There are some really amazing quotes and exchanges in this interview. Colbert (one of my favorite people basically ever) and Sendak are very well matched. It turns out the most effective counter to Colbert’s ironic, mocking sarcasm is a fervent, curmudgeonly disregard for political correctness. Sendak’s got nothing to hide and it’s beyond amusing to watch Colbert try to get a rise out of him. It’s especially interesting to hear Sendak’s opinions on the state of children’s literature since it’s so clearly important to him to treat children as people, without any special dispensation.
In general I love hearing creators of supposedly squeeky-clean works cut loose and give it to their audiences straight. This interview reminded me a great deal of Shel Silverstein’s classic song, “Fuck ‘Em,” another gem in which Silverstein rants at length about everything he hates. I don’t think people expect that from such a beloved children’s author. Anyway, it’s worth watching if only to witness a quality slug-fest between two creative heavy-weights.
Maurice Sendak: “I don’t write for children. I write. And somebody says ‘That’s for children.’ I didn’t set out to make children happy, or to make life better for them, or easier for them. I like them as few and far between as I do adults, maybe a bit more because I really don’t like adults at all, practically.”