NPR’s Terri Gross interviewed author Maurice Sendak — the final interview he gave — last year when Sendak was 83-years-old. German-born illustrator Cristoph Niemann was so moved by the interview that he took a five minute snippet of the conversation and illustrated it in a way that Sendak would surely be proud of. You can listen to the entire conversation at the NPR Web site.
The beloved children’s writer and illustrator was 83 years old and in declining health. He was feeling the loss of people close to him who had died in recent years. Inevitably, the discussion turned to issues of mortality. As the conversation built to an emotional crescendo, Sendak laid bare the qualities that made him such a great author: sincerity, depth of feeling, and an insuperable need to connect with people in some elemental way.
By the time it was over there were teary-eyed people in cars all across North America. One listener, Brent Eades, left a message on the NPR Web site: “I happened to be listening to this extraordinary interview while on the early-morning commute from my small Ontario town to Ottawa. I was entirely absorbed in it; and the final couple of minutes left me with tears streaming down my face, which I’m sure nonplussed my fellow commuters.”
Listen to this interview and it’s clear how amazing it is to be in love with the world. Such a simple act, but a profound and difficult one. This is the same quality that Kurt Vonnegut possessed and probably one that I most aspire to. [via openculture]