While at this place, pardon the stepping aside for a while to touch on what I have learned about so-cat led "funny magazines."
"They sell like hot cakes", a proverbial saying for something that sells itself an.d needs no sales talk. Dates of publication matters not, cost is immaterial! used and crumpled issues sell iri quantities at half price. The buyers are mainly children, but, many high school boys and girls, even grownups buy them regularly. Especially, mothers buy them by the dozen, ray twenty at a time. By selling these funny books in used condition, trading them thcee for one, this bookman. covers with this single item his store's rental. Several times 1 have heard children say among themselves: "I read this one, bur I think I'd like to read it again."
Extremes are nearly equal. When one iaughes too much tears get in his eyes; in extreme cases, he actually weeps. When too angry and mad at something, he begins suddenly to laugh heartily for no apparent reason.
When we compare classics to funny magazines, we find them to be near-relations.
1. Both kinds are re-read;
2. Seldom are they thrown away.
3. They have a resale value in case somebody wants to dispose of them.
Why this seemingly strange relationship? The answer is: The construction of both types is on the simplest and crudest basis, even though you may not agree with me on this. You assume classics are the most difficult works anyone could ever want to read, because when you are through reading thenr, you know as much or as little as when you started, having retained nothing for practical use. Plenty was said, but nothing penetrated. Isn't it the same when you read one of the funny magazines? You like them, you look at the pictures, you read what is said underneath, you laugh and read them aloud to others.
Once diseased, hard to cure! There was a time, many years ago, when in New York, I also was standing in line each evening at 9 P.M. sharp,' with some thirty others waiting for the "News" truck to come and unload its "precious ware.'' The attraction or magnet was the funny strip of "Orphan Annie' . Without knowing what happened to Annie I just couldn't do a stitch of work. Only after that was known the regular research work on much different subjects was resumed.
Why are comic scrips or funny magazines so much read? They covet everyday occurrences, put into fantastic, impossible patterns.
However, why the Masters' Works ate so much read is not quite as easy to explain, especially when we start to think from a normal point of view.
To get closer to this question and to the eventual solution of this puzzle, let us look back for a moment to what was alluded to above: The Masters' Works are "cacchy". Once started, you like to read thenr, but you don't know why. You seem to understand the words while you read, yes, a whole sentence, even two. But as you go further, you usually have to refer back to what happened a few lines back, because that thought just had escaped. And, if you don't read back, you gradually find yourself in such a maze chat you don't know whether you are coming or going, finally laying the book away in disgust, only to pick it up at some later date with a lot of courage deciding to finish it this time, but as a rule, not progressing any further than the first few pages.
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