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17th September 2008 Charles J. Brown
08:45 pm

Mostly Harmful


I read somewhere that during the life of Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, he refused to allow his characters to be licensed for commercial use, and turned down numerous requests to turn some of his books into musicals, movies, or television shows.  Those he did allow — most famously “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” — had to receive his approval at every stage of the process.

If you want to know why Geisel was so careful, just say the following words:  Mike Meyers is. . .The Cat in the Hat!”  It’s enough to make a grown man weep for humanity.  At some point after Geisel died, his widow ignored his wishes and started cashing in bigtime and selling his creations to well, anybody with the money.  The end result has been a pile of some of the most disgusting crimes against celluois that anyone could have imagined.

Today, another surviving spouse sold out:

Douglas Adams wrote his fifth and final Hitchhiker’s book, Mostly Harmless, 16 years ago. He died of heart failure in 2001 aged 49.  Now his widow, Jane Belson, has approved a plan by publisher Penguin to resurrect the hapless Arthur Dent in a sixth book, entitled And Another Thing…

The novel will be written by Eoin Colfer, best known for Artemis Fowl, about a teenage criminal mastermind. The series has sold more than 18 million copies. . . .  He said he was “terrified” by the prospect of creating a new Hitchhiker book almost a quarter of a century after being introduced to what he described as a “slice of satirical genius” in his late teens.  He said: “I feel more pressure to perform now than I ever have with my own books, and that is why I am bloody determined that this will be the best thing I have ever written.”

“Being given the chance to write this book is like suddenly being offered the superpower of your choice.”  Adams’s widow Belson said she was “delighted” that Colfer had agreed to the project.

I’m trying to think of the right epithet for Ms. Belson.  Perhaps the most appropriate would be Vogon Poet.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 at 8:45 pm and is filed under globalization, pop culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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