Dr. Seuss and the British

The lord of misrule
By Nicola Shulman
The British response to Dr Seuss has not, so far, been suitable reading for Ms Dimond-Cates. It may be that we have an embarrassment of excellent children’s writers of our own, whom we may take seriously instead, if we are so inclined; or it may be another aspect of our defensive hostility to a younger, ascendant culture. At any rate, the reviewer for Junior Bookshelf in 1963 thought Dr Seuss ‘often tiresome and sometimes vulgar… Compared with Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll he seems madly common, slick, unmemorable.’
Critics prospecting for artistic antecedents have, naturally, cited the impossible perspectives of Escher and the melting hardware of the surrealist movement. It is certainly true that the nearest things in creation to Dr Seuss’s krazy-golf Whoville are the concrete sculptures put up in the Mexican jungle by the Englishman Edward James, much under the influence of surrealism himself. But if I had to ascribe Seuss’s work to a school – pseud’s corner notwithstanding – I should choose one from literature, not painting: nonsense. Seuss may be the first nonsense painter.
Telegraph | 18 March 2004

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