“Where the Wild Things Are” author Maurice Sendak is the subject of a new
short documentary from the British art institution, the Tate. The beloved spinner of tales has something surprising to say about his work. “I don’t believe that I have ever written a children’s book.” Well, considering the lasting appeal and the sighs of pleasure that adults make when recalling the books of their childhood, maybe it’s true.
“How do you set out to write a children’s book? It’s a lie … The
magic of childhood and the strangeness of childhood, the uniqueness that
makes us see things that other people don’t see.” He also says about people asking him to write a sequel to “Where the Wild Things Are.” “Go to hell … go to hell. I’m not a whore, I don’t do those
things.” Ah, artistic integrity. That’s a rare sight these days.
Sendak cites Herman Melville as an artistic influence, saying, “Herman Melville said that artists have to take a dive and either you
hit your head on a rock and you split your skull and you die or that
blow to the head is so inspiring that you come back up and do the best
work that you ever did. But you have to take the dive and you
do not know what the result will be.” Check out the short documentary below and wax poetic about the influence he had on your childhood below.