Posts Tagged ‘Maurice Sendak’
February 21, 2014 | by The Paris Review
When I discovered the work of Elaine Scarry in college, I remember thinking that her name was somehow bound up in her field of study—one had informed the other. She has a new book out, and the connection has never seemed more apt. Thermonuclear Monarchy is a badass title and a frightening one. The book is 640 pages, so I haven’t read it—it could be a while before I have that much time—but I have been reading about it. Nathan Schneider’s essay at The Chronicle of Higher Education is the best read. Scarry is a broad thinker, pulling from unusual corners of politics, history, and culture (including, Schneider notes, “the town where [Thomas] Hobbes grew up, a mistranslation of the Iliad, marriage, CPR, the Swiss nuclear-shelter system”). Thermonuclear Monarchy, then, is “less an argument that nuclear weapons should be eliminated, or how, than an entire worldview in which they have no rightful place.” —Nicole Rudick
We all know him as The Paris Review’s trusty third baseman (“Wisdom” and “Chaos Mode” are but two of his on-the-field nicknames), but it turns out that Ben Wizner occasionally gets around to other things, too—such as serving as the legal advisor to, um, Edward Snowden. (Yeah, NBD.) Listen here as he and Daniel Ellsberg argue in favor of the motion “Edward Snowden Was Justified” in a debate against Andrew C. McCarthy and R. James Woolsey. (Really, listen—it’s riveting.) —Stephen Andrew Hiltner
Our forthcoming Art of Nonfiction interview with the British psychoanalyst and author Adam Phillips is full of literary reminiscences and references to books that have meant something to Phillips over the course of his life. One in particular has stuck with me over the past few weeks, a Randall Jarrell quote from “A Girl in a Library”: “The ways we miss our lives are life.” Happily, it has reminded me to return to Jarrell’s The Animal Family, which I started a few months ago and put down for no good reason. (I don’t even have the excuse of length—it’s a children’s chapter book). Through the simple story of a woodsman who gathers together members of various species—real and imagined—to form an unconventional family, Randall touches on death, love, the pain of being alone, the strangeness of taste, the joys of language, and the terrifying calm of the wilderness. It is a lesson in what plain words thoughtfully said can evoke, perhaps the best such lesson I’ve ever read in prose. My edition, and I think most others, includes beautiful Maurice Sendak illustrations that are, for Sendak, unusually pastoral—not a figural representation in the lot—and add much to Jarrell’s story. —Clare Fentress
NASCAR was incorporated on this day in 1948—exactly one hundred years after the first publication of The Communist Manifesto. (Would that their similarities didn’t end there.) On such a storied anniversary, an educated citizen has two duties. First, reread your Marx and Engels—now’s as good a time as any to hone your critique of capitalism. Second, visit—or revisit—the thrilling world of NASCAR romance novels. Bonus points if you’re somehow able to combine these pursuits, e.g., by writing a book that’s both a critique of capitalism and a NASCAR romance. —Dan Piepenbring Read More »
June 20, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
June 10, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
“I’m not Hans Christian Andersen. Nobody’s gonna make a statue in the park with a lot of scrambling kids climbing up me. I won’t have it, okay?” —Maurice Sendak, 2004
June 10, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
March 27, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
Argentinian children’s illustrator Isol has won the 2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize given by the Swedish government in memory of the Pippi Longstocking author. With a purse of five million Swedish kronor (almost $800,000), it is the world’s biggest children’s literature prize, and has been awarded in the past to Maurice Sendak, Philip Pullman, and Katherine Paterson. The stated mission is to expand interest in children’s books and causes and, somewhat more confusingly, to “safeguard democratic values.” However you interpret that, we can all agree that Isol’s work is terrific: whimsical, fun, and sinister in only the best ways.
March 13, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
- “An Estonian man has returned a library book sixty-nine years late, partly blaming a World War II aerial bombing that damaged the library for the late return.” They bought this excuse; no fine was levied.
- “Maurice, aged seven, drew the illustrations for ‘They Were Inseparable,’ and his brother Jack, who was twelve, composed the text. The book was dedicated to their sixteen-year-old sister with whom they were both infatuated.” Avi Steinberg on the Sendak family.
- Is this the best palindrome of the year? (Were there others?)
- The Bloomsbury guide to surviving London disasters.
- The nominees for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (née Orange Prize) have been announced.