Maurice Sendak died last night at the age of 83. There will be many forthcoming tributes to this great artist, including quite a lot of material by and about him from The Horn Book Magazine, which we will be posting on our website for you as we can. But I wanted to take a minute just to remember what an almost impossibly magnetic person he was to be with and talk to–an omnivorous and eloquent consumer of art in all forms, and a wicked mimic who had the most impressive command of obscene language that I have ever heard. In a lot of ways, he was a Big Baby, a grownup still obdurately tied to childhood, making him frequently impossible but also possessed with the honesty and passion of kids who haven’t yet learned to moderate or disguise their feelings. Richard and I had a long dinner with him last fall, when I was there to talk to his Sendak fellows (including Sergio Ruzzier, who has written a great account of that experience), and he ate with gusto all the things that were bad for him (steak, wine, chocolate), regaling us between bites with stories and very firmly held opinions. It’s a great memory to be left with.
My friend Maurice
May 8, 2012 by 9 Comments