Alice beyond Wonderland explores the ubiquitous power of Lewis Carroll’s imagined world. Including work by some of the most prominent contemporary scholars in the field of Lewis Carroll studies, all introduced by Karoline Leach’s edgy foreword, Alice beyond Wonderland considers the literary, imaginative, and cultural influences of Carroll’s 19th-century story on the high-tech, postindustrial cultural space of the twenty-first century.
The scholars in this volume attempt to move beyond the sexually charged permutations of the "Carroll myth," the image of an introverted man fumbling into literary immortality through his love for a prepubescent Alice. Contributions include an essay comparing Dantean and Carrollian underworlds, one investigating child characters as double agents in untamed lands, one placing Wonderland within the geometrical and algebraic “fourth dimension,” one investigating the visual and verbal interplay of hand imagery, and one exploring the influence of Japanese translations of Alice on the Gothic-Lolita subculture of neo-Victorian enthusiasts. This is a bold, capacious, and challenging work.
In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll created fantastic worlds that continue to delight and trouble readers of all ages today. Few consider, however, that Carroll conceived his Alice books during the 1860s, a moment of intense intellectual upheaval, as new scientific, linguistic, educational, and mathematical ideas flourished around him and far beyond. Alice in Space reveals the contexts within which the Alice books first lived, bringing back the zest to jokes lost over time and poignancy to hidden references.
Gillian Beer explores Carroll’s work through the speculative gaze of Alice, for whom no authority is unquestioned and everything can speak. Parody and Punch, evolutionary debates, philosophical dialogues, educational works for children, math and logic, manners and rituals, dream theory and childhood studies—all fueled the fireworks. While much has been written about Carroll’s biography and his influence on children’s literature, Beer convincingly shows him at play in the spaces of Victorian cultural and intellectual life, drawing on then-current controversies, reading prodigiously across many fields, and writing on multiple levels to please both children and adults in different ways.
With a welcome combination of learning and lightness, Beer reminds us that Carroll’s books are essentially about curiosity, its risks and pleasures. Along the way, Alice in Space shares Alice’s exceptional ability to spark curiosity in us, too.
Though he’s known now primarily as the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in his lifetime Lewis Carroll was interested at least as much in photography as in writing. This book offers a close look at Carroll’s engagement with the medium, both as a creator and a collector of photographs. Lindsay Smith takes readers to the glass studio above Carroll’s college rooms at Oxford, where he created many of his striking portraits, and she also follows him into the field—on excursions to the theater in London, to the seaside at Eastbourne, and even to Russia. Smith also details Carroll’s enthusiastic work as a collector, in which role he arranged portrait sittings for photographers whose work he admired.
Beautifully illustrated with a generous selection of Carroll’s work and that of other photographers of the period, this book gives fans of Carroll’s writing a new way to understand his creative genius.
What if Immanuel Kant floated down from his transcendental heights, straight through Alice’s rabbit hole, and into the fabulous world of Lewis Carroll? For Ben-Ami Scharfstein this is a wonderfully instructive scenario and the perfect way to begin this wide-ranging collection of decades of startlingly synthesized thought. Combining a deep knowledge of psychology, cultural anthropology, art history, and the history of religions—not to mention philosophy—he demonstrates again and again the unpredictability of writing and thought and how they can teach us about our experiences.
Scharfstein begins with essays on the nature of philosophy itself, moving from an autobiographical account of the trials of being a comparativist to philosophy’s function in the outside world to the fear of death in Kant and Hume. From there he explores an impressive array of art: from China and Japan to India and the West; from an essay on sadistic and masochistic body art to one on the epistemology of the deaf and the blind. He then returns to philosophy, writing on Machiavelli and political ruthlessness, then on the ineffable, and closes with a review of Walter Kaufmann’s multivolume look at the essence of humanity, Discovering the Mind. Altogether, these essays are a testament to adventurous thought, the kind that leaps to the furthest reaches of the possible.
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst illuminates two entangled lives: the Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, the child for whom he invented the Alice stories. This relationship influenced Carroll’s imaginative creation of Wonderland—a sheltered world apart during the stormy transition from the Victorian to the modern era.
Lewis Carroll’s two Alice books are among the most popular works of English literature thanks in part to the ninety-two indelible illustrations that John Tenniel drew for them. The Tenniel Illustrations to the “Alice” Books situates their outstanding success in several historical contexts, including Tenniel’s career as a leading artist for Punch magazine.
This new edition also pays special attention to the material circumstances that enabled and conditioned the printing of the illustrations. The original twelve chapters have been revised and updated throughout, drawing on archival and published resources made available in recent decades. Six chapters are entirely new, explaining how Tenniel’s drawings were professionally hand-engraved on wood blocks; how electrotype replicas were made from those blocks; and what problems could mar the commercial printing of such images—as notoriously happened in the first printing of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which Carroll suppressed on Tenniel’s advice. Also considered for the first time here are the coloring of Tenniel’s black-and-white illustrations, by Tenniel and other artists, and the extraordinary treatment later given to Tenniel’s illustrations by the prestigious Limited Editions Club.
This comic, serious inquiry into the nature of art takes its technical vocabulary from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. It is ridiculous to think of poems, paintings, or films as distinct from other things in the world, including people. Talking about art should be contiguous with talking about other relevant matters.