Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Speaking of ‘Wild Things,’ love lost — and Mozart

One of the things that most intrigues me about writers and writing is influence -- what works on writers to make them create what they do? What fascinates them, encourages them, depresses them? Lots of people want to know from where writers get their ideas. Sometimes that is so hard to explain, but if you can find out what a writer loves, and hates, and fears, and finds joy in, then you will come closer to understanding what makes their imaginations tick.

Anyway, here's a fascinating article about Maurice Sendak and his loves and sorrows, called Speaking of ‘Wild Things,’ love lost — and Mozart. One of Sendak's great joys, as is mine, is the music of Mozart. There is much that is fascinating in this article, but I think I most love the conclusion:

But just a week before the interview, Sendak says, he began to come out of his depression. It started by picking up “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, followed by listening to Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”

“I’m coming back to life — and the movie of ‘Wild Things’ and everything is life-enhancing,” says the author. “One looks for signs and symptoms of what is good and what is bad, what is pulling you down and what is holding it up. It’s Mozart, but I haven’t listened to him carefully for a long time. Now he’s back in my life with a vengeance. ... And there’s Charles Dickens.”

Max, of “Wild Things,” would be around 50 now.

“If I had a preference, he would be an artist,” says Sendak. “He would be an artist and it could be in any profession — in painting, in illustrating, in writing, in music. Oh, God, if he were a great pianist, I would be so happy!”

That tells me more about Maurice Sendak than anything I've ever read about him. I'm anxious to see the HBO documentary about Sendak, Tell Them Anything You Want, made by Spike Jonze and Lance Bangs, which is due out the same day as the DVD of WTWTA, March 2.

Don Giovanni is my favorite opera, BTW.


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