Notes about lewis carroll

August 14, 2011 permalink

Logically boring

From Lewis Carroll’s Symbolic Logic, which aimed to make logic understandable via quirky syllogisms and illustrated tables:

  1. No interesting poems are unpopular among people of real taste;
  2. No modern poetry is free from affectation;
  3. All your poems are on the subject of soap-bubbles;
  4. No affected poetry is popular among people of real taste;
  5. No ancient poem is on the subject of soap-bubbles.

Conclusion: all your poems are uninteresting.

April 18, 2010 permalink

Softening the edges

The first such Disney film I ever saw was Snow White, which added considerably to my experience of wonderful fear and terror, even though its heroine was a doll. This, I have been told, was because it was made by German refugees who had a sense of the darkness of the old stories. The film Bambi diminished the sense of real forests and creatures I had found in the book. The unbearable thing was the filming of the Jungle Books. Disney cartoons use the proportions of human baby faces – those wide eyes, those chubby cheeks we respond to automatically. The black hunting panther, the terrible strong snake, the wolf pack and its howl, the cringing tiger became dolls and toys like Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore, and some crucial imaginative space was irretrievably lost.

From AS Byatt’s essay in the Guardian about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-glass, which offers some great insight into the difference between Lewis Carroll’s imagined spaces and narrative and those of other popular (later, 20th Century) fantasy stories for children.