le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Monday, November 05, 2012

Maurice Sendak was a great man

I've been terribly caught up in any number of things that have seriously cut into my book-reading and thinking time. I have been reading, just not as prodigiously as usual, and my thinking about what I've read has happened mainly in the interstices of busy busy days.

This interview with Maurice Sendak in the Believer is too good to not repost. Like everyone else on earth, I'm a fan of Sendak's work, but I am also a sincere admirer of him as a person, at least insofar as I can tell anything about him from interviews. I love his prickly curmudgeonliness. I love the things he says about children, and childhood, and parents. I love his love for art of many kinds. Along with being incredibly talented as an artist/illustrator and storyteller, Sendak was also a very, very smart person, and that intelligence is apparent in almost every sentence he speaks.

But it's the way he talks about children that gets me, every time; his attitude about and towards children seems very much in line with my own, and that isn't one I come across all that often (even within my own field of study). So to hear someone as important, intelligent, and talented as Maurice Sendak say things like "And now they have a child, and all they do is complain about not having time and having to get a job. Fuck you! Why didn’t you listen to me? We don’t need that baby." It's wonderful.
The best quote of all from this interview (and there are many good ones) makes me want to jump up and down with happiness, then go out and write it EVERYWHERE in the world, because it's true and smart and right.

I refuse to lie to children. I refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence.
Maurice Sendak: an honest, and great, man.

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