On the Periphery

Things change. Life throws us curves and changeups. It's good to have a place to vent.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A new biography of Charles Schulz suggests that all of the angst-driven philosophy of the Peanuts characters was drawn from Schulz’s own self-tormented life.

Well, duh.

Any literature (and Peanuts is great literature) is in fact drawn from the author’s own life—the doubts and insecurities and hopes and dreams of the writer flow through the pen, adapting to fit the characters and the story, but rooted nonetheless in the writer’s own reality. The fact that perhaps Charles Schulz was not the kind, moral, cheerful person he presented, that he was tormented by his own (real or imagined) demons, matters not. What counts is that he could channel that inner turmoil to a higher level, projecting that humanity through his characters, profoundly touching and affecting others.

That is what writing is all about—the need to express and connect, to tell a story that touches another person, to create a feeling of “yeah, I feel it, I’ve been there.” Good writing transcends time and space to communicate human emotions, to connect our lives with others. This connection is the real string theory, the meaning behind all life, the knowledge that we are not alone in our own personal darkness. It makes the universe a little less vast, our own lives a little less puny.

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