The cat in the borsalino hat

“You could kill him on the train,
You could kill him on a plane.
You could kill him here or there,
You could kill him anywhere!”

Sorry. It’s impossible not to think in these terms when you’re dealing with this recent revelation:

It seems that Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel) and seminal mystery author Raymond Chandler were friends and drinking buddies when both authors lived in La Jolla, California.

One can’t help but wonder what they talked about or, really, what they drank. (Scotch for Chandler. Ooblek for Seuss?) Did they share stories about agents? Editors? Sequels? Or how about their respective concerns around plot and deadlines and story pacing? Did Chandler sometimes say stuff like, “You know, Doc, I really love that elephant character, Horton. But you had him sitting on a whateveritwas for that whole damned book. Readers are fickle, they get bored. You gotta shake things up. See, it’s like this: next time out, let Horton pack some heat. That oughta spice things up. You need the danger; the uncertainty. And see if you can’t weave a rhyme around ‘gams’.”

On the flipside, of course, there’s the possibility that Seuss offered up some tips for Chandler: telling him how he could brighten up his stark prose with the addition of a few carefully chosen rhymes.

Bartholomew Cubbins knew all this, of course, but he kept it under his hat.

(Via Bill Peschel.)





1 comment

  1. triticale »

    2 March 2007 · 7:31 pm

    A.A. Milne wrote a murder mystery (typical British house party one of the era) and the publisher of his children’s books told him not to do it again because it would destroy his market image.

    Seuss started out doing political cartoons and advertising illustration, and shifted into doing children’s books. His adult work can be found in an anthology with the very pronounceable title The Tough Coughs as he Ploughs the Dough. After which he probably rode away on a Brough motercycle like T.E. Lawrence rode.

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