You may know Maurice Sendak as the children’s book maestro responsible for Where the Wild Things Are and other classics, but it’s time you got to know Maurice Sendak the world-class grump. In a wonderfully crabby interview with the Guardian, Sendak delivers punishing quips on everything from e-books, Rupert Murdoch, the American Right, to himself — “I have to accept my role. I will never kill myself like Vincent Van Gogh. Nor will I paint beautiful water lilies like Monet. I can’t do that. I’m in the idiot role of being a kiddie book person.” And even after nearly 1,000 words of more glorious, hilarious curmudgeonliness in this vein, Sendak saves his best eviscerations for last:
Of Salman Rushdie, who once gave him a terrible review in the New York Times, he says: “That flaccid fuckhead. He was detestable. I called up the Ayatollah, nobody knows that.” Roald Dahl: “The cruelty in his books is off-putting. Scary guy. I know he’s very popular but what’s nice about this guy? He’s dead, that’s what’s nice about him.” Stephen King: “Bullshit.” Gwyneth Paltrow: “I can’t stand her.”
May all notable people live to be old enough to not give a shit what anybody thinks anymore.