7 Mar 2021 – Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991)
Wed&Thu: replying mail, messages, updating notes etc. Some music humour came to mind as I was sorting out music books, manuscripts, notes, scores + old LPs.
Fri-Sat-Sun: have been following the news with the controversial on six of Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) books. Being an admirer&fan of him, but have not read all his books (60+) nor any of these six that will no longer be in print, but able to see&understand from today’s circumstances & conditions as to why this is happening.
Glad to read that NY+some other public libraries will not be removing these books. Enjoyed going into Youtube online to listen to the readings and to see the illustrations (see below).
One of my favourites is Oh, the Places You’ll Go! His last book which I gifted away to some of the high-school grads when L&M graduated high school (1992&1997) – the words are so simple and yet meaningful&profound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abw43kcLrbg
- And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937)*
- If I Ran the Zoo (1950) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl6wD6EGOVk
- McElligot’s Pool (1947) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlsA3hb6a5c
- On Beyond Zebra! (1955) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnsM5VxAR68
- Scrambled Eggs Super! (1953) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLKnal92y7w
- The Cat’s Quizzer (1976) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yeNj1akz30
*And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street – a character described as Chinese has two lines for eyes, carries chopsticks and a bowl of rice, and wears traditional Japanese-style shoes..
Just cannot get enough of his wacky, whimsy&witty words combined with amazing illustrations from such an imagination written in 1937. As a Chinese of race, I do not feel or see any prejudiced against or antagonistic towards a person or people of a particular racial or ethnic group. To me it is just to show the colourful difference of life. Considering the era it was written in 1937, would like to believe&think that it was not done with any intentional hidden agender or motives, unlike today’s sensitive culture regarding race, religion, etc.
Of all his book, The Lorax in the movie is where I find a stereo-typing of an Asian race looking character, O’Hare who has big ideas for making money.
Edited: a valid comment from Nancy, one of my AT-hiking-buddies – and let’s remember it wasn’t the public who wanted these books taken away – it was the Seuss Foundation. And, I do agree that the African American depiction was awful, but the Chinese one could have been seen as colorful but I’m still not sure that it wouldn’t have been offensive to some Chinese in America where they were often taunted for their different looks and dress. I am surprised at how old these books are because I don’t think I had any as a child but I had lots for my own children. And I gave Daniel the “Oh the Places You’ll Go” after graduation. I actually discovered a copy in an AT shelter that gave me the idea.
My reply: I am sure some of his depictions were and still are distasteful to some ppl, but that is art! As mentioned, can also see&understand why those six books will no longer be in print, considering today’s sensitive circumstances & conditions…
A very dear elderly friend, AlonzoDawe (1927-2019) who was a wonderful artist with a great sense of humor and up to today, I still miss his humour teasing me about eating soup with sticks and walking to nowhere – hahaha! Another example of innocent humour from another gentleman from that era.