Back Watch: “You’re weird, sir” — or, Peanuts and the politics of personal identity

The Peanuts cognoscenti turned out in New York City last month at a launch event for Library of America’s new anthology The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life. Contributors Adam Gopnik and Mona Simpson joined the book’s editor, Andrew Blauner, for a panel discussion at the Strand Bookstore that featured thoughtful questions from the audience in the subsequent Q & A.

One audience member’s question about Marcie—Peppermint Patty’s “aide-de-camp,” as Gopnik refers to her—prompted the panelists to speculate about Schulz’s conscious intentions with the characters, and how his gift of imaginative sympathy allows so many people to see themselves reflected in the Peanuts universe. Watch:

Video: Andrew Blauner, Adam Gopnik, and Mona Simpson at the Strand Bookstore, Oct. 23, 2019 (3:08)

As Blauner notes, the Peppermint Patty–Marcie dynamic is explored in Jennifer Finley Boylan’s Peanuts Papers essay, in which she notes the prevalence of unrequited love among Schulz’s characters. Boylan’s essay is available on the New Yorker website.

The complete Strand Bookstore event is available to watch here.

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