`There's something funny about unrequited love'

 

Unpredictable, hopeful, neurotic and nervous, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy and the gang took their behavioural cues from Charlie Brown, whose brave squiggle smile always was just a shade short of confident.

"I suppose I've always felt that way: apprehensive, anxious, that sort of thing," Schulz said.

He also once wrote: "I don't know why there is so much unrequited love in my strip. I seem to be fascinated by unrequited love, if not obsessed by it . . . There's something funny about unrequited love."

Unlike some recent merchandising phenomena, Peanuts never got lost under the mountain of money it made. Instead, Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy all have struggled on with their lives, stumped by problems, betrayals or simply by the ordeal of slogging through another school day.

"The poetry of these children is born from the fact that we find in them all the sufferings of adults," novelist Umberto Eco wrote, calling Charlie Brown and his pals "monstrous infantile reductions of all the neuroses of a modern citizen".