Maurice Sendak, who died last year, would have turned eighty-five today. (It was a birthday he shared with my father, and so now June 10th will never pass without me thinking of both of them.) There’s a beautiful little animation celebrating Sendak on the Google home-page today, but it’ll be gone by tomorrow, so don’t delay taking a look. (Update: Jenny has left a message that all the Google animations are archived HERE. Thank you Jenny.) And while we’re thinking about Sendak, don’t miss THIS wonderful interview with the great man from the Believer, in which he dishes the dirt to Emma Brockes. There’s much to raise a smile, including his withering contempt for Richard Murdoch and a dismissal of e-books. Here’s a small taste, but go read the whole thing.
BLVR: What do you think of e-books?
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.
BLVR: Is the problem with e-books partly a problem of color?
MS: Yes. Picture books depend on color, largely. And they haven’t perfected the color in those machines. But it’s not that. It’s giving up a form that is so beautiful. A book is really like a lover. It arranges itself in your life in a way that is beautiful. Even as a kid, my sister, who was the eldest, brought books home for me, and I think I spent more time sniffing and touching them than reading. I just remember the joy of the book; the beauty of the binding. The smelling of the interior. Happy.
BLVR: Are you happy now?
MS: [Sighs] My friends are all dying. They have to die. I know that. I have to die. But two friends died last week. I was completely broken by it. One was a publisher in Zurich. I loved him and his wife. It’s the loneliness that’s very bad. They’re doing what is natural. If I was doing what was natural I would be gone, like they are. I just miss them, terribly.
And we miss you Maurice. Every day.
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Wonderful interview too! I agree with everything he said….especially: “I was young a minute ago…” Great man, great artist, great loss.
Every time I read an interview given by Sendak, I think to myself ‘YES!!!! That’s what life’s all about!’ He was never sentimental about children, never taken in by those who claimed they should be protected from the harsh realities. I loved that in him. He was fierce and complicated, and wouldn’t tolerate bullshit.
Oh! I did a Sendak post as well, with quotes about Melville and Dickinson and Mozart, some of his favorites. He was such a wonderful artist and writer and intense personality. A very deeply-carved stamp that made a mark on the world.
That’s a wonderful tribute to the great man – I particularly loved the way the figures sometimes ran against the moving background and sometimes stayed still – an intriguing effect.
Brilliant animation to celebrate Maurice Sendak. Sometimes the artworks of the doodles are obscure and we spend time trying to guess who or what it is before clicking. This one is lovely though. The home page will keep you occupied for longer that you wish as there are just so many to look through. I enjoyed Saul Bass too, though very different to Sendak’s work. The way Google put their home page doodles together is very clever. The page with Petrie dishes on apparently took weeks to create as they literally created growth in petrie dishes and photographed them.
It seems there probably is a Google Doodle archive somewhere as the Independent have a gallery of some of the ‘best’ on their site today. Click HERE.
Hello Lewis. Well, we should have known that everything is archived these days, and Jenny has left the link to the Google animation archive in her comment below. Many thanks for taking an interest, Lewis. Much obliged.
you can see them all HERE.
Jenny, many, many thanks. I really like the Sendak animation. Simple but so delightful.
Every time I remember Sendak has gone, I weep. He was great artist and a great man.