Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Maurice

Maurice Sendak celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday with a benefit in New York, so they ran this great interview with him on npr last week. The original broadcast was a few years ago, but still worth a listen here.

There is also a great interview with him here, in the Herald Tribune. Interesting that after so many accomplishments he still worries about being a "mere illustrator":

"Sendak is pleased with the coming birthday celebration, just as he is about his awards and honors, but in the end, he maintained, they don't add up to much. They 'never penetrated,' he said. 'They were like rubber bullets.'

It's not that he isn't grateful. 'They made me happy, but at a certain point in your life, you see through them,' he said. 'You don't mock them, you don't hate them, you feel sorry for them' - tiny, inert emblems that just aren't up to the task of answering pressing questions about meaning, soul-touching greatness and durability."

Its comforting to hear his persepective. Its easy to get caught up in looking for some kind of validation of your work, but I think the key to achieving greatness in this profession must have to do with how much you can engage with your own creative process, not what other people think of it.


jama said...

Squealing over the Bears book. Why haven't I seen it before?! Is it still in print?

Anna Alter said...

I believe it is still print, published in 2005 I think.