Pitzmaroon: or The Magic Hammer

Pitzmaroon: or The Magic Hammer

by Charles A Beach


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Pitzmaroon has some very interesting illustrations, but...

Childrens' books from the 19th century can be something of a puzzle in the 21st. Sensibilities have changed. Virtue in Pitzmaroon is rather loosely defined, rewards lavished regardless of right. It would seem that the only behaviors considered vices are kidnap, cannibalism, cheating at games and overcharging.

Offhand racism and mindless violence, though still very much a part of our society, are not, so we wish to believe today, appropriate material for consumption by a child. How racist is Pitzmaroon? The hero offhandedly beheads a Jew and a Negro. How violent? The illustrations depict the two beheadings, a lobotomy and a hanging, and the illustrations merely scratch the surface. You would think that amongst all the violence a racist incident or two might not be all that noticeable. But it is, like a thumb in your eye.

In the story, Pitzmaroon's ethics are not in question. But if you met the man you might not be impressed by his "virtue." Should our hero kill a Jew taylor because he overcharges? Should he win by cheating a cheater? Defending himself, should he take the head off the negro guard "Bugaboo" when he could simply knock him out. Should he trick a woman into marrying him?

Even ignoring the racism, the violence and the questionable ethical decisions the hero makes, this story is rife with events of the type parents may want to insulate their children from. One that stands out is a mystery magic man who, out of the blue, vomits gallons of blood. Quite a surprise, and not at all nice. And in a bit of a linguistic coincidence, the giant who holds twelve beautiful princesses captive just happens to be named old Horny-boy.

Pitzmaroon does appear to have a moral, but it's not one that many of today's parents will find palatable: Cheat and kill and you will get what you want. But not too much, or someone will kill YOU.

XIXXXI edition September 2010

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781453794562
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication date: 09/01/2010
Pages: 146
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.31(d)

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