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January 10, 2008 |
Post to the Host:
I always thought you were exaggerating about the character traits of Lake Wobegonians...until I read the book Schultz
, about the creator of Peanuts
. This Minnesota native was straight out of Lake Wobegon; a tortured soul who never felt himself worthy. And for years we read the comic strip unaware of the details of his life, all his insecurities and perceived failures. You weren't exaggerating after all.
It was a good book, wasn't it? I thought so, too. Schultz
by David Michaelis (Harper) extensively researched, elegantly written. Here in St. Paul we take a wan proprietary interest in Charles Schulz since he grew up here and we think of him when we drive by Snelling & Marshall where he lived as a boy and where his dad, who loved the comic strips, had a barber shop. Minnesota can claim some credit for creating the misery that inspired Schulz to create his alter ego Charlie Brown and endure the torments of Lucy and the taunts of Linus and his unrequited love of the little red-haired girl. I read the Michaelis biography and I didn't feel there was anything so unusual about Mr. Schultz's life at all, other than his extraordinary work ethic and his fabulous success so what you refer to as a "tortured soul" seemed to me to be a perfectly nice guy who did his best and enjoyed his life. Which I guess shows you what a Minnesotan I am.