Sunday, September 14, 2008

Maurice Sendak's Dream

Photo Credit: Joyce Dopkeen/The New York Times

Maurice Sendak was quoted in The NY Times last week as saying that he still yearns to do something purely for himself that would create in others a passion as great as Blake and Keats did in him. (To read the article--"Concerns That Range Well Beyond Where the Wild Things Are"--click here.)

Sendak, now 80, has garnered many awards for his writing and illustrations. (He won the 1996 National Medal of Arts for his accomplishments.) But while he's grateful for all the honors he's received, he views them as "rubber bullets." They "never penetrated," he said. Awards just aren't "up to the task of answering pressing questions about meaning, soul-touching greatness and durability."

I, too, aspire to be like Sendak's heroes—Mozart, Keats, Blake, Melville and Dickinson—individuals who had the “ability to be private, the ability to be alone, the ability to follow some spiritual course not written down by anybody.”

In our heart of hearts, don't we all?


  1. I whole-heartedly agree...boy, do I ever.

  2. Prill, I especially like the "do for himself" part of Sendak's idea. So many of us like to do for others but if we can find a way to do for ourselves at the same time, the passion comes through.

    Carolyn Howard-Johhnson
    Author of the multi award-winning novel, This Is the Place