Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sendakian

I rose at 5:30 with Maurice Sendak on my mind. Now I realize it is his birthday. I am very glad Sendak was born and wielded his gift with such gaiety and care, and that he spoke so forcefully (and often grumpily) about his life and times.

So I rooted around, trying to find a quote I remembered about there being only good and bad books--none of this genre and "kinds" nonsense! (Probably it's somewhere in the depths of the blog, too.) And I didn't find it, but did reread some lines that I love.

Here are a few celebratory quotes about his friends in the realm of dead artists and living arts, the place where he belongs:
When Mozart is playing in my room, I am in conjunction with something I can't explain... I don't need to. I know that if there's a purpose for life, it was for me to hear Mozart.

I have a little tiny Emily Dickinson so big that I carry in my pocket everywhere. And you just read three poems of Emily. She is so brave. She is so strong. She is such a sexy, passionate, little woman. I feel better.

[On Melville.] There's a mystery there, a clue, a nut, a bolt, and if I put it together, I find me.
Something I can't explain. 
Bravery. 
Strength and passion.
Mystery. 

4 comments:

  1. And tell it with the mystery left in!

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  2. Oh, yes...and i love being reminded of how much i adore Charlotte, too.

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  3. That is a lovely book, isn't it?

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.