Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Seee* (for See, Seen*, Seem*, Sweet*, etc.)

In the 1956 cinematic psycho-thriller The Bad Seed, the eponymous pigtailed and sweet-looking "Rhoda" (a name that may never again sound the same to you after hearing it repeatedly moaned by the youngster's anguished mother) is probably better seen but not heard; in any event, she's most definitely not what she seems. Neither, perhaps, was William March, who wrote the 1954 novel upon which the Maxwell Anderson play and Mervyn LeRoy movie were based. All three were critical and popular successes, but March dismissed the book he had penned as mere pulp and passed away a month after it was published. Alistair Cook asserted that March was "the most underrated of all contemporary American writers of fiction" and claimed he was "the unrecognized genius of our time." We found 19 cases of Seee* in the OhioLINK database today. Let's see if we can find any "bad seeds" in our own catalogs and nip them in the bud as soon as possible.

(William March, official Marine photograph, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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