Friday, October 22, 2010

Lost Dr. Seuss Book & Author-Inspired Sandwiches

1. An incomplete and previously unknown Dr. Seuss manuscript is up for auction.

All Sorts of Sports would have followed the exploits of fickle athlete, Pete, had it not lost Seuss’s interest.

“What, in my opinion, is wrong with this story is that ... despite the greatness of Pete as a stellar athlete hero ... the negative image of him flubbing and unable to catch any ball at all will make him a schnook,” Geisel wrote in a note to his former employee who has put the unfinished manuscript up for bid. “This is not entirely apparent in the text, but when you picture these negative scenes in illustrations, you will find that negatives are always more memorable than positives. And I think the reader’s reaction will be, ‘What’s the matter with this dope?’”

The pages also include rudimentary Seussian scribbles, which are valuable in themselves.

What I find interesting about All Sorts of Sports is what it reveals about Seuss’s creative process. He seems to establish meter before writing his poetry, forcing his words to fit the rhythm. In Sports, he uses “blumf” as a placeholder for as-yet unwritten words.

2. The New Yorker had some Twitter fun with #literarysandwiches.

Some suggestions — The Dave Eggers: a broken, runny egg on staggeringly thick bread; served with a guide to its enjoyment.

The Animal Farm: supposed to include a variety of meats in equal parts; in practice, though, mostly ham.

The Nora Roberts: all cheese.

The Beckett: The sandwich you order and then wait for. And wait for. And wait for.
The Leopold Bloom: the inner organs of beasts and fowls, with relish.

The Catcher in the Rye: meatloaf and ketchup on rye bread.

The Mary Shelley: leftover bits from other sandwiches stitched together.

3. Finally, a judge has refused to dismiss a plagiarism suit against J.K. Rowling. (You remember this chestnut, right? The suit accuses Rowling of stealing from Willy the Wizard.)

However, this doesn’t mean the plaintiffs have a strong case. The judge said their chances of success were “improbable.” But it does mean there will be a proper hearing.

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