The part of you that's weary of tiptoe diplomacy and cheap politeness may find a friend in 83 year-old Maurice Sendak, recently out after a nearly-fifty-year relationship with a psychoanalyst named Eugene. On the publication of his new book, Bumble Ardy, the Guardian's wonderful Emma Brockes stopped by his Connecticut farm for a friendly visit. Sendak spoke about
Childhood: "I refuse to lie to children. I refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence."
Ebooks: "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."
Publishers: "They're all in trouble. They're all terrible."
The far right: "These Republican schnooks would be comical if they weren't not funny."
Where the Wild Things Are: not his favorite
His favorite: Outside Over There
Stephen King: "Bullshit."
Salman Rushdie: "That flaccid fuckhead. He was detestable."
Gwyneth Paltrow: "I can't stand her."
Roald Dahl: "Scary guy. I know he's very popular but what's nice about this guy? He's dead, that's what's nice about him."
His parents: "They led desperate lives. They should have been crazy."
His partner: "He was a man who loved music and reading. He never smoked and he died of lung cancer, utterly ridiculous."
Being closeted and taking his partner home to his parents: "Of course, they knew. Especially my father. My mother was so bewildering and strange and lived in another world, I don't know what she knew. Nothing was said, but if something had been said, I would have been thrown out of the house. And yet they met him and respected him. Strange."
His dog Herman [Melville]: "He's German. He doesn't know I'm Jewish."
Himself 1: "I'm a lucky buck."
Himself 2: "I'm totally crazy, I know that. I don't say that to be a smartass, but I know that that's the very essence of what makes my work good. And I know my work is good. Not everybody likes it, that's fine. I don't do it for everybody. Or anybody. I do it because I can't not do it."
Himself 3: "I can't believe I've turned into a typical old man. I can't believe it. I was young just minutes ago."
Read the full article for more, including his painful barmitzvah story, his work with Isaac Bashevis Singer, his loneliness without Eugene, and his wish to die like William Blake.