Thursday, September 3, 2020

Dr. Seuss: A First Edition of The Lorax

Today Tom Bloom provides us with a scan of a first edition of The Lorax (1971), Dr. Seuss's influential children's book warning of the dangers of plundering our environment. The Lorax, as Tom likes to remind me, holds pride of place up in the header of this blog, a quotation from the book filling the space where a blog description is meant to go.

The Seuss quotation is, I think, a delightful but ultimately imperfect choice on my part. It is intended by the good Dr. Seuss to be a criticism of unbridled commercialism. In the context of this blog, though, any contemplation of the market's supposed excesses is necessarily tempered by a certain wonderment with the many unique items out there. To wit:

The Lorax (1971)
Dr. Seuss

Scan by Tom Bloom

I do have a runner-up quotation in reserve. It is for use in the unlikely event that I'm ever willing to part with the Lorax. It's the "Happy Thought" by Robert Louis Stevenson, verse XXIV from A Child's Garden of Verses.

  "The world is so full of a number of things,
  I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."

This is such a positive ideal, but I'm afraid in the context of this blog it could be perceived as too materialistic. Stevenson's "things" I take to be much broader than the physical objects in any of my blog posts; he is asking us to seek happiness in all the world's wonders and not just, say, in first editions.

Note:  My thanks to Tom Bloom for the scan, which makes me happy as a king. Tom just helped out in identifying one of the New Yorker Profiles illustrators in my post on Hendrik Willem van Loon, so by my reckoning we are now at his thirteenth contribution to this blog.

Here's how the quotation that appears above all my posts appears in the book:

Surprisingly, my adopted quotation actually does not occur in the animated television special that served as my own first encounter with the Lorax. It has been rewritten (by Dr. Seuss himself, I believe). You may view it at 6:13 in the video. "The birth of an industry! You poor stupid guy: You telling me what the public will buy?" That variant, alas, will never appear in my header.
"The Lorax" (1972)

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Dr. Seuss

Robert Louis Stevenson

Tom Bloom

Attempted Bloggery's Index Speaks for the Trees


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