Write Up Our Alley: “As you probably noticed, I went away forever.”
From: Write Up Our Alley
June 21, 2012 at 09:56AM
It seems I knew by around age five, that I wanted to be Maurice Sendak when I grew up. I penciled my name in right next to his on this book that he illustrated for Ruth Krauss in 1952, which is one of my most treasured possessions and has been with me always. Over the years I’ve become an obsessive collector of his work and words, which have taught me just about everything I need to know about writing and illustrating for children. What more can I possibly add to all that’s been said about Sendak, who died on May 8th at the age of 83?
Just that it was incredibly humbling and inspiring for me to hear Sendak’s friends speak about him at a memorial service last week, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.* Lynn Caponera, his assistant and friend since her childhood, closed the tributes perfectly by quoting a letter “from his favorite book”, Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More to Life:
“Hello, As you probably noticed, I went away forever. I am very experienced now and very famous. I am even a star…. I get plenty to drink, too, so don’t worry…. If you ever come this way, look for me. Jennie”
Dear Jennie, I will certainly look for you. Love, Debbie.
*This drawing of Sendak’s beloved dog Jennie was on the cover of the program that day. Small parts of recent interviews were shared then as well; for those of you who haven’t seen or heard them yet, the interviews are incredibly moving and not-to-be-missed– and I hope you will watch or listen from beginning to end.
Fresh Air Remembers Author Maurice Sendak, interviews with Terry Gross, including the last one, in September 2011.
Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak, a documentary by Spike Jonze and Lance Bangs. Excerpted here.
Art Spiegelman Discusses Maurice Sendak, including a comic strip collaboration between Spiegelman and Sendak.