Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Austrian Deer

The imaginative fellow above is one Felix Salten, born this day, 1869 as Siegmund Salzmann, in Budapest, Hungary. So there you go two days in a row my hero has been an author born in Budapest, though Salter is considered Austrian, and Koestler was considered Hungarian. Maybe I should hie myself off to Budapest, and see what it is about the city that inspires so many people to become "writers." Maybe there is a lack of employment in more gainful, industrious fields? Not that I would want to be gainfully, industriously employed in Budapest, or anywhere else for that matter. Salten is best known for being the fellow that wrote Bambi, the tale of the little deer, and his buddy Thumper that we all get to watch a hundred thousand times as a child, and then again if or when we have children. Seems he came up with the idea of Bambi while vacationing in the Italian Alps, and used the shortened version of bambino (Italian for little boy) as his deer's name. There is no mention if Babe Ruth was ever offended by this. Bambi became an instant hit, and a Book of the Month Club staple. Cashing in on his fame, he sold the film rights for one thousand dollars to some douche bag who then sold them to that bastard Walt Disney. Not sure how much a thousand dollars would be considered in 1933 money, but it seems a bit low, but I guess that is how Disney became so rich. Salten's other famous work was published anomously in 1906, and has taken scholars years to sort out who actually wrote it. The general consensus is that Salten is the author of the work Josephine Mutzenbacher-The Life Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself. It deals with the memiors of a courtsean in Vienna, and only deals with her life from the ages of 5 to 12, ending when she is 12, and about to enter the world's oldest profession. For the time period, it is pretty blatantly pornographic. Not sure of the numbers on Bambi, but Josephine, has been in print for over a hundred years, and has sold over 3 million copies. So, I guess if you were to get the Collected Works of Salten, you could have Bambi, the lovely child's tale on the shelf right next to Josephine Mutzenbacher, the lovely story about a child's tail. Josephine Mutzenbacher was written much eariler, and perhaps it was Salten's way of putting food on the table. I mean we have all "made some films we aren't proud of in college" to just make ends meet right? It even became the subject of a famous court case/ruling on whether it should be banned from being read by youths of a certain age. Ah, the good old days when you had to actually read porn, rather than just turning on your computer, and being bombarded by it. So, for showing us that a man can write a good children story, and still be a randy bastard that writes porn on the side, Felix Salten (September 6th,1869- October 8th, 1945 in Zurich), you are my hero of the day.

No comments: