Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Maurice Sendak's "Yummy Death" and Perspectives on Publishing

In its March 2013 issue, Harper's Magazine ran an interview between journalist Emma Brockes and children's author Maurice Sendak that had previously appeared in The Believer's November/December 2012 issue (see the full interview here). Brockes interviewed Sendak in 2011 and got him talking about the state of publishing (it was better in the 50s), his perspective on death (he cites William Blake's "happy death"), and his family's experiences as Polish immigrants who lost family during the Holocaust ("My love of Poland is very bleak to this day"). Additionally, his response to Brockes' question "What do you think of ebooks?" is particularly delightful:

"MS: 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. I know that’s terribly old-fashioned. I’m old, and when I’m gone they’ll probably try to make my books on all these things, but I’m going to fight it like hell. [Pauses] I can’t believe I’ve turned into a typical old man. I can’t believe it. I was young just minutes ago."

Phil Nel also recently featured one of Sendak's last interviews (dubbed "The Final Interview"), which appeared in The Comics Journal. Both interviews illuminate Sendak's wry sense of humor, matter-of-fact opinions, and acceptance of the end of life.

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