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Maurice Sendak

The Guardian has a great profile of Maurice Sendak. Sounds like he's just blunt and cranky enough, yet with a soft side, to be my kind of guy. I was particularly moved to read this account of his Brooklyn childhood, as his father learns that his family back in Europe had been exterminated in the concentration camps:
"This is true. My father belonged to a Jewish social club. The day of my barmitzvah he got word [through the club] that he had, no longer, a family. Everyone was gone. And he laid down in bed. I remember this so vividly. And my mother said to me, 'Papa can't come.' And I was having the big party at the colonial club, the old mansion in Brooklyn. And I said, 'How can Papa not come to my barmitzvah?' And I screamed at him, 'You gotta get up, you gotta get up!' And of course he did. And the only thing I remember is looking at him when the guests burst into For He's a Jolly Good Fellow. And my father's face was vivid, livid, and I knew I had done something very bad, that I had made him suffer more than he had to. This 13-year-old ersatz man."
Wow. 

October 3, 2011 in Books | Permalink

Comments

I read and enjoyed that piece too. I hope some day I can be as candid.

Posted by: Paul at Oct 3, 2011 7:55:58 PM