Oct 25, 2008

Master of the minor-league emotions

'Newspaper cartoons may have never seen anything like it, but those dying falls contained uncanny echoes of the humdrum rhythm with which most of us live our lives. No rage, no tears, no self-pity, no punchline - just silent endurance of the slights and insults that Charlie Brown picks up in the course of a day, like moss. “I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel,” he confided, his silent fortitude indicated simply by a couple of parentheses on either side of his eyes, like a frown that had slipped. What Schulz did feels almost as revolutionary in its way as the invention of the close-up in cinema, since it allowed him fine-grained focus on all the minor-league emotions - chagrin, disappointment, melancholy, longing - that don't normally make it to the front of the class. Only Lucy lets rip, with screams that required a B5 pen - “AAAARRGHG!” - and a B3 for “maximum screams”' — from my review of Schulz & Peanuts: a Biography by David Michaelis in The Sunday Times

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