Saturday, May 12, 2012

In Memorium: Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak passed away on May 8, 2012. In this post, I would like to pay homage to him. His book Where the Wild Things Are kept me great company and made me feel okay during the beastliness of my childhood.

The piece Maurice Sendak dies; author and illustrator wrote about children’s survival from the by Becky Krystal in the Washington Post tells about how Sendak was affected by "the deaths of family members in the Holocaust." Being the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, I feel like I have an understanding of this man, his art, his soul.

After I had undergone a minor but uncomfortable surgical procedure in January 2008, I was given free tickets to see a Metropolitan Opera production of Hansel & Gretel Opera that featured Sendak's stage design. Despite my condition, I had to go, even if I couldn't sit through the entire performance. I'm so glad I did, it was glorious and like being inside one of his books.

Illustration from Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

I'd heard that the film adaption of Wild Things was not so good, but it was a picture that I would see despite anything I would read or hear about it. I liked it. I thought that it especially revealed how emotions that plague one as a child can be carried into adulthood.

Sendak though mostly known for his children's books in addition to Where The Wild Things Are, Chicken Soup and Rice, and his more notorious In the Night Kitchen, among others, admits in his interview with Stephen Colbert just a couple of months before his passing, that he does not write for children, but says that "I write. And someone says 'that's for children.'" This is a very humorous interview in which Sendak plays a great straight man against, Colbert's multitude of quips.

Good night Maurice, may you rest in peace. I will remember you fondly.

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