Maurice Sendak on the first book he wrote and illustrated in 30 years

Maurice Sendak on the first book he wrote and illustrated in 30 years
A conversation with author Where the Wild Things Are in his latest creation, Bumble Ardy

Maurice Sendak illustrated new book, Bumble Ardy, has long been making - the earliest incarnation was the animated short was created for Sesame Street in 1970. The book tells the story of a young pig named Bumble, who throws illegal, chaotic birthday party for herself to compensate for the life of uncelebrated birthdays. Like classic Sendak, where the Wild Things Are, Bumble Ardy begins with the rebellious hero feels like a child, which is limited to the inner life of the stricture, and who invents a way to explore his wild energy.

Sendak told me by phone from his home in rural Connecticut. We talked for a long time of the Bumble Ardy is how children use fantasy and imagination, his most beloved characters of young hate anti-fans, and why - after 60 years - writing and illustration for children remains fundamentally mysterious process.

Because out there, you've been incredibly busy - designing operas, illustrating contemporary works and classical texts. But this is the first book you wrote and illustrated in 30 years. Bumble Ardy was long in the making, or that you refrain from working with your own words?

I've been doing other things. I became a designer for the opera. I am a big fan of opera, I love classical music, and I need a timeout. I have been touring the country and Europe, and in retrospect, a very good choice, because I sure as hell will not do it now. So it all takes, I did not do anything, but I was too busy with other things.

And then when I came home, and old age and illness began to settle on me, it made sense to make the book again - if I could. I played with this idea on and off for years. It started as a small thing for Sesame Street, which was negligible. I do not really remember why it was done, except for his year of birth was given to me - to come up with a little poem about her age. Then I forgot about it, and I turned it into something else after a few years, but I was unhappy with it, and put it back.

It often happens - you're working on for years and years, until eventually something comes up. I did not know [Bumble] was supposed to be a pig, I did not know, all kinds of things when I started. But then I started fresh again. I do not know how long it took me over the long term - but it is a concept that I suddenly sat up in bed, had an idea, and they sat down and did a book is stupid. It was around my neck for a long time. And I'm so glad it's finished, it is published, and from my life.

Bumble parents, for eight long years, did not allow him to celebrate his birthday. Then he throws a great lap, while his aunt is not home, but she got him the first-ever gift and cake. This duplicity of the response to the mistreatment of the original parents?

He does not trust anyone. His betrayal of her aunt, who seems kind of small, typical of what I feel like it. He is an orphan, after all. And why should he trust anyone? And in order to gain the trust of a child - you may know or not - it is very difficult thing to do. They are so used to not believe an adult - because adults tell stories and lies all the time. I wanted it to be suspicious. And I wanted him to be aggressive for their own use. There was not any reason not to tell him his aunt, it was simply better in their own living conditions, to disrupt it. He does not know why. And I do not know why. This is the book for me many questions, few answers.

I think for children, there is something as exciting and terrifying about the idea of ​​living without supervision - a life without parents. It was something you studied in bumblebees Ardy?

Most of the children - I know what I did when I was a child - to dream another set of parents. Or fantasize no parents. They do not tell their real parents about it - you do not want to tell mom and dad. Children lead a very private life. And I was a typical child (I think). I was a liar. I had to protect my parents from hard truths. Although what I assumed was the hard truth was, in fact - it is difficult to understand that it may be now.

Bumble is a tough little bastard. And he struggled from the word "go." And he knows that he must be good and kind, and all the things that are expected of children. When he tells her that he would never turn 10, it tells you how he did not understand a matter of life and death. And this is something so much on the minds of children. They can not bring it because they do not want to bother their parents - but kids do a lot to not disturb their parents. And they know a lot.

I knew a little girl, who told her parents - because her school was near the twin towers when it happened - and she told her father that she saw a butterfly out of the windows. And only then he said: "They were not butterflies They were people.." But she lied, first, to make it more comfortable. And that's what kids do - they are very brave. And they sacrifice a lot. And they're trying to play dumb and stupid, because - well, it's kind of waiting parents.

This is what all fairy tales, all mainly about - about the vulnerability of children and how they figure out ways and methods, living in peace and are the parents. Make-believe parents. And I think that this is probably one of the toughest jobs in the world. Being a parent, and not succumbing to failure. I think that people should be given the same test as test driver, what could be their parents! It is an art form. I talk a lot. And I think a lot. And I draw a lot. But never in a million years would I have been a parent. It's just a job, it's too hard.

Because it is so much responsibility.

Yes! God knows that it is enough just to have kids. It's easier than taking a test driver. But I do not know how many people think twice about it.

Aunt Adeline, seems to be one of those people who does a good job - she'd parents pass the test.

She is naturally good. It's large, kind woman - but even if it is not her son, she will kill to protect it. I love to watch movies of animals on television. The only thing I watch this movie animals. I love animals - I love animals more than I love the human animal. And watch the mother bear, or leopard, or something, take care of a child - and the kind of intensity that cares about what kind of protection - that's great. It is built into being. And so it is impressive to see the bear look like it will kill you if you take one more step. And this is the only way these children survive.

Aunt Adeline, in her fierce loyalty, reminds me of a mother bear in the book Little Else Holmelund Minarik Bear, which you shown.

When I was doing this book, I was quite young. And I wanted to bear. I wanted someone like that in my life. My mother was troubled, and she was an ordinary man, but I had high hopes for it. I did not know about her problems. I did not care about their problems - I thought she was there for me! And if it was not there for me, it was not a very good mother. Thus, expectations of children are very charged and difficult.

So bear was better fantasy mother, gentle looks, kindness of her body. The way she moved, as she sat with her as she spoke - it was a dream. The dream of the mother.

Adeline gift Aunt Bumble makes it a good one: a cowboy suit allows him to play. The suit allows him entry into the realm of fantasy and imagination, so it's a good gift - even if he takes it too far.

Characters who come to the party, would you let them into your home?

No [laughs]

Will not I. But in the book where you do not have to pretend to be civilized, and you should not pretend that he is aware that it is necessary that the little boy could go wrong in itself, but to bring people and strange creatures, where he feels safe in between . And that is something that's difficult to describe and difficult to explain. And I had the instinct of the people I had not planned to go high or great lady lady or a fat pig or whatever. But if I was a kid, those types of people I would like to have in my party.

I found them frightening! By changing their shape - it's hard to say that this is a mask, and that person. Maybe I fear the imposition of an adult about it. Maybe for a child it will be simply breathtaking.

But you are an adult. You should do what your body tells you to do. Children can distort, and play with numbers and ideas, with turnover that strains of us - that we grow out of. Except if you're an illustrator of children's books, and you in your mind. [Laughs]. I'm 83 and I'd like to believe that I was civilized, but I'm not. Otherwise, I could not do the work I do. I do not know how to make a book for children. I do not even know that children's book. I always know that my work is appropriate - is more appropriate - for children. I do not believe, but who cares? Who cares.

Why do not you believe that you're writing for children?

I do not know what that means. How do you write for children? I've never really figured that out. So I decided to just ignore it. I knew that my book would only be published as a book for children. And I was once vehemently opposed to it. I would like Outside Over There, should be implemented as a complex work of art. Well, it's not. And I had to live with it. And yet, perhaps, in some ways, this is my favorite book of all that I have ever done. But it is a strange book. It is a strange book. It's a strange world.

What readers are children? Why is that something be given to children means that it is not literature?

They have no money, so they can not go out and make their own choices. So my mother or grandmother or someone brings them a good book. And they will do anything to make adult content, so that they would like a book. Children are very good. And they will not offend anyone by saying: "I hate this book." Except when they write to me and they said: "I hate this book."

Has that happened to you?

Ah, yes. And those same letters of thanks. I have pierced their armor.

The little girl who wrote said, "Why are there babies in Outside Over There, What the hell happened to them and why they all wear hats and why they all wear big, swimmy clothes?" She was furious! She said: "Do not you know how to dress a child properly?"

Well, it's not what put it on - but that's what she thinks she put it. Her mother turned a little note saying that she was angry all the time - not the mother, child. Because my mother was pregnant, and she explained to me very carefully how happy her daughter will be when the child came into the house. And her little daughter said to her - but not to be heard - I do not want a baby in the house. Throw it in the trash.

It was wonderful, because she found what she was talking to her indignation. So I was so happy for her.

So it's a sign of success - what you call it emotional about something.

Yes. I knew how to interpret her anger. I knew how to sympathize with her anger. And you know, is that the book should be once in a while. I love to read. I love reading - is one of the best reasons to stay alive. Reading. I experienced a lot of emotional, traumatic things in my life - reading.

On the first page of bumblebees Ardy, a Bumble read the newspaper, which says, "We read banned books!" Is this just a clever author of invasion, or knowing nod to smart parents? Or is it somehow address or inform the content of this book in particular?

I was not allowed in my life. I was banned during the night in the kitchen. Because the boy had a beak. A boy without a woodpecker - that is what I would condemn him. But it is a pointless thing to get angry about. But you see, if this is a children's book - if you do not have a beak. Well, garbage. Boys Boys and girls are girls. What the hell are we fighting about?

So I have a lot of arguments about what they consider appropriate or inappropriate for children. I think not wanting to, I was out of place. No, not on my terms - on their terms. But it does not matter. It does not matter.

But as an artist, you decide what is appropriate and that it is inappropriate for children?

I do not think about it. I just want to be picked up by the idea and get all excited. And put a symphony by Mozart for the player and get more excited.

Music was such an important part of your process.

Yes. I was surprised at the [10th anniversary] 9/11--I tried to spend a whole day of it. I do not want to get involved in it again. And that night on Channel 13, they planned to Mahler Symphony number 2. I am a big fan of Mahler, but I never liked Symphony № 2 - "Resurrection" Symphony. But I was blubbering and crying at the end of the symphony. And that's just what music can do. I have not heard of any of the speeches, I do not want to watch, I do not want to hear. But I need someone to pull me out - and it was Mahler! And I greeted with tears, and I welcomed my ability to respond so passionately to the arts - especially music. I love music above all other art forms. This is a reason to go on living.

This demonstrates the wordless power of music to make us feel emotions.

Unbelievable. And at the end of the Resurrection Symphony, he inserts the words, which, in the performance of two women - it is so incredibly beautiful. It's so clear! As it should be. It should not be understood. Except for the way that the girl hated those little children: a passion inside so that you do not need to explain. That you do not have to tell your therapist about.

In interviews, you talked disparagingly about what you call "Kiddiebookland," the kingdom of saccharine, squeaky clean books that depict children, innocent and guileless. Why the authors and publishers of these books underestimate children and childhood?

Well, when a child says to me - as a child made me write - and says. "I hate your book, I hope you die soon is welcome.". Well, the combination of "I hope you die soon" and "heart" that's fine. It shows how puzzling it all was for her - and for me.

She was allowing herself to hate. "I hate your book." But she learned in school that you have to finish writing the word "heart" or "best wishes". And so they combine the two, not thinking something stupid in the sort of thing. But that is their charm, and that's what we lose on growing - lose, lose, lose. And if we're lucky, it will happen again when we are old. And I would like to believe that this is happening to me. Things that were so wonderful to me to go back now. I am very grateful - because I do not know how to begin anyway. But it happens. And I think bumblebees Ardy first for me in many ways.

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