An Ode to Maurice Sendak’s Ultimate Bad Assery

Written by  //  May 9, 2012  //  Donnybrook Fiction, The Library  //  1 Comment

I don’t even need a tagline. Sendak was THAT Bad Ass


“I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.” – Maurice Sendak

 A Great One was lost yesterday. I’m sitting here ruminating on how exactly Donnybrook could ever really express the debt that we all owe to one of the greatest authors and illustrators that’s ever lived. All I can do is share with you little bits of him that I love, and hope that you enjoy them. One of the best interviews I’ve ever read was published just this past October while he was promoting his latest book, Bumble-Ardy, he spoke with The Guardian’s Emma Brockes, and the resulting back and forth is pure curmudgeon-gold.

 I’ll let Sendak’s Bad Assness speak for itself in that priceless interview. So for now…

You started your career as an illustrator,
But ended your life as one of the greatest innovators
At showing children dealing
With the complexities of adult feelings
Like growth and change,
Survival and rage.
No reader was the same
After turning the page
And joining Max on his journey
To where Wild Things hurry,
Helping Mickey in the Kitchen as he makes
Batter for the Morning Cakes,
Joining Ida Outside, Over There
To rescue the sister left in her care,
And attending a crazy birthday party
For the mischievous Bumble-Ardy.
You wanted to help children process
Their emotions as they progressed
Through a life that’s not always what they imagined –
At times almost savage
With your honesty;
All I ask is that you promise me
You’ll be waiting up there when I get my shot
At immortality –
With a smile to greet me,
Holding supper – still hot.

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.” – Maurice Sendak

About the Author

"Two Fingers" Berben

Our illustrious managing editor, Vanessa “2 Fingers” Berben, gets in fights with her friends about how much deeper they should be feeling this episode of TNG. A researcher/curator for Nintendo's i.TV app, you can stalk her around the web at The Huffington Post, Starburst Magazine and FEARnet and in the latest issues of Starburst and Stiff Magazine. Follow her (preferably whilst humming the Imperial March) on twitter , facebook and tumblr.

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One Comment on "An Ode to Maurice Sendak’s Ultimate Bad Assery"

  1. Father Guido Sarducci IV
    Father Guido Sarducci IV May 25, 2012 at 11:49 am · Reply

    He was the man!

    That story about the kid eating the letter: priceless!

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