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Aspects of Alice: Lewis Carroll's Dream…
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Aspects of Alice: Lewis Carroll's Dream Child as Seen Through the Critics'…

by Robert Phillips (Editor)

Other authors: W.H. Auden (Contributor), Judith Bloomingdale (Contributor), Kenneth Burke (Contributor), John Ciardi (Contributor), William Empson (Contributor)33 more, Thomas Fensch (Contributor), A.M.E. Goldschmidt (Contributor), Jan B. Gordon (Contributor), Robert Graves (Contributor), Roger Lancelyn Green (Contributor), Phyllis Greenacre (Contributor), Horace Gregory (Contributor), Martin Grotjahn (Contributor), John Hinz (Contributor), Roger W. Holmes (Contributor), George Lanning (Contributor), Elsie Leach (Contributor), Florence Becker Lennon (Contributor), Shane Leslie (Contributor), Harry Levin (Contributor), Walter de la Mare (Contributor), Florence Milner (Contributor), J.B. Priestley (Contributor), Donald Rackin (Contributor), Géza Róheim (Contributor), Edward Salmon (Contributor), Paul Schilder (Contributor), Robert Scott (Contributor), Elizabeth Sewell (Contributor), John Skinner (Contributor), Grace Slick (Contributor), Patricia Meyer Spacks (Contributor), T.B. Strong (Contributor), Allen Tate (Contributor), Alexander L. Taylor (Contributor), Edmund Wilson (Contributor), Virginia Woolf (Contributor), Alexander Woollcott (Contributor)

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Admittedly, I didn't read the whole book. I was mainly interested in Sir Shane Leslie's "Lewis Carroll and the Oxford Movement" (London Mercury 28, 233-39. RPT in Phillips). He (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shane_Leslie) sees many of relations between that religious struggle (which originated in Oxford in c. 1832) and the Alice books. Shane's article (p. 257-266) is highly speculative. But who am I to criticize that? My own guesses (www.snrk.de) about textual and pictorial allusions (to religious disputes, to Charles Darwin etc.) in Lewis Carroll's and Henry Holiday's "The Hunting of the Snark" are not much better.

Interestingly, Leslie wrote that Carroll's "Easter Greeting" (www.snrk.de/snarkhunt/#easter) was added to the 1876 edition of "Alice in Wonderland". In the notes (p. 493), the editor Robert Philips correctly points out that the "Easter Greeting" was added to "The Hunting of the Snark" (1876).

I also will read the other articles in teh book and hope to learn more about what has inspired Carroll's writings.
  GoetzKluge | Sep 23, 2017 |
"What I tell you three times is true" is a correct statement only if what you are told is actually true.

That silly statement reflects the difficulty with any collection of essays on Lewis Carroll and the Alice books. Criticism is often a very useful thing -- but sometimes, especially when one is desperate to find a new idea to make one's way into print, the result is not worth the paper it's printed on. And that affects this book. Robert S. Phillips has gathered about three dozen articles and excerpts about the Alice books, from a wide variety of sources, broken up into categories such as biographical essays, literary criticism, and psychoanalysis.

It's sad to see that there is nothing of significance on logic, mathematics, or word games -- the keys to understanding the books, but admittedly easier for mathematicians than literary types. It's a major hole that detracts from this book very much. Some of the essays on other topics are very valuable -- it's nice to see the full version of T. B. Strong's description of his friend Dodgson (Carroll), for instance. But some of the rest -- well, the word "Ugh" springs to mind. Lanning's "Did Mark Twain Write Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is ridiculous, and Leslie's "Lewis Carroll and the Oxford Movement" (which claims that Alice is about that attempt to bring Anglicanism closer to Roman Catholicism) is an absurd bore.

And then there is the section on "Freudian Interpretations." Eight articles on that. News flash, folks: Freud was wrong. Psychodynamic therapy is dying out, because it doesn't work. Dodgson was neurotic -- very much so -- but it wasn't because he was whatnot-retentive; it was because he had autism! So the eight Freudian articles are complete bunk. And monotonous, because they all say the same thing. Saying it eight times does not make it true; it makes it repetitive.

That doesn't mean the book is useless. This book manages to gather most of the really stupid interpretations of Alice -- i.e. the ones that have done incredible damage -- and stick them all in one place so readers can get a good overview of their complete pointlessness. For someone who wants to refute the idiocy, this is a very useful book. But if you want to actually learn something about Charles Dodgson, Alice Liddell, and Alice's Adventures, either cut the book in half at about page 275 and skip all the stuff after that -- or read a genuine study of Dodgson, such as Morton Cohen's biography. ( )
3 vote waltzmn | Jun 5, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Phillips, RobertEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Auden, W.H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloomingdale, JudithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burke, KennethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ciardi, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Empson, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fensch, ThomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldschmidt, A.M.E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gordon, Jan B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Graves, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Green, Roger LancelynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Greenacre, PhyllisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gregory, HoraceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grotjahn, MartinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hinz, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holmes, Roger W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lanning, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leach, ElsieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lennon, Florence BeckerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leslie, ShaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levin, HarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mare, Walter de laContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Milner, FlorenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Priestley, J.B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rackin, DonaldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Róheim, GézaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salmon, EdwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schilder, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scott, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sewell, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Skinner, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Slick, GraceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spacks, Patricia MeyerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strong, T.B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tate, AllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, Alexander L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, EdmundContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woolf, VirginiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woollcott, AlexanderContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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THIS BOOK IS FOR
MASTER GRAHAM VAN BUREN PHILLIPS
who can still look forward to his first fall
down the Rabbit-Hole.
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She has survived the Victorian Age, several wars and depressions, the Age of Anxiety, ad when last seen was thriving in the Post-Christian Era.
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