Dr Seuss on Nonsense
Summer is a time rife for nonsense, and who better to remind us of its value and beauty than the master of nonsense himself—Dr Seuss. As we share some green eggs and ham with our children, or remind them about the importance of protecting our planet through the story of Lorax, we should remember that we could learn so much from their endless imagination and ways of "looking at life through the wrong end of the telescope.”
Born Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr Seuss first wrote under the penname “Seuss” in 1925, while still an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College. Writing and drawing cartoons for Dartmouth’s humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern, Seuss was forced to hide his identity somewhat after he lost his extracurricular privileges. Though Seuss would never go on to complete his doctorate, he would soon become the beloved Dr Seuss for children and adults alike, creating wonderful, memorable works such as The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and more. In 1955—30 years after inspiring the now-iconic moniker—Dartmouth awarded the famed author an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, and Dr. Seuss joked that he would now have to sign “Dr Dr Seuss.”
Later in life, Seuss revealed that it was at Dartmouth that he “discovered the excitement of ‘marrying’ words to pictures.” He said, “I began to get it through my skull that words and pictures were Yin and Yang. I began thinking that words and pictures, married, might possibly produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.” When we were young, we often drew the most fantastical, wonderful images—people and animals distorted through a kaleidoscope that only made sense to us. Now, imagine how amazing it’d be if we added words to those pictures.