And here’s a comic released last week by the New Yorker, which was an unused cover for the magazine. It’s written and illustrated by Art Spiegalman, and is based on an interview he did with Maurice Sendak. In particular, we love this quote from it:
“People say, ‘Oh, Mr. Sendak, I wish I were in touch with my childhood self, like you!’ As if it were all quaint and succulent, like Peter Pan. Childhood is cannibals and psychotics vomiting in your mouth! I say, ‘You are in touch, lady – you’re mean to your kids, you treat your husband like shit, you lie, you’re selfish…. That is your childhood self! In reality, childhood is deep and rich. It’s vital, mysterious, and profound. I remember my own childhood vividly…. I knew terrible things…. But I knew I mustn’t let adults know I knew…. It would scare them.”
He really seemed to understand and respect childhood, even though he never wrote his books specifically for children. He will be missed very much.
The quote above makes me (Catie) wonder what he would have thought of this blog post and discussion (in the comments) over at School Library Journal, about whether the Printz medal should be given based on “quality” alone or should take into account popularity and “appeal” to teens. It makes me think about all of the categories that we place books into – are they really necessary? Teen readers (and child readers) come in all flavors, just like adults. Some teens love fluff and romance; some love fast-paced mystery; some love literary fiction. “Appeal” is such a nebulous word and really has no meaning when applied to the population as a whole. What’s appealing to one teen is horribly unappealing to another. And further, I think that there’s an assumption made there that the popular books will not also be of high quality.
Okay, yes. That one is actually often true. Although, check out this graph of the top-ten most read books in the past fifty years. Sure, there’s Twilight and The Da Vinci Code on there, but there’s also The Lord of the Rings and Gone With the Wind and Harry Potter. It’s not all bad! Still, I find that whole debate very interesting. What do you all think? Should literary awards (like the Printz) be given based on quality alone or include factors like “appeal”? (And here ends Catie’s personal interjection.)
Sarah from Clear Eyes, Full Shelves had an equally thought-provoking post this week about the future of reviewing and book recommendations, in response to an article in The Atlantic.
And there was a really cool (and inspirational) post from The Intern, about the reality of book deals – it’s not all hype and huge advances (and that’s okay).
Stacia Kane also had AMAZING NEWS this week: there will be a Chess prequel in our future, called Finding Magic. Its expected release date is June 4th (seriously…how many works can this woman release over a single summer?!!) and it will probably be 99 cents. Can’t wait!
In more depressing world news, the United States’ acceptance of gay marriage rights got one state darker this week, but we loved this rant from Hank Green all about it.
And speaking of Hank Green, Cassi posted all about his project with Bernie Su, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. This prompted me to watch the first episode and now I’m completely hooked. I’m just going to leave this youtube video here. I dare you all to watch it and not marathon the rest.
a) One of the most egregiously hilarious typos I’ve ever seen and
b) Saturday Night Live clearly has its finger on the pulse of Twi-moms.