Recently Liam Heneghan, BEI Scholar, was reviewed in a reader’s blog. Liam loves the fact he is able to connect with readers. Below is the post written by sunnyjimmy about Beasts at Bedtime.
“You will know what it is to have been wild, and you will know what it is to have been free.” – Liam Heneghan
I am reading Liam Heneghan’s extraordinary and brilliant book, “Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature.” The title is evocative, but doesn’t really capture this multi-hued, multi-layered, multi-headed, many-feathered, multi-clawed & fanged, mind-expanding, beast of a book. Captivating. Enthralling.
I am only on page 128, and I am sure I will have more to say about it when I finish reading it, but so far, every page is illuminated by a charismatic, enchanting intelligence; suffused with humor & wisdom. I would have never guessed how much I would love spending time buried in this book.
es, children’s lit, fairy tales, myths, bed-time stories, anthropological insights, philosophical star-bursts, a bit of magic and conjuring in these pages. It puts me in mind of Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” no, not it’s subject matter, just in the unexpected brilliance, the way connections and leaps are made to include everything it means to be Human. It’s the kind of book that makes you think you are smarter, just by reading; every page illuminates. Reading it deepens your spirit, your heart, your head.
Anyway, I just came across this passage on page 118, the chapter about Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are,” a chapter entitled: “Where the Wild Things Always Were.” This paragraph literally took my breath away in it’s beauty, sadness, breadth and scope. I leave it here for you dear reader…
“Yes, you, too, must leave the fireside, as humans have always done; you too must make your way in the world like the Puss in Boots that you are; you must overcome obstacles, encounter fresh wonders, fail, pick yourself up, and maybe even fall again. But you will be rewarded by the beauty of the world as you encounter it, by the love you find along your way, and, yes, by the baubles of success, fleeting though those trinkets may be. Though nature will claim you in the end, and your atoms will be scattered beneath the soil and into the winds, if you’ve attended well to life’s necessary tasks, you will know what it is to have been wild, and you will know what it is to have been free, if only for a few moments.” – Liam Heneghan – “Beasts at Bedtime”