“Where the Wild Things Are” Author’s Type

“Where the Wild Things Are”

Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, died last month. Sendak also wrote other children’s books, including The Little Bear series, and designed sets for many operas. The New York Times called Sendak “the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century” and author Neil Gaiman said, “He was unique, grumpy, brilliant, gay, wise, magical and made the world better by creating art in it.”

Sendak kept that he was gay a secret from his parents. He lived with Dr. Eugene Glynn for 50 years until Glynn died.

This is an appropriate blog to mention my new book, The Enneagram of Death, which will be published in a few weeks by the International Enneagram Association. The IEA will use its profits to expand work on the Enneagram.

Postscript by Mariana Cook in the May 12, 2012 New Yorker consists of an edited interview she did with Sendak in 2009 in which he appears to be an Enneagram Romantic type. He says, “I wish I didn’t know how old I was. This is far more than I expected, far more than I need, far more than I desire. I didn’t think I’d live this long.

“I never got along with my parents. I didn’t feel as though they were my parents. I felt more parent affection coming from my brother and sister. I was very lucky to have two siblings of opposite sexes, so I could have another mother and another father and ones I really adored. My father connected me with the Wall Street crash. I don’t know quite what that meant but it was part of the guilt of having me. And then there was all the Holocaust stuff. My only memory of my mother is of her crying and pulling her hair out literally, because people were dying in Europe…

“I was born in 1928. Same year as Mickey Mouse, but he made out better—straight to Hollywood, straight to the cosmetic department. I did not approve of his buying into all that crap and letting his soul get despoiled. I remained poor and depressed, as a Brooklyn child should. Mickey wasn’t depressed but anyone who looked like him should have been. He became a schmuck, a very famous schmuck. And God knows I adored him, but I was a schmuck, too. I lived in Brooklyn.”

Romantics frequently feel ashamed and have periods of depression. All Romantics aren’t all the same, of course, but some have the habit Sendak had of keeping the meaning of some of what they say mysterious, possibly so they’ll appear more knowledgeable/superior to the person they’re speaking with. If the other feels ashamed (for not knowing what is impossible to know), this Romantic can hope to find solace in the other feeling even worse than he or she does.

Sendak goes on to say, “People do say awfully nice things [about my books], but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re a stinky person by nature… It’s hard to be happy. Some people have the gift of pulling themselves up and out and saying there is more to life than just tragedy. And then there are those who can’t, and I’m one of them. Do you believe it when people say they’re happy?”

See my other blog and my list on my web site for more famous Enneagram types.

“Questioners” (Type 6) as Children

From "The Enneagram of Parenting" by E. Wagele

Now read about all the nine Enneagram types as children on this WordPress blog under the category “Enneagram Books and Children.”   

Personality typology explains why we frustrate each other. It’s not always because we don’t think straight or don’t have common sense, it’s often because we’re born with different ways of looking at the world. This produces different values. When we try to walk in others’ shoes (when we learn the Enneagram), our frustration eases and dealing with our family members, students, teachers, or fellow students becomes easier.

The Enneagram personality system had been around for about twenty years. At first it was kept a secret. Its leaders thought the world couldn’t handle it. Then the positive ones among them exerted more influence. They wanted to share their newfound prize and tell the world about it. Classes and books about the Enneagram sprang up starting mainly in 1987.

In 1997, I wrote the first book for using the Enneagram with children in families and schools, The Enneagram of Parenting. Each type has a different learning style, for example, and different paces, outlooks on life, and needs to nurture and be nurtured. In 2007, I wrote the first book for young children to learn the Enneagram by reading it themselves or having it read to them, Finding the Birthday Cake. Both books are full of cartoons and are easily accessible.

Questioner children have busy, alert minds, are suspicious of flattery, and are always on the lookout for danger. They can be quick-tempered, brave, and anti-authoritarian. Some are assertive, others are timid. Stevie Six is a character from Finding the Birthday Cake:

Here is a test from Finding the Birthday Cake:

See my list of Famous People’s Enneagram and MBTI types.

More Famous People are on my Psychology Today blog and my WordPress blog.

See my Happy Introvert and Creative Enneagram on You Tube.

Buy The Enneagram of Parenting

Kindle edition

Buy Finding the Birthday Cake