venerdì, marzo 16, 2018

Theodor Geisel: A Portrait of the Man Who Became Dr.Seuss by Donald E. Pease

I discovered Dr.Seuss for case. Once some American friends sent me pictures of rompers for their children. There was written One and they were red. They explained me that it was because of a famous Dr.Seuss' book, The Cat in the Hat. I decided to buying that book, The Cat in the Hat and sequel. Funny stories for sure, now when I find Dr. Seuss' books I buy them immediately!

Dr.Seuss has been a caricaturist but mainly an author of children's and adult's books. Children's books born for learning and having fun at the same time. Plenty of irony, of healthy nonsense the messages contained? All that weird possibilities and chances offered  by the life if seen under different perspective, glasses.

There is an optimistic vision in these books, there is  a possibility of escapism in every situation thanks to original problem-solving methods discovered for example by the cat in The Cat In the Hat in the second episode in particular.

Who read Dr.Seuss when little develops to me a vision of the life in grade to let him/her sorting out problems once adult with more creativity respect to other children who didn't read him, developing at the same time a great sense of humor.


When one night, surfing the web, I discovered the book Theodor Geisel: A Portrait of the Man Who Became Dr.Seuss by Donald E. Pease, published by Oxford University Press with the smiling, kindly face of an elderly man, close to the portrait of the most iconic character he created The Cat in the Hat I thought: I want to read it!
What a life he lived!
His family with his ancestors afforded in Springfield Massachusetts immediately after the 1850s. German origins, Springfield a city in expansion presented a lot of success for the family involved in various business, including brewery.
Then Theodor Robert, the dad of Dr.Seuss married Henrietta Seuss in 1901. Dr. Seuss would have arrived to this world in 1904.

This little man suffered a lot because of the discrimination suffered during the first world war. Not only: Germans tried their best for demonstrate that they loved the USA fighting this anti-German sentiment. The same little Dr.Seuss involved in various initiatives for helping and supporting soldiers but not only it didn't help but he lived a very and unpleasant episode with President Roosevelt. This episode will sign all his existence. When Dr.Seuss constricted to speak, or appear in public he found this problematic because of that traumatic and humiliating experience he lived.


Very soon it was clear that Dr.Seuss was talented in writing and drawings and was encouraged to continuing to do that.
The first and most important publication in 1937: And to Think That I saw It on Mulberry Street. The most important American magazines and newsmagazines wrote wonderful, splendid reviews. To him it was a success.

The years he spent to Dartmouth coincided also with the collaboration with the Jack-O-Lantern's magazine although later because of an episode involving alcohol and prohibitionism Dr.Seuss constricted to abandon it  and working under pseudonym.

 One day he said to his dad that he would have wanted to study to Oxford. His dad was so thrilled! to accomplishing his desire, although the year spent at the Lincoln College not remembered very well by Dr.Seuss.

Then the Second World War, his works for prestigious magazines, and the arrival as casualty at the great success with The Cat in the Hat. New formula, with the one of a good, pretty crazy eccentric intruder in the life of two children Johnny and Sally left all alone at home by their mother and in grade to bring into their life a sparkle of magic with its imagination: the cat element of disturb when the conservative, worried fish would have wanted that the children wisely would have sent the cat to hell, also for obvious reasons of safety eheheh.

The book is composed with rhymes so that children can also enjoy reading, appreciating rhymes and the magic brought by the Cat. But look at the sequel for experiencing maybe the best of the best with the return of the cat and a lot of tricks for sorting out a problem created by him.

The Cat is the metaphor of Imagination to me, the Cat is that unexpressed desires of children that take shape under the semblance of a cat and in grade not only to present a lot of fun and magic, with some extraordinary adventures but opening to them a world of possibilities.

Dr.Seuss created not only intelligent characters but characters in grade of helping children to develop imagination while they are learning.

The most famous long book written by Dr.Seuss is How the Grinch Stole Christmas! although every book by Dr.Seuss is a masterpiece of creativity and good humor and you are more than welcome to buying them for you :-) and your children.

After a traumatic episode in his life he also developed passion for adult literature. Dead in 1991, generations of children grew up and are growing up with his books.

I thank Oxford University Press for the physical copy of this extraordinary biography!


Anna Maria Polidori



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