This Believer interview with Maurice Sendak is really something. Sendak was really something.
There’s a young artist in this town who’s remarkably gifted, and I’ve been tutoring him on the side. And he had this marvelous girlfriend, and I saw what was happening. And I said, “Look, don’t marry. Happily you can live together without any stench.” And they married and within eight minutes she was pregnant. And now they have a child, and all they do is complain about not having time and having to get a job. Fuck you! Why didn’t you listen to me? We don’t need that baby.And this:
Publishing is such an outrageously stupid profession. Or has become so...Well, nobody knows what they’re doing. I wonder if that’s always been true. I think being old is very fortunate right now. I want to get out of this as soon as possible. It’s terrible. And the great days in the 1950s and after the war, when publishing children’s books was youthful and fun… it really was. It’s not just looking back and pretending that it was good. It was good. And now it’s just stupid...Because of Rupert Murdoch. His name should be what everything is called now.And this, on his brother, which is just woah:
He was my savior. He was gentle and wonderful. We wrote stories and I illustrated them on shirt cardboard. And when my relatives—these goofballs—came, he would read the stories and I would hold up the pictures. He wrote a wonderful story called “We Are Inseparable.” About a brother who falls in love with his sister, which my brother did—Freud didn’t know from Brooklyn, he never flew over Brooklyn—and they’re going to get married. My parents didn’t think anything of it.
I remember that story, and I hated drawing the scene where they had to kiss, because I couldn’t fit their faces together. And then at the end—because in the back of his mind he knew something was wrong—the boy is in an accident, with bandages like a mummy, and lying in a hospital bed, and the parents are blocking the bed because she’s a banshee and is going to come, and she rushes in and pushes them aside and jumps on him, and they both hurl themselves out of the forty-second-floor window of the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital screaming, “We are inseparable.” Ha! I had such a good time drawing the bodies falling and smashing. Total wreckage. It was his masterpiece.