By Casey Wilson
I hate that I have to write this blog entry today — or any day, really. Sendak seemed like he could go on forever, just out of sheer will, and I think we all wished he would.
We’ll have more love and remembrance for Sendak here on the blog in the future. Until then, I only have sadness and links to offer.
The first link takes you to an interview in the Guardian from late last year, in which Sendak is utterly forthright:
“I refuse to lie to children,” says Sendak. “I refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence.”
The second comes from Vulture, which has embedded Sendak’s fantastic recent appearance onThe Colbert Report. (The children’s book by Colbert that Sendak “endorses” in the segment releases today, of all days.)
Then over to the New York Times, which has a phone interview with Sendak:
You mustn’t scare parents. And I think with my books, I managed to scare parents.
Then finally, read the New York Times obituary for this master of children’s literature, which sums him up as succinctly as one can such a complicated artist:
Roundly praised, intermittently censored and occasionally eaten, Mr. Sendak’s books were essential ingredients of childhood for the generation born after 1960 or thereabouts, and in turn for their children.
If there is one thing I’ve learned upon watching word of this news spread this morning, it’s that Maurice Sendak didn’t belong to children’s literature — he belonged to everyone. And not for the first time, I’m glad we live in an age where we can so easily hear stories from around the world about how Wild Things and Night Kitchen and all of Sendak’s other books have indeed become “essential ingredients of childhood.”
Casey is a PhD student.