Secret Spaces of Childhood

Front Cover
University of Michigan Press, 2003 M09 10 - 354 pages
Whether it's real or imaginary, every child has a secret space, and this remarkable book explores them all. For some it's a treehouse or a hidden spot beneath a bush; for others it's a private psychic refuge--a favorite book, or a dollhouse that becomes a stage for a young imagination. As the more than four dozen pieces collected here reveal, such spaces play a key role in a child's development and retain a symbolic power that resonates throughout our adult lives. No reader will put this book down without experiencing a rush of familiar memories and new insights into that bygone world.
Poet Diane Ackerman evokes that "parallel universe behind the eyes / which no one shared, or dare discover"; Paul Brodeur recalls the "fort" where he and his brother defended Cape Cod against invaders in World War II; Nobelist Wole Soyinka offers a poignant verse portrait of Africa's lost children; and Paul West remembers youthful encounters with his eccentric neighbors Edith and Osbert Sitwell. Elsewhere, Robert Coles summons up memories of his first years as a doctor and a wise young patient who taught him a lesson he has never forgotten, and Mary Galbraith shows how childhood loss is transformed into art in Ludwig Bemelmans's classic Madeline. And these are just a few of the gems in a treasury that includes Anne Frank, the controversial photographs of Sally Mann and the crudely eloquent drawings of young South African refugees, clinical case studies and profoundly personal imagery.
A perceptive, thought-provoking work for general readers, Secret Spaces of Childhood opens a wonderful window on the world of the young.
Elizabeth Goodenough is Lecturer in Comparative Literature, the Residential College, University of Michigan.
 

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Contents

A SYMPOSIUM ON SECRET SPACES
19
THE SECRET SPEAKS
113
DOOR
114
FIELDS OF VISION
116
MOUSE HISTORY
118
ON LITTLE BOYS AND THEIR GUNS
120
A ROOM IN CALIFORNIA 1954
121
THE CHILDREN OF THIS LAND
124
THE CAMERA OF SALLY MANN AND THE SPACES OF CHILDHOOD
204
SPECIAL PLACEWHAT IS THAT? Significant and Secret Spaces in the Lives of Children in a Johannesburg Squatter Camp
215
PRIVAT SIC KEEP OUT THE DIARY AS SECRET SPACE
236
PRIMAL POSTCARDS MADELINE AS A SECRET SPACE OF LUDWIG BEMELMANSS CHILDHOOD
245
WRITING FROM THE SECRET ANNEX THE CASE OF ANNE FRANK
254
IN THE MEMORY MINES
271
THE GENEROSITY OF ARPEGGIOS AND RAVENS
284
MY LIFE AMONG THE DOLLS OR HOW I BECAME A RADICAL FEMINIST PLAYWRIGHT
290

BOOK OF HOURS
126
BOY OF SEA
127
JAPANESE PLUMS
128
LA ISLA DE LOS MONSTROS
130
PEEKING THROUGH THE CURTAIN NARRATIVES AS THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN SECRET AND KNOWN
153
LIKE A FABLE NOT A PRETTY PICTURE HOLOCAUST REPRESENTATION IN ROBERTO BENIGNI AND ANITA LOBEL
167
CHILDREN WITH A SECRET
189
SPACES WITHIN THE PORTABLE INTERIORS OF CHILDHOOD
297
CHILDREN AS OBSERVING CRITICS AND SKEPTICS
309
TELEPATHY AND OTHER IMITATIONS
319
SATAN IN ALL HIS GLORY
326
BLUE DOG IN THE CRAZY TRUCK
338
BUTTERFLY MEAT
352
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