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Gottlieb, R.M. (2008). Maurice Sendak's Trilogy: Disappointment, Fury, and Their Transformation through Art. Psychoanal. St. Child, 63:186-217.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 63:186-217

Maurice Sendak's Trilogy: Disappointment, Fury, and Their Transformation through Art

Richard M. Gottlieb, M.D.

An overlooked yet central developmental theme of Maurice Sendak's major works is that of resilience. Resilience reflects a child's capacity to transform otherwise crippling traumatic circumstances into his (or her) very means of survival, growth, and positive maturation. An implicit credo of these works is the adage: “What doesn't kill me makes me stronger.”

The embedded rhetoric of three of Sendak's most important books “argues” that it is by means of a poetic function, of creative imagining, and ultimately through art itself, that children may overcome the traumatic circumstances omnipresent during development. The most traumatic circumstances—according to Sendak—are the rages children

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