October 5, 2011

"I can't believe I've turned into a typical old man. I can't believe it."

"I was young just minutes ago."

27 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

I like "Where the Wild Things Are" and greatly enjoy reading it to my kids.

His quotes about ebooks are funny. Okay Stephen King I get, but Gweneth Paltrow? Go figure.

Fred4Pres said...

The story about his bar mitvah is heartbreaking. His poor father. He should have pulled his son aside and explained to him what had occurred.

Being an artist is not easy. That is some serious baggage.

I also think there is more than one elm grove in Connecticut (even with Dutch Elm Disease). But maybe Meade can opine on that one.

DaveW said...

Awful lot of rage in that guy. Most of us older guys, the ones I meet anyway, aren't like that.

Rose said...

Sorry I read that.

deborah said...

Great article. I never got around to reading Wild Things to my kids.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred4Pres said...

He is a mess. But his book is a great book. It is a masterpiece. I am glad I am not him. I am glad I have read his book.

deborah said...

I'd love to have a cup of coffee with him.

Fred4Pres said...

deborah, it is brilliantly executed in mixing illustrations and language and like all great children's books, it is meant to be spoken.

I love Color Kittens, Good Night Moon, and other great children's classics, and Where the Wild Things Are is one of the best.

YoungHegelian said...

Reading Sendak opine on the state of the world reminded me of Thomas Hobbes' stating, near his death, that he was "glad to find a hole to creep out of the world at"

deborah said...

I'll check it out...I didn't find Goodnight, Moon until my second child...one of the best children's books, ever.

Has anyone read Plath's 'The Bed Book'? It's pretty good.

Michael Haz said...

"I was young just minutes ago."

I understand that completely. Every morning I look in the mirror and the 35 year old brain in my 62 year old body asks the same question: "What the hell happened?"

RJ said...

Never liked his books. Now I know why.

edutcher said...

Welcome to the club. He thought he would be 20 forever?

(you couldn't pay me...)

PS Link doesn't work for me, but I presume it's working for everybody else. Google just gave me a "Page Does Not Exist" message.

ricpic said...

If life is awful how come you wanna hang on so bad, Maurie, huh?

Geoff Matthews said...

I read some Little Bear stories to my kids, and watched the cartoons with them.

I read Where the Wild Things Are, and hated it. Can't articulate why, but it always rubbed me the wrong way.

And yes, he does sound like a grumpy old man.

sydney said...

Sendak has lived here for 40 years – until recently with his partner Eugene, who died in 200....

...Ebooks: "I hate them. It's like making believe there's another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of book! A book is a book is a book."


Doesn't that first sentence imply that he himself pracitced "another kind of sex?"

sydney said...

I feel sorry for his parents. None of the things he describes make them sound crazy to me. But he repeatedly calls them crazy. His mom came to the US, his dad followed her out of love. They accepted his homosexual lover without comment or question. They were proud of his work. It sounds like they loved him, but for some people, it's impossible to ever love them enough. I'd like to read an interview with Eugene. Too bad he's no longer around.

Gene said...

"I was young just minutes ago."

Orson Wells once said something similar (here I paraphrase) about living in Los Angeles, although his comment was more an indictment of southern California than a complaint about growing old:

"You sit down in a chair in this town and when you get up again you're an old man."

Woody Allen also doesn't much like Los Angeles or growing old, recently saying "there's nothing good about it."

Gene said...

I think if one had to chose between eternal life and oblivion, oblivion would be the way to go.

Gene said...

Sydney: Doesn't that first sentence imply that he himself pracitced "another kind of sex?"

I think if you asked him he would say that straight sex and gay sex are really just sex.

William said...

Tolstoy said that old age takes everyone by surprise. I'm in my late sixties. I have been to a few funerals. Some of my friends have turned grey or gotten fat or developed debilities that make their lives difficult. Pretty soon it will be my turn. I eat broccoli and exercise daily, but it's coming.....The disappointing thing is how little one learns on the voyage. Case in point: Sendak. I'm sure he's much brighter than I am, but he seems to have learned very little. Liberal bigots get to be curmudgeons. If you're conservative, it's shit my father says.

Henry said...

I was skimming for the Roald Dahl part and got to the end and the addendum totally cracked me up:

This article was amended on 4 October 2011 because it said: "Sendak's picture books acknowledge the terrors of childhood, how viscous and lonely it can be."

Childhood is awfully thick. Like syrup.

Henry said...

Also, to read a great writer wax funny and unnerving about his younger days, read Roald Dahl's Going Solo. That book has cheered me up more than once.

sydney said...

Gene,

Sydney: Doesn't that first sentence imply that he himself pracitced "another kind of sex?"

I think if you asked him he would say that straight sex and gay sex are really just sex.


And people who like to read ebooks would say that ebooks and print books are really just books.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

To paraphrase Daniel Clowes, Maurice Sendak is not fit to hold Charles Schulz's jockstrap.

Gene said...

"And people who like to read ebooks would say that ebooks and print books are really just books."

Sounds right to me.