Thursday, January 15, 2009

Charles Schulz, classical music lover

Who knew Charles Schulz was such a Beethoven fan?

According to this New York Times report, the St. Paul native worked dozens of Beethoven quotations into his popular Peanuts comic strip in the 50 years he drew it.

From the article:
“If you don’t read music and you can’t identify the music in the strips, then you lose out on some of the meaning,” said William Meredith, the director of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San Jose State University, who has studied hundreds of Beethoven-themed “Peanuts” strips.


“The music is a character in the strip as much as the people are, because the music sets the tone,” Mr. Meredith said. To understand what gave Schroeder chills, he said, you have to listen to the musical passage. “When you actually hear the symphony, the whole thing feels completely different.”

Growing up, I dismissed Peanuts in favor of other comics, but this makes me wonder what references lie buried in other pop culture staples. Who knows? Maybe Simon Cowell is hiding Nabokov quotations in his belittling remarks. Probably not, but stranger things have happened.

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