The name Dr. Seuss needs no introduction. Famous for his children’s novels that blended his brilliant rhyming schemes with illogical logic, nonsense words, and surrealist worlds into popular works such as The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and The Lorax. Still, there was more to Dr. Seuss than just these works, despite being his most famous creations. He was also a renowned illustrator, creating artwork for magazines, political cartoons, and most interestingly of all, himself.
As discussed in this article by The Guardian, Seuss illustrated hundreds of surreal artworks in the late hours of the night, painting for himself. These paintings were kept private until Seuss’s death, after which they were released to the public in an exhibition in Vancouver in 2016, dubbed The Art of Dr. Seuss and Liss Gallery. As discussed in this article by The Star, Seuss historians believe Dr. Seuss created these artworks to fulfill his imagination, his unshackled creativity inspiring him to put his best work forward for his actual public artwork. The gallery showcased sculptures, paintings, and illustrations released by his Estate, showcasing the private mind of Dr. Seuss.
Below are some of the ‘Midnight Paintings’, allowing us a glimpse into the mind of the author whose works we grew up with.
The paintings were collected into a book called The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss. Featuring sixty-five color illustrations, the book allows one to see Dr. Seuss in a whole new light. Pick up a copy today and bask for yourself in the beautiful illustrations of Dr. Seuss’s private world.
I’ll go out on a thin limb here and say we are all familiar with John Lennon. If you don’t know him from his star-making career as one of the core members of The Beatles— most of whose songs were written by the Lennon-McCartney (as in Paul McCartney) songwriting duo— you might know him from his stellar post-Beatles career, or from his work with his partner, Yoko Ono. However, there is another creative medium in John Lennon’s repertoire that has not received quite as much attention as his music.
Image Via Gifer
In honor of what would have been Lennon’s 78th birthday, we here at Bookstr would like to draw some attention to his less-regarded creative output: his writing— not songwriting, but creative writing, in the form of his books, In His Own Write, A Spaniard in the Works, and Skywriting by Word of Mouth.
In His Own Write was Lennon’s first book, published in 1964 by Simon & Schuster. The book is made up of short stories and Lennon’s drawings. It is written in a nonsensical style that is characterized by intentional misspellings, surrealism, free association, and abrupt shifts in thought. The book also happened to be the first solo project by any of The Beatles.
Image Via 13th Dimension
An example of the book’s unique style can be found in the “About the Author” page:
About The Awful
I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madolf Heatlump (who only had one). Anyway they didn’t get me. I attended to varicous schools in Liddypol. And still didn’t pass — much to my Aunties supplies. As a member of the most publified Beatles my (P, G, and R’s) records might seem funnier to some of you than this book, but as far as I’m conceived this correction of short writty is the most wonderfoul larf I’ve every ready.
God help and breed you all.
A Spaniard in the Works was Lennon’s second book, published only a year after In His Own Write. The style is very similar to In His Own Write, featuring the same intentional misspellings, short stories accompanied by drawings, and absurdism.
Image Via The Hand of Count Petofi
The book’s table of contents offers a clue as to what you can expect from a read-through of it:
A Spaniard in the Works
The Fat Budgie
Snore Wife and some Several Dwarts
The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield
The Faulty Bagnose
We must not forget the General Erection
The Wumberlog (or The Magic Dog)
The National Health Cow
Mr. Boris Morris
Last Will and Testicle
I Believe, Boot . . .
This was Lennon’s final book, posthumously published in 1986, a whole twenty-one years after his last book, and six years after his death. This book is rather different from his others; for one thing, it abides by typical spelling convention. The book is also a sort of autobiography, rather than a collection of surrealist stories.
Image Via Beatles Blog
Written in its author’s much-imitated, never-duplicated voice, populated with his own illustrations, full of the wit and honesty that helped make him one of the most iconic, polarizing figures of the 20th Century, Skywriting by Word of Mouth is the lost and recovered, posthumously published autobiography of John Lennon.
Image Via The Hand of Count Petofi
Featured Image Via Billboard, Saleroom, AbeBooks, and Ultimate Classic Rock. Excerpts and Synopses Via Amazon