Monday, January 29, 2007

What Color are Children's Thoughts?

One of my favorite descriptions comes from Douglas Coupland's Shampoo Planet:
Houses the color of children's thoughts

I was thinking about this the other day and I suddenly realized that he probably meant that the houses were bright, fun colors -- full of whimsy and imagination. Strong, saturated primary colors. But that's not the way that I imagine them at all.

Maybe it's because I think he was referring to San Francisco, which I associate with fog. I think of the colors as sort of muted, weathered. Like old houses by the sea with once-vibrant paint that is now slightly peeling and faded. Or a Lisbeth Zwerger illustration, slightly misty and greyed:

N.B. I loved the book when I was in high school -- but that was 10 years ago. I haven't reread it recently, so I can't say how much I'd recommend it these days. But that phrase has stayed with me.

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