamond in the Window have often been: to the things we love, which—oh, by the way—explicitly call out Maurice Sendak, so we can all grab an extra spot of joy from them.
And also, The Changeling. Did I forget to mention, when I went off on how amazing it was, that the whole thing is twined around Sendak's Outside Over There? I am sure I did forget. But I am now rectifying this, and also remembering that when you are reading or writing, getting a line into the white hot center is the thing to do.