Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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« James Hillman Sampler III | Main | "Painless Civilization" »


Richard Lawrence Cohen

Excellent stuff. I doubt if I can agree fully with him about the benign nature of family attachment, but this Hillman fellow sure writes well, and gives us much to think about. "The measure of a family's magnanimity is not what it gives to charity but rather its capacity to shelter the shadows of its members." If only more families lived up to that! I think Hillman is presenting an ideal to aspire to, rather than a reality to recognize.

Richard Lawrence Cohen

And as long as I'm spurring you on, when are we going to get to read that Mutant Elite essay you've been dangling in front of us?


Since Hillman describes how we resist regression even as we succumb to it, I don't think he means to idealize families or minimize their pathology. I think he means to shift the way we see their pathology, not as something fixable that ought to be fixed, but as part of the gargoyle procession of our humanity. The acceptance he speaks of is not a benign emotional attitude, it's the helpless way we endure and continue to be drawn to our family miseries.

Thanks for reminding me about the Mutant Elite. I need to make sure I still have permission to post it, and then I will.

Simon Kenton

Voltaire may have said it, but he was quoting Terence: Homo sum; humani nil a me alienum puto.


What would Hillman say about someone who left home at 18, traveled the country, moved from state to state to state to state to state, and then - in her early 30s - returned home to buy the house she grew up in? ... Well adjusted? Or out of her mind?

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