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Tag Archives: Secret Spaces of Childhood

“La Isla de Los Monstros,” by Virgil Suárez

In Los Angeles I grew up watching The Three Stooges,
The Little Rascals, Speed Racer, and the Godzilla movies,

those my mother called “Los Monstros,” and though I didn’t
yet speak English, I understood why such a creature would,

upon being woken up from its centuries-long slumber, rise
and destroy Tokyo’s buildings, cars, people–

“Primal Postcards: ‘Madeline’ as a Secret Space of Ludwig Bemelmans’s Childhood,” by Mary Galbraith

One or more pictures stand out as the book’s primal raison d’etre; that is, there is at least one picture which activates a “flashbulb memory” from the creator’s childhood and which the story explains in an ambiguous way. The manifest storybook explanation for this primal scene is benign and reassuring while the latent and historical interpretation is traumatic and unbearable.

Summer 200 Cover

Summer 2000

This issue is dominated by a symposium of some thirty writers from different fields responding to a question about the most memorable secret space of their own childhoods. Their mini-essays are not only descriptive but analytical, as they reflect on the state of childhood itself, in personal experiences, in texts, in modern culture. Ranging from a long paragraph to several pages, these commentaries provide an iconography of the state of childhood that will interest scholars of the field as well as general readers.

Spring 2000 Cover

Spring 2000

In this special issue, authors from a variety of fields explore the imaginative world of childhood, how children seek refuge from adult society in realms that paradoxically ease their way into adulthood, carrying with them the felt memories of transcendent and transgressive experience, sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible.