Sunday, March 22, 2009

Elephants Approach

Early word on the street (or, you know, on the internet) is that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' annual Elephant Walk will take place early Tuesday morning, March 24, though most people would probably prefer to think of it as late Monday night, March 23. I've tried confirming this date, but every mention of Elephant Walk cites the same link I've cited above. I'm still waiting for another independent source, even as I pencil this event directly on to my google calender tab. I'll keep you updated on any updates or time/place confirmations as I learn of them.

In the meantime, I recommend to you an excellent piece by Adam Gopnik, in the 22 Sept. 2008 The New Yorker, on the meaning of Babar the Elephant:

Yet those who would burn “Babar” miss the true subject of the books. The de Brunhoffs’ saga is not an unconscious expression of the French colonial imagination; it is a self-conscious comedy about the French colonial imagination and its close relation to the French domestic imagination. The gist of the classic early books of the nineteen-thirties—“The Story of Babar” and “Babar the King,” particularly—is explicit and intelligent: the lure of the city, of civilization, of style and order and bourgeois living is real, for elephants as for humans. The costs of those things are real, too, in the perpetual care, the sobriety of effort, they demand. The happy effect that Babar has on us, and our imaginations, comes from this knowledge—from the child’s strong sense that, while it is a very good thing to be an elephant, still, the life of an elephant is dangerous, wild, and painful. It is therefore a safer thing to be an elephant in a house near a park.
Also worthwhile is the magazine's slideshow of original art by Jean de Brunhoff, author of the first books of the series.

1 comment:

JoSF said...

I am sooo upset that I'm missing this again. Can we make sure that we make it out for tartan day?