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Posts Tagged ‘Theodor Geisel

Let me tell you a tale…

 

This map, by social realist artist William Gropper, was created to showcase the diversity of national myths and folk stories and was distributed abroad through the U.S. Department of State starting in 1946…

Gropper, born in New York City’s Lower East Side to a working-class family, deeply identified with labor movements and the Left throughout his life. He worked as a cartoonist for mainstream publications New York Tribune and Vanity Fair, as well as the leftist and radical newspapers Rebel Worker, New Masses, and Daily Worker. During the Depression, like many other out-of-work artists, Gropper designed murals for the Works Progress Administration.

The “folklore” on display in this richly illustrated map is a soup of history, music, myth, and literature. Frankie and Johnny are cheek-by-jowl with a wild-eyed John Brown; General Custer coexists with “Git Along Little Dogies.” Utah is simply host to a group of “Mormons,” in which a bearded man holds up stigmata-marked hands to a small group of wives and children, while a figure labeled “New England Witches” flies over New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont…

Click here (and again) to see the map in much larger format (or find it at the Library of Congress); read the full story at Vault.

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As we revel in regional differences, we might recall that it was on this date in 1938 that Theodor Geisel– Dr. Seuss– published The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.  Geisel had published And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street the prior year; 500 Hats was his second children’s book and the first of three (it was followed by The King’s Stilts and The Seven Lady Godivas in 1939), all of which were, atypically for him, in prose.  He returned to the rhyming form for which he’s known with his fifth book, Horton Hatches the Egg.

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Written by LW

September 1, 2013 at 1:01 am

The internship of Dr. Seuss…

Readers will know that Theodor Seuss Geisel, AKA “Dr. Seuss,” worked in other forms than the books for which he was most famous– readers will remember his (in both senses of the word) fabulous The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, and pre-blog readers will recall his work as an editorial cartoonist during World War II.

But readers may be surprised, as your correspondent was, to learn that, two years before he published his first book, And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street!, Dr. Seuss authored a comic strip:

Hejji, which ran for under a year in 1935, told the story of a traveler who found himself in the strange land of Baako, a mountaintop country that’s equal parts Tibet, the Middle East, and Whoville…  Heijji’s adventures prefigure several of the good Dr.’s classics-to-come– and delight in their own right.  Explore them further in Chris Sim’s lovely tribute at ComicsAlliance.

As we rethink our position on green eggs and ham, we might recall that it was on this date in 1978 that California voters approved Proposition 13, rolling back property taxes to 1975 levels and capping increases to a 2% inflation factor.  Since then California public schools, which had been ranked among the nation’s best, have declined to 48th (in surveys of student achievement).

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