ana.words, diesen sonntag alice im wunderland

ana.words, diesen sonntag alice im wunderland
22. November 2007 mahal
In Allgemein
nächster läsezirkel diesen sonntag
25. 11. 2007 bei mirjam halter
14:30 bruggstrasse 35, 8942 oberrieden

alice im wunderland von lewis carroll

nach der buchbesprechung schauen wir den trickfilm. 

thought you might be able to use some of this background for
the ana.words reading group reading of Alice in Wonderland.

our conversation wednesday reminded me of some research I
did once on the literary muse.

Certainly, one of the most fascinating would have been our
darling Alice Pleasance Liddell.  Her entire life was shaped
by her undeniable and innocent allure.  And this beginning
at the pre-nubile age of 6. As the daughter of the Dean of
Christ Church in Oxford, she befriended Charles Dodgson (aka
Lewis Carroll) while playing in the church yard with her
three sisters.  As reported by her diaries (now accessible
in the british public record) Dodgson approached the girls
and asked if he might photograph them.
	"Before they left, Mr. Dodgson gave me a photograph of
	himself and his friend.  I put these photographs in the
	diary for safe keeping.  Then Mr. Dodgson winked at me
	and said that he would certainly see me again soon.  I
	can hardly wait to play with my new friend."

If you go on to read the contrasting and contemporaneous
diary entries of both Alice and Dodgson, you would find
numerous instances of such coyly sexual and flirtatious
scintillations;  whispering secrets,  clandestine letters
detailing future meetings, afternoons spent strolling in the
woods, boating, luncheons on the banks.  I dare not critique
the nature and beauty of their interactions...for truly they
enjoyed each other immensely.

The controversy enshrouding the relationship between the
Liddell sisters, alice in-particular, and Mr. Dodgson has
never been cleared or confirmed.  Between his death in 1898
and the yielding of his personal papers to the british
public record in 1969, four of the eighteen volumes of his
personal diaries were destroyed.  Furthermore, additional
pages and sections were removed from the remaining volumes. 
The most compelling entries removed being those surrounding
the dates Dodgson's contact with the Liddell family became
strained and finally ceased, at the demand of Mrs. Liddell. 
Clearly, we will never know exactly what prompted the
termination of their relationship, though speculatively it
shouldn't be hard to assume it had something to do with the
intensity of his interests.  Especially in consideration of
the attached photographs by Dodgson titled "Alice as Beggar

The first oral version of Alice In Wonderland was told to
the girls on the legendary "golden afternoon", during a
leisurely boating expedition he had planned for them.  He
then further elaborated over several months, and many more
outings and afternoons, as the children began to play a
central role in his life.

Dodgson himself may be grouped in the rank of England's 19th
c. gentlemanly scholars.  He was an accomplished
mathematician, aside from his clearly profound career as an
author and, less known as Pre-Raphaelite photographer. In
fact, he is  often even grouped with such mega stars of the
history of photography as Julia Margaret Cameron and Henry
Robinson Peach.  Though, interestingly in contra-point, all
three of their works have stood enormous amounts of disdain
and criticism.

It is further worth noting that Alice was again photographed
in her twenties by Julia Margaret Cameron.  Here she is
meant to represent Althaea, greek goddess of spirit, truth
and sincerity. I would venture to point out that this
created her not only as the sexualized child muse of the
19th c. ultra masculine gentleman elite but contrastingly as
the muse of photography's first female star! I'd say it's
not clear whether Cameron photographed Alice as a means of
repossessing the feminine allure and immortalizing the
allusions of a child sexual object, though it would
implicate early forms of feminism in art. Surely though,
like all pre-Raphaelites', Cameron would have been far too
naive to be concerned with anything but hazy and languorous

Aside from Alice Liddell's embodiment of the fictional Alice
in Wonderland and her portraits by Julia Margaret Cameron,
she endured numerous other mythologizing encounters.  She
and Prince Leopold of England, son of Queen Victoria, fell
madly in love while at Oxford but the monarchy disdained
their marriage.  Later, and after little contact, Leopold
named his first child Alice...and Alice her first son
Leopold.  Sooooo romantic!

There was little contact between Alice and Dodgson during
the span of her adult life before his death.  one of the
surviving eleven letters from C.D. to A.L. expresses a
wistful nostalgia for the old days, inviting her to tea
anytime, adding, pitifully, that ''to a prisoner in his
cell, all days are alike.''

In her old age, Alice was forced to live from the income of
selling Charles Dodgson's hand written manuscripts. 
Eventually, even touring and lecturing on her experiences as
"Alice" until her death in 1934. Her immortalization became
a burden, writing to her son, "''But oh my dear I am tired
of being Alice in Wonderland.  Does it sound ungrateful? It
is. Only I do get tired.''

unfortunately and undeniably...even inexplicable
romanticized beauty is fragile and a
prisoner in his cell, all days are alike...
 for further reference and numerous other amusing tales of
 the muse: The LIves of the Muses: Nine Women and the
 Artists they Inspired; Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
 (Oct 2003) by Francine Prose.  She really does have
 laudable prose style:)  unfortunately, i don't keep books
 for hygienic reasons so i haven't got a copy.

hope you're well

best regards, 
reto mikal
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a n a . w o r d s
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