With Jack Halberstam as guide, to places fabulous, cruel, soaring, undead, hilarious, dark, seductive, promising, nonprovidential. The European disguises himself with morality because he has become a sick, sickly, crippled animal that has good reasons for being “tame”; for he is almost an abortion, scarce half made up, weak, awkward. In Wild Things Jack Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which wildness has been associated with queerness and queer bodies throughout the twentieth century. The “thing” in “wild things” surely distances being from subjecthood and conveys an object like status to the bodies of those who are ruled and rejected. Wildness, in this book, sometimes functions as a synonym for queerness, but at other times it names a mode of being that lies outside of the systems of classification that nest human bodies into clear and nonoverlapping categories.
The wild things are not dressing for conquest, Doujak might say. Eventually Max gets sick of being king and “the most wild thing of all”; he is lonely and wants to be loved and fed. Oct. 28. Max, meanwhile, after a day of being bad and all dressed up in his wolf suit, inspires his mother’s wrath. Where the Wild Things Are. In the late 1960s, Bruno Bettelheim critiqued Where the Wild Things Are in Ladies’ Home Journal. Sendak saw childhood not as an experience of “sweetness and light,” but as a dark experience of anger and rage as well as cruelty. In this film version, a different kind of threat emerges.
If you are a student who cannot use this book in printed form, BiblioVault may be able to supply you
with an electronic file for alternative access. Jack Halberstam's 'Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire' (excerpt) Posted on October 1, 2020 by AgramantFinley.
Even allowing for the instability of translation, this is an outrageous passage and one that contributes to the readings of Nietzsche as invested in a model of superior and inferior beings. … But they may well prove frightening, accompanied as they are by a pointless and confusing story.” Child readers did not find the story pointless, reminding us that children read differently and see the relation between image and text with different eyes, and while some children may have found the book frightening, it has been experienced by millions of children as a book that delivers a pleasurable thrill. In the context of Sendak’s children’s book, the child is never made to shoulder the burden of innocence. Looking back, he sees how desperate they all were, these first-generation immigrants from Poland, with no English, no education and, although they didn’t know it in 1930, a family back home facing extinction in the concentration camps.” The article continues: “Sendak’s picture books acknowledge the terrors of childhood, how vicious and lonely it can be.” Sendak, who understood himself as a lonely child of desperate parents, never tried to soften the edges on life for his child readers, and they loved him for it. Halberstam theorizes the wild as an unbounded and unpredictable space that offers sources of opposition to modernity's orderly impulses. .
In an odd, family-unfriendly film peopled with puppets and humans, Jonze was able to convey the weightiness and the burden of wildness. Marriage. Shall I kill it, silence it, or help it to thrive?
He never apologized for the menace his story presented, a menace that emerged from the intimate space of the family itself. Jack Halberstam. Sendak refused to sanction an animated version because he felt that animation would make the wild things cute and Max adorable, and the whole wild rumpus would lose its menacing edge. Lesbianism. Indeed, queerness limns Where the Wild Things Are and resides within the implicit critique of the family and in the marginalized spaces to which the wild things have been banished. Here, he knows what is expected and refuses to perform. Halberstam theorizes the wild as an unbounded and unpredictable space that offers sources of opposition to modernity's orderly impulses. When the mapping of innocence onto the child fails, indeed, and the failure is inevitable, we speak of the child as wild and monstrous. The Nietzschean “things” that Max meets are wild because they can never go home, because they no longer believe in the falsehoods of family and community, and because they refuse to disguise their wildness, their ruination, and their place in a violent order of things.
And so, in the story, the wild is a shifting landscape that depends on an odd geometry of human, child, and animal arrangements. But for Nietzsche, the wild animal in European man represents an order of being that does not require the alibi of morality to cover over his violent orientation to the rest of the world.
I am not suggesting that all this is meant to mask human malice and villainy — the wild animal in us; my idea is, on the contrary, that it is precisely as tame animals that we are a shameful sight and in need of the moral disguise, that the “inner man” in Europe is not by a long shot bad enough to show himself without shame (or to be beautiful). / And what you do not know is the only thing you know / And what you own is what you do not own / And where you are is where you are not.” Eliot and Sendak are saying something similar here — they both recognize that only the “movement of darkness on darkness” can lead to knowledge; only in the wild rumpus can monsters recognize each other; only in negation can the child know that it must represent and fail to represent innocence. The child in this story, Max, may not have been raised by wolves, but he is, at any rate, wearing a wolf suit and making enough mischief that his mother calls him a “wild thing.” In response to his mother, and while embracing his wildness, Max says “I’ll eat you up.” For his punishment, Max is sent to bed without supper, and as he stands in his room, alone and hungry, a world grows around him and then an ocean and then a boat, and he sails off, “in and out of weeks,” until he arrives “where the wild things are.” The wild things, part human and part animal, “roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.” When the wild beasts see that Max is not afraid of them, and when he tells the creatures to “be still!,” the wild things make Max their king and celebrate with a wild rumpus. And because he shuttles between the order of the oedipal household, where his mother rules, and the ruined world of the wild, where no one is in charge but him, he knows the parameters of the real — he sees that either you settle in to the domestic prison you have been offered or you set sail for another, potentially more violent, terrain. He knows he must still or be stilled, see or be seen, rule or be ruled, eat or be eaten. Wildness, in other words, is a set of relations, a constellation really, within which bodies take up roles and scripts in relation to one another. Price $25.95. And let’s not forget the wolves. These fantasies of incorporation, moreover, are both fantasies of power and recognitions of the way that power works incorporatively, vertiginously even; power is not something to have or to wield, Max learns the hard way, it is something that will swallow you whole, absorb you into its organic system. Coming from a longtime scholar of sexuality, the animal, desire, and anarchy, Jack Halberstam's, "[A] creative, discipline-smashing study exploring the human attraction to 'the wild.'