Tag Archives: childhood

Munch, Edvard. The Sick Child

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The Sick Child 1907 Edvard Munch 1863-1944 Presented by Thomas Olsen 1939 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05035

The Sick Child 1907 Edvard Munch 1863-1944 Presented by Thomas Olsen 1939 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05035 [CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)]

The Sick Child touches on the fragility of life. It draws upon Munch’s personal memories, including the trauma of his sister’s death, and visits to dying patients with his doctor father. He described the 1885 painting as ‘a breakthrough in my art’ and made several subsequent versions, of which this is the fourth.

Acquired by the city of Dresden in 1928, it was displayed in the Gemäldegalerie. A decade later, the Nazis declared that Munch’s art was ‘degenerate’ and, in November 1938, all his works in German public collections were collected in Berlin for auction. The Norwegian dealer Harald Holst Halvorsen secured as many as possible, including The Sick Child, and returned them safely to Oslo. Thomas Olsen bought the painting in 1939 and gave it to the Tate. Norway fell to the Germans in 1940. Looking back, Olsen explained that his gift was stimulated by ‘my knowledge, from talks with Munch, that he felt the need of recognition in Western Europe, especially so after the advent of Hitler.’

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Beaumont, Henny. Hole in the Heart: Bringing up Beth

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On Mother’s Day 2004 Henny Beaumont gave birth to her third child. For the first few hours, her baby seemed no different to her two other little girls.

With stunning art and refreshing honesty, Henny describes how family life changed the moment the registrar told her and her husband that their daughter might have Down’s Syndrome. She knew that her life was over. How can this weak little baby, who would demand so much more from Henny than her other two children, and who would need an operation in order to survive, provoke such feelings of hatred and resentment? How can Henny learn to love her? And if she can’t trust her own reactions to Beth, how can she expect other people to overcome their prejudices and ignorance about her condition?

Publisher: Myriad Editions
Year: 2016
ISBN-10: 1908434929

Spufford, Francis. The Child that Books Built.

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“Children’s books – from Narnia to The Hobbit – are celebrated in this enlightened examination of the joys of childhood reading.

Fairy tales and Where the Wild Things Are, The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books, Little House on the Prairie and The Earthsea Trilogy. What would you find if you went back and re-read your favourite books from childhood? Francis Spufford discovers both delight and sadness, in this widely celebrated memoir of a boy who retreats into books, faced with a tragedy in his family.”

Publisher: Faber & Faber
Year: 2003
ISBN-10: 0571214673

Small, David. Stitches: A Memoir

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One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had cancer and was expected to die. In Stitches, Small, the award-winning children’s illustrator and author, re-creates this terrifying event in a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. As the images painfully tumble out, one by one, we gain a ringside seat at a gothic family drama where David-a highly anxious yet supremely talented child-all too often became the unwitting object of his parents’ buried frustration and rage. Believing that they were trying to do their best, David’s parents did just the reverse. Edward Small, a Detroit physician, who vented his own anger by hitting a punching bag, was convinced that he could cure his young son’s respiratory problems with heavy doses of radiation, possibly causing David’s cancer. Elizabeth, David’s mother, tyrannically stingy and excessively scolding, ran the Small household under a cone of silence where emotions, especially her own, were hidden. Depicting this coming-of-age story with dazzling, kaleidoscopic images that turn nightmare into fairy tale, Small tells us of his journey from sickly child to cancer patient, to the troubled teen whose risky decision to run away from home at sixteen-with nothing more than the dream of becoming an artist-will resonate as the ultimate survival statement. A silent movie masquerading as a book, Stitches renders a broken world suddenly seamless and beautiful again.

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Year: 2009
ISBN-10: 0393068579

(spoiler alert)

Potter, D. The Singing Detective

The original televison series was broadcast on the BBC in 1986, the six episodes merge ‘storylines’ from three settings a ‘pulp fiction’ thriller, childhood memory and the hospital ward in which the main character is being treated for his severe psoriasis. Many aspects of the work were drawn from experience, the writer Dennis Potter suffered from psoriasis.

This short clip gives a little sense of the rich observation, visual invention, humour and humanity of the best of Potter’s work…
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Credits:  Produced by Kenith Trodd and John Harris. Written by Dennis Potter. Directed by Jon  Amiel. Original music by Stanley Myers.
Cast:  (Includes) Michael Gambon,
Patrick Malahide, Joanne Whalley, Janet Suzman, Lyndon Davies.
Date:  Originally issued 1986.
ISMN:5014503122225

Syal, M. Anita and me

The story of nine-year-old Meena, the daughter of the only Punjabi family in the Midlands’ mining village of Tollington. The novel provides a vision of British childhood in the 1960s, a childhood caught between two cultures, each on the brink of enormous change

Author: Syal, Meera
Title: Anita and me
Publisher: London : Flamingo
Year: 1997
ISBN: 0006548768