Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Maurice Sendak “Can’t Stand” Gwyneth Paltrow

Photo: A fairly recent candid of Maurice Sendak, author of 'Where the Wild Things Are'

Poor, wonderful Maurice Sendak. The author-illustrator of countless, timeless children’s books (Where the Wild Things Are, say, or Chicken Soup with Rice) is, at age 83, still hard at work. His latest, Bumble-Ardy, was published last month.

Last month, NPR broadcast a poignant interview with Maurice Sendak on Fresh Air and, at least among his friends, he’s jovial and lively. Listening to Sendak, it turns out, is a perfect way to spend 20 spare minutes. Only near that interview’s end did Sendak become even remotely gloomy or dour. He spoke of loss: “I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them,” he told NPR’s Terry Gross. “They leave me and I love them more.”

But he recently gave a very, very different interview to The Guardian (via Jezebel and Vulture). It isn’t an altogether dour interview; Sendak maintains a certain conviviality, I guess, even as he describes the contempt he has for, um, pretty much everybody.

But by the Guardian interview’s brutal conclusion—and “brutal” is the word, because most of his insults are lobbed rapid-fire, right at the end of the conversation—Maurice Sendak has become so cartoonishly cantankerous, I was genuinely flicking little tears away from my eyes:

And with that he’s off again. Of Salman Rushdie, who once gave him a terrible review in the New York Times, he says: “That flaccid f—khead. He was detestable. I called up the Ayatollah, nobody knows that.” Roald Dahl: “The cruelty in his books is off-putting. Scary guy. I know he’s very popular but what’s nice about this guy? He’s dead, that’s what’s nice about him.” Stephen King: “Bullsh—t.” Gwyneth Paltrow: “I can’t stand her.”

Whoa, hey now! What?

And then that’s it! No further explanation! Why, Mr. Sendak? Why all the cattiness for Gwyneth!

Image via the Guardian.

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Jenn, you’re such an eloquent young lady. But do you think this is the right kind of style for a gossip website?….I keep wondering ever since you became a part of the crew.

    I’m not hating on you or anything….I’m just wondering.

    However, I do hate Gwyneth Paltrow. Ugly cow.

    • Bina, you question if Jenn’s style is right for a gossip website, so I’d like to say that Jenn’s wit, voice and choice of subject matter are my favorite parts of this particular gossip website, so at least in my case, her style is spot on.

      And Gwyneth Paltrow can suck it.

    • Dear Bina,

      Let me kick off by saying that I read your comment, stood up to grab a diet cola from the fridge, and immediately found—with my bare foot—a puddle of my boyfriend’s cat’s poop. I am completely traumatized. That is literally what just happened, and I am holding your remarks accountable for the whole event, because I never would have checked the fridge otherwise, and one of my boyfriend’s 15 other roommates might have discovered the mess instead. BUTTERFLY EFFECT.

      That was a joke (except for the poop thing, which did just happen, but it isn’t really your fault). But speaking of accountability and more directly to your comment: I would feel really guilty if I threw kindly old Maurice Sendak, author of my childhood, to the Comment Wolves, and I would hold myself responsible for every ensuing mean comment about Maurice Sendak ever. What if he reads the Internet? What if he dies of heartbreak? Chaos theory! So I feel the need to qualify this AWESOME POTENTIAL CELEBRITY FEUD story with some introductory context about how special and dear Maurice Sendak really is. Of course you are certainly welcome to seek out my other posts, half of which make hearty use of caps-lock, I think.

      Your Internet pal,

  • PS I kind of agree with his assessment of Roald Dahl… I never thought that stuff was for children… unless you think it’s beneficial to face all kinds of fears and anxieties very young.

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