Anodyne
Friday, October 12, 2007
 

The Grief That Made 'Peanuts' Good

Must-read Bill Watterson review of the new Schulz biography, and an uncannily accurate description of many thoughts and feelings endlessly circling in my head.

"Born in 1922, Schulz always held his parents in high regard, but they were emotionally remote and strangely inattentive to their only child. Schulz was shy and alienated during his school years, retreating from nearly every opportunity to reveal himself or his gifts. Teachers and students consequently ignored him, and Schulz nursed a lifelong grudge that so few attempted to draw him out or recognized his talent. His mother was bedridden with cancer during his high-school years, and she died long before he could prove himself to her -- a source of endless regret and longing for him. As a young adult, he disguised his hurt and anger with a mild, deflecting demeanor that also masked his great ambition and drive.

Once he finally achieved his childhood dream of drawing a comic strip, however, he was able to expose and confront his inner torments through his creative work, making insecurity, failure and rejection the central themes of his humor. Knowing that his miseries fueled his work, he resisted help or change, apparently preferring professional success over personal happiness. Desperately lonely and sad throughout his life, he saw himself as 'a nothing,' yet he was also convinced that his artistic ability made him special. An odd combination of prickly pride and utter self-abnegation characterizes many of his public comments."

And, more to the point:

"Lucy, for all her domineering and insensitivity, is ultimately a tragic, vulnerable figure in her pursuit of Schroeder. Schroeder's commitment to Beethoven makes her love irrelevant to his life. Schroeder is oblivious not only to her attentions but also to the fact that his musical genius is performed on a child's toy (not unlike a serious artist drawing a comic strip). Schroeder's fanaticism is ludicrous, and Lucy's love is wasted. Schulz illustrates the conflict in his life, not in a self-justifying or vengeful manner but with a larger human understanding that implicates himself in the sad comedy."
Thursday, October 11, 2007
 
Paxillus involutus, poison pax, gathered off a Mount Pleasant lawn en route to the bank
 

Peg, Art Crimes '96

Bad Sneakers
, Lucca 2007

West of Hollywood, '00

Look in these eyes
Can't you see the core is frozen?
You can't ask me to access the dreams I don't have now...

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