Tag Archives: Maurice Sendak

Friday finds

Blogger-illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi offers a mini-history of illustrations for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, starting with some of Tolkien’s own pictures and concluding with this 1967 sketch by the great Maurice Sendak, part of a proposal for a new illustrated edition. Unfortunately, Sendak was sidelined by a heart attack shortly before he was to have met with Tolkien about the project, leaving us to wonder what the creator of Where the Wild Things Are would have done with Smaug. Meanwhile, the tsuris that The Lord of the Rings films managed to avoid (and is being visited tenfold on the production of The Hobbit films) continued with the hospitalization of director Peter Jackson.

Frederik Pohl recalls Gustav Hasford, whose Vietnam War novel The Short-Timers was the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s film Full Metal Jacket.

Geoff has a very personal and emotionally generous reaction to Toy Story 3.

Hunter! Scavenger! Hunter!

I seldom agree with conservative apparatchik David Frum about much of anything– and I despise his war-whoring on Iraq — but I do enjoy his readiness to ridicule radio ranter Mark Levin, second only to Rush Limbaugh among the gas giants of the conservative solar system, and first in his readiness to respond to even the slightest criticism to torrents of childish invective. Frum has been happily slapping around Levin’s magnum bolus Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, and the reluctance of other conservatives to point out Levin’s intellectual malfeasance in any but the most circumspect terms. Now Alex Knapp has joined the fun by blogging the book chapter by chapter, which might seem like an exercise in pure masochism were it not for the fact that Levin’s tome is a kind of intellectual grease trap in which most of the cherished notions of movement wingerdom can be scraped loose and subjected to scrutiny. Knapp’s first chapter is here, and subsequent installments are here, here, and here.

Mount Shinmoe, the volcano used for the secret rocket base in You Only Live Twice, is erupting.

The life and times of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs.

Urban infiltrators drink up.

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Friday finds

WokingTripod

All you need to celebrate Halloween the H.G. Wells way. (And the George Pal way, and the Oson Welles way, and the Hugo Gernsback way. . .) The image above, incidentally, shows Michael Condron’s sculpture of a Martian tripod in Woking, Surrey, where all hell breaks loose in the original novel. Check here for the New Jersey location used in the radio broadcast.

How about some literary costume ideas for trick-or-tweeding?

Halloween, B’more style.

Continuing our Halloween theme, it turns out that Dan Aykroyd based the Ghostbusters storyline on the psychic exploits of his own dad.

Novelists nominate books they think have been unfairly neglected.

A medievalist tries his hand at the Dante’s Inferno board game.

Taking on Knut Hamsun.

No need to be skeptical about Martin Gardner.

Patricia Cornwell’s latest mystery tale is playing out in court.

Gore Vidal’s sunset years.

How Paul Shaffer was crucified and resurrected by Bob Dylan.

There’s nothing more pathetic than a whining contrarian.

Maurice Sendak has three words for parents who think Where the Wild Things Are is too scary for their kids.

The Guardian harkens back to its coverage of John Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize for Literature. A writer retraces the journey described in Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.

M*A*S*H was Robert Altman’s first big hit as a filmmaker, but his son ended up making more money off it than he did.

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Friday finds

Weimar book

Journey Round My Skull takes us on a journey round the book covers of Weimar Germany.

Devin Johnston and the compulsion for stillness.

Now that Asbury Park is showing signs of life once again, it’s sort of appropriate in a skewed way that this kind of thing would happen.

Another view of that maybe-might film version of John D. MacDonald’s first Travis McGee novel.

Do you know about Kate Adie? Maybe you should.

Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1989!

Scorekeeper loves the stereo remasters of the Beatles album catalogue.

A trip into the mind of Ted Nugent.

Typo from hell, big-ticket book cover edition. Not that the contents — or much else the guy has written — warrant serious attention.

Interspecies affirmative action, or: A link for those readers who think I run too many dog pictures.

“At times in this movie, I felt like it was making me regress to being a little kid, remembering the simple joy of throwing things, breaking things, building Wild Thing moviethings, making up stories, and also the feeling of being hurt by small things like mom or big sister won’t pay attention to you exactly when you want, so you go hide in your room and feel sorry for yourself. Max has those feelings and then Carol, a wild thing portrayed brilliantly by the voice of James Gandolfini, amplifies them to giant size. He represents the needy side of a kid, the one that feels sorry for himself and gets angry too easily . . . a monster who’s only scary because he’s so emotionally fragile you gotta walk on egg shells around him.  They should try that in a Godzilla movie sometime.”

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Friday finds

Yubaba

Hayao Miyazaki’s brilliant animated film Spirited Away, viewed as “a nightmare of capitalist Japan.” Considering that the story is set in a class stratified resort for the gods where even spirits are turned into consumers, under a greedy owner who steals the identities of her employees and turns anyone without a job into an animal, I’d say the analysis is at the very least arguable. (The fact that whiny Chihiro, the heroine, becomes a better and more resourceful person while maneuvering under Yubaba’s thumb deserves consideration as well.) Meanwhile, I’m eager for the U.S. release of Miyazaki’s latest film, Ponyo, on August 14.

The new issue of The Biographer’s Craft is up.

Luc Sante thinks Georges Simenon was an odd bird. Tell me about it.

Funny how the Scandinavian countries, with the most peaceful and happy people on Earth, produce so much bloodcurdling crime fiction.

James Baldwin’s years in Istanbul.

Chris Hannan lists the ten best books about the American frontier. Hannan’s rundown omits Butcher’s Crossing, Lord Grizzly, Flashman and the Redskins and Lonesome Dove, but he includes Roughing It, so what the hell.

Michael Chabon on the wilderness of childhood. Terrible Yellow Eyes offers works inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Click here to order the “fur edition” of the storybook for the upcoming film version.

Beck Hansen: Hey, I wanted to ask you about being from Los Angeles. You grew up there . . . Tom Waits: Yeah, Whittier, La Habra, Downey, that whole area. Yeah, Los Lobos, they’re from Whittier. So is Nixon. I remember Nixon’s market. He had his own family market. BH: He was? For some reason I thought he was from the Midwest. TW: No, California, and we used to get a visit every year from the Oscar Meyer wiener mobile, which was an enormous vehicle shaped like a hot dog. The driver was a Dwarf, and the wiener mobile would broadcast music while he sang the song “I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener.” He drew quite a crowd. Pretty exciting for a shopping center.

A love poem in an appropriate shape.

Poets describe the words that make them wince.

African album covers influenced by Michael Jackson’s covers.

Vladimir Nabokov vs. Alain Robbe-Grillet vs. Vladimir Nabokov vs. Alain Robbe-Grillet vs. Vladimir Nabokov vs. Alain Robbe-Grillet. . .

“Once experienced, it is hard to let Heart of Darkness go. A masterpiece of surprise, of expression and psychological nuance, of fury at colonial expansion and of how men make the least of life, the novella is like a poem, endlessly readable and worthy of rereading. Academics need write nothing more about it for another century. It should be handed back to readers simply to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest. Conrad composed a book where we see ourselves, darkly. Its relevance echoes forever, fizzing with understanding us then and there, and here and now, written for us all to live with today, whenever ‘today’ will be.”

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