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Maurice Sendak

3Maurice Sendak Died Today

A photo of Maurice Sendak

From E! Online:

Maurice Sendak, the seminal children’s book author and arist whose most famous work, Where the Wild Things Are, is considered a cornerstone of the genre, has died. He was 83.

Sendak died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn., after suffering a stroke on Friday, according to friend and caretaker Lynn Caponera.

Sendak, who is celebrated as one of the most essential children’s book illustrators of the 20th century, was revered for his keen ability to tap into dark and angsty elements of childhood in works like In the Night Kitchen and Where the Wild Things Are.

The latter book earned him the 1964 Caldecott Medal for best children’s book and, 45 years later, was adapted into a critically acclaimed movie by director Spike Jonze.

Sendak, who was born in Brooklyn to Jewish-Polish immigrant parents, moved to Ridgfield, Conn., in the the 1960s, where he did most of his writing and illustrating.

Sendak also dabbled in stage work, creating costumes for various operas and ballets. He leaves behind a legacy of over a dozen children’s books, as well as generations of adoring fans.

To quote one of my friends on Facebook who so fittingly quoted Where The Wild Things Are, “please don’t go. We’ll eat you up. We love you so.” Maurice Sendak was an amazingly talented, smart, funny man, and he will definitely be missed.

Can wonderful people please stop dying now?

May 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm by Emily
Filed Under: Maurice Sendak

3Watch This: Maurice Sendak Doesn’t Like Newt Gingrich, or Anybody, Really

“But Newt Gingrich is an idiot. …There is something so hopelessly gross and vile about him that it’s hard to take him seriously. So let’s not take him seriously.”

Maurice Sendak, author of Where The Wild Things Are, responds to Stephen Colbert’s assertion that “children don’t have a work ethic.”

I love Maurice Sendak. As you’ll recall, he “can’t stand” Gwyneth Paltrow, called Salman Rushdie a “flaccid f—khead,” and is glad Roald Dahl is dead. But Sendak is so nice! So it’s all very funny! He is basically the best ever.

Lately he doesn’t like Newt Gingrich either. Honestly, if Gingrich is just an “idiot,” he is getting off pretty light.

Sendak also dislikes “adults,” which pretty well wraps up most of the rest of humankind. Sendak doesn’t know who Vin Diesel is, but if he had an inkling, Sendak might dislike Vin Diesel, too. I mean, it’s a pretty good bet.

This whole Colbert interview is great. Sendak thinks a Where The Wild Things Are book and movie sequel would be, not only boring, but “the most boring idea imaginable!”

Sendak does call Colbert a “man of little imagination,” but I shared Sendak’s astonishment when Colbert went on to hold up a literal bag of dicks. Watch the interview. It’s amazing.

January 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm by Jenn

6Maurice 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.

October 5, 2011 at 5:30 am by Jenn