“Adults are obsolete children, and the hell with them.” Dr Seuss
Dr Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904 and would have celebrated another birthday yesterday. Happy Belated Birthday! He wrote under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and Rosetta Stone (for one book) and was a writer, poet, and cartoonist. His children’s books put him on the map and in our collective memories for life; his impact crossed generations of readers. I grew up reading Dr Seuss’ hysterically funny, brilliant, and whimsical books that were written for children but truly for all ages…
When I had children of my own, I bought his book collections for them and we read those rhyming, nonsensical, absolutely outlandish but incredibly entertaining books together. The Sneetches, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Green Eggs and Ham, and Cat in the Hat were some of my favorites. Another book, The Lorax, was made into a movie and deputed across the US on March 2nd. Dr Seuss wrote 46 children’s books (over 60 books if we include those he wrote as Theo LeSieg and one as Rosetta Stone) and it’s apropos that his birthday was adopted as the official date for National Read Across America Day. However, what caught my attention when I went looking for information on his life was his short lived attempt at writing for adults.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss
From what I gathered, Dr Seuss had phenomenal success with his children’s books; over 222 million copies sold and translated in 15 languages. He tried his hand at adult literature and wrote three adult books: The Seven Lady Godivas (1939; reprinted 1987); about 7 naked sisters sharing their stories on their search for “horse truths,” You’re Only Old Once! (1986; Geisel was 82); about an elderly man’s visit to the Golden Years Clinic and his experiences there, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (January 22, 1990); about the journey of life and its challenges, including a stop at The Waiting Place where people are always waiting for something to happen. That book had the famous line “Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed. (98¾% guaranteed.).” Oh, the Places You’ll Go! was Dr Seuss last book and the most popular of the three. Of the three, The Seven Lady Godivas is definitely adult humor and titillating… The other two, like all his books, offer wonderful insights and wisdom on life and aging… Which ones have you read? More below.