22 January 2009

Pondering the known works of Theodore Geisel, and childhood matter(s) in general.

A while back a friend of mine showed me a book of his entitled "The Secret Art of Doctor Seuss*", comprising drawings, some of a questionable nature, done by the infamous childrens' book author. 
This crossed my mind today, for no particular reason, and I wondered at the many illustrators pigeonholed into doing childrens' books, merely because no categories for illustrated "adult" books as yet really exist, 'xcept for the thinly veiled T and A bullshit that passes for mainstream comics, and is of course revered by oversized children calling themselves adults everywhere.

So Theodore Giesel, of course exceptionally gifted in childrens' work, but likely with alot more on his mind than such simple things, came to be known exclusively in this manner.
And then he dies, and then one day people find his real drawings, or his unpublished drawings (is there any difference?) and say, "Hey, secretly Dr. Seuss was a pervert!" when really, secretly, Theodore Giesel was merely an adult.

To be fair, a return to childhood subject matter (as witnessed firsthand upon my recent re-read of The Wind in the Willows just last week, is a return to a time of unadulterated optimism. Most kids (especially in this part of the world) don't know enough to be cynical at their age the way adults are.
They also don't know how to define loneliness, so when they feel it, they are able to move past it with relative ease.

*(Seuss means 'cute' in german, by the way, and yes, he was german.)

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