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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Tom Strong

I like Updike's comment about books having edges. That's a writerly touch.

But he's on the losing side of this battle. The media economy is still largely built on the model of the printing press, but it continues to change very rapidly. Kelly is right that copies, being impossibly abundant, are quickly losing their value, and that process will continue no matter what copyright interest groups do to stem the tide.

What concerns me is the opposite tide - how big companies are now copyrighting sections of plant and animal and human genetic code. At a time when our media is becoming open-source, our DNA is getting trademarked. That's a very disturbing countertrend, and it could go all sorts of bad and interesting places.


I saw him on Book TV. It's kind of silly, just like any old codger trying to hold back progress.
I love books, but we're going beyond that. Reading books is solitary and non-interactive, and of course you can't search the text.
I'm sure when books and newspapaers first became popular, old-timers mourned the days of story-telling and gossip.
Every new technology involves both gains and losses -- haven't we all noticed that by now?


Tom -- you're very right. Copyrighting stretches of DNA seems profoundly unethical, to me. But then, the Indians said that the white man's notion of "owning land" was to them like owning the sky.


Actually, for the 30% or so of the population who are introverts, the fact that a book is solitary is part of its attraction. If you have your nose buried in a book, nobody is surprised if you don't pay any attention to what is going on around you. Unhappy, perhaps even offended, but not surprised.

I suppose that there are some similarities to people who are chatting on their cell phones on all occasions. But at least reading a book does not forcibly intrude on everyone in earshot.

Sissy Willis

I love this post. But as for Updike's evocative "elemental sheaf, bound together by love and daring, to be passed with excitement from hand to hand," just change a couple of words, and you're talking blogs:

An elemental series of posts, bound together by love and daring, to be linked with excitement from screen to screen.



Sissy Willis

LOVE you, gal.

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