Theodor Suess Geisel would have been 108 today. Yes. The classicist–because that’s what he is, and nothing less–was born in 1904. His life span was quite impressive–he enjoyed 87 years, passing away in 1991, leaving behind an untouchable literary legacy.
He had 46 children’s books published…who can imagine how many more there were that never saw the light of day, or escaped beyond his innermost circle? He was also and illustrator and cartoonist and even did some technical and documentary writing. The 1947 Oscar winner for Best Documentary Feature was entitled, Design for Death–it was written by Theodor Geisel.
Few have captured the imaginations of children, and offered new insight and perspective to adults. His varied stories touch on everything from conservation to relentless pursuit, effort and of course, forgiveness and understanding. The most well known stories of Dr. Suess are classics, but I would argue that some of the “lesser known” books and stories are some of his best work. And there you have it. The completely objectively subjective world of literature.
His life was also steeped in darkness and controversy. Enough controversy that had Geisel lived and written in the age of information, there are several of you who would probably opt out of supporting his writing habit. But that’s life. It gets messy at times. And nobody could write the messes like Dr. Suess.
My favorites? On Beyond Zebra and Yertle the Turtle.