The Little Book of Maudism is my tribute to the vision of Colin Higgins & Hal Ashby.
Harold and Maude is my favourite film.
A story of unconventional love, life and death that has had a real impact on my outlook and how I view my own mortality.
For me, this film was life changing, and I don’t say this lightly. On first watch I really couldn’t believe just how wonderful it was. Harold and Maude was Colin Higgins’ post-graduate thesis and although the plan for him to direct the film was dropped by Paramount, director Hal Ashby insisted that Higgins be a producer and work closely on set to secure the essence of his vision.
I came across “Maudism” on Urban Dictionary, MovieMan had posted the term in 2006 and provided this definition: “The “new age” philosophy of “living each day to the fullest.” Popularized by the 1971 cult film “Harold and Maude”, in which the character Maude completely alters the way Harold views the world, when she can show him the value of life and the beauty in living.”
It struck me then that Harold and Maude is a philosophy to live by and I have been giving talks and sharing my own interpretation of Maudism ever since.
Little Book of Maudism comprises of ten lessons that Maude teaches Harold in their week together. To appreciate Maudism you don’t need to be spiritual or religious, but you can be. These teachings are about being human, what it means to be human. We are mortal beings and death acceptance is at the core of Maude’s message. Ultimately, we all die. If we can embrace the circle of life and immerse ourselves in nature we can live a richer existence. Desire for permanence and fear of change only limits our experience.
Using both Higgins’ original novella and Ashby’s box office flop turned cult classic, I present these teachings with illustrations from a range of wonderful artists.
My dear friends have created some special recipes for the book:
Sarah Chavez whose blog Nourishing Death examines the relationship between food and death in rituals, culture, religion and society, has developed and donated a recipe for Maude’s Ginger Pie that you will be able to make at home.
Annabel de Vetten of Conjurers Kitchen has donated a recipe for a Champagne flavoured Birthday Cake for Maude with strawberry frosting.
The wonderful Ffion Harman of The Moon Underwater created a recipe for Maude’s Chrysanthemum Brandy Cordial. Based on the very drink Maude makes Harold in Higgins’ book.
Edited by Evan Filipek and printed by Liquorice.
200 copies have been produced and sold, this venture was entirely non-profit and possible thanks to the support of friends, family and strangers on my Go Fund Me campaign.
Half of each sale is donated to the mental health charity Mind.
Thanks to an overwhelming response, all of the copies sold and I am delighted to have made the following donation on the 11/01/2017:
For some insight into the lessons Little Book of Maudism has to offer read this piece I wrote for Standard Issue.