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Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: Chronology of Creating Wonderland (LC's memory)

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  • fernando soto
    Hi J, This is very well put. The same method, in my opinion, should also apply to the majority of the other work devoted to Carroll. When we can show that
    Message 1 of 85 , Oct 31, 2010
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      Hi J,

      This is very well put.   The same method, in my opinion, should also apply to the majority of the other work devoted to Carroll.  

      When we can show that both Carroll and the MacDonalds, through Neville, unambiguously state that it was the family's idea to publish, this can't be just ignored, at least not without a lot of strong evidence to the contrary.  The records show that both Carroll and the MacDonald's believed that the idea to publish originated with George MacDonald's family.  And in 1863, MacDonald was not a best-selling author of children's books.

      All best,

      Fernando


      From: oldjoesoap <oldjoesoap@...>
      To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sun, October 31, 2010 2:14:42 PM
      Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: Chronology of Creating Wonderland (LC's memory)

       

      Dear Karoline,
      I don't think that it does matter very much whether or not LC got tired of his tale from time to time.
      His introduction to the facsimile edition of AAUG, and the article in Theatre, do matter though - like any artist's statement. He used the introduction as an opportunity to give his version of the creation of AAUG - "the germ that was to grow into the published volume". It gives an insight (assuming he is telling the truth) into the inspiration behind (at least) the first of the two Alice books.

      You are quite right to question the myths that have grown up around Lewis Carroll. We should be grateful for all the huge amount of work you have done in this task. You have every right to question the integrity of the man where you think it is necessary to do so. This should not result in any unpopularity provided it is done in good faith. We, in our turn, have to look carefully at the evidence that you claim shows our man to be "less than honest" and consider whether there is any other realistic explanation for the evidence from which you make your deductions.

      I think that you still have to show that, when he was writing AAUG - not when he had finished it - Carroll was inspired by motives other than those he claimed. Specifically you need to show that he had considered publication before he showed his manuscript to Macdonald or to any other friend. Otherwise I think we are in the land of speculation, and most of us will be left agreeing with Dr Tufail that it is an impenetrable episode open to whatever interpretation one chooses to adopt.
      j

      --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, "karoline5667" <karoline5667@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > I think Jenny meant that the *girls* found Ural Mountains boring - which they evidently did. LC presumably didn't think it was, as he was the one who wanted to play it. I suppose it's possible he meant 'interminable' in a humourous way, though his diary tends to be a humour-free zone for the most part. We do have to allow that he *may* just have been a little tired of telling it though, don't we? Why does it matter so much? Objectively, Wonderland is still as wonderful even if LC did get a little weary with the telling initially.
      >
      > BTW - I don't claim to know anything better than Carroll. I just point out where the evidence doesn't entirely fit the myth he helped create. I know it doesn't make me popular. I'm used to it, though it always hurts ;-).
      >
      > k
      >
      > --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, "oldjoesoap" <oldjoesoap@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Dear Karoline,
      > >
      > > Thank you for your reply. I shall try to keep this short - I sense that you may be finding my interminable quibbles a trifle irritating. I don't really understand yet why you are so sure that you have a better grasp of the truth behind the creation of AAuG than Carroll - who was there after all.
      > >
      > > You write:
      > > "Unless....you're suggesting LC was using the word 'interminable' in its well-known positive sense ("gosh how wonderfully interminable"), I think we all have to agree LC seems a little bored with Alice's Adventures at this point."
      > >
      > > I don't think we *have* to agree. Jenny Woolf ('The Mystery of Lewis Carroll') claims that it was the game (Ural Mountains) that was boring. I don't think that Carroll was bored at all, else why write "A very enjoyable expedition..." as his comment on the day? I think his use of the word 'interminable' was wry, ironic, self-deprecating. And if he had been bored with his tale, why not just wind it up? Why continue with it for years and then write a sequel? He could surely have just cut six sheets of A4 into twelve A5 and condensed his story onto them. Twenty four pages with four little drawings - he could have delivered it in a week and saved all this fuss.
      > >
      > > I presume that the reason LC did not give Alice the book when he finished writing it - instead showing it to his friends - is that he wanted to do the illustrations before giving it to Alice. If it was really the chance to commercialise the book that delayed the present, why not just make another copy and submit that to the trade? Would there not have been more than one copy anyway?
      > > j
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, "karoline5667" <karoline5667@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Dear Joe - Please don't apologise for nitpicking. But yes, I do
      > > > have a lot of other stuff to do, so I apologize in turn if I seem
      > > > hasty.
      > > >
      > > > Yes, you're right it wasn't Miss Jones he wanted to sing, it was
      > > > the game of the Ural Mountains he wanted to play. Here is the quote:
      > > >
      > > > "We tried the game of the `Ural Mountains' on the way [to
      > > > Godstow], but it did not prove very successful , and I had to go on with
      > > > my interminable fairy-tale of "Alice's Adventures."
      > > >
      > > > Unless you think the fact it was a game not a song changes something (?)
      > > > or you're suggesting LC was using the word 'interminable' in its
      > > > well-known positive sense ("gosh how wonderfully interminable"), I think
      > > > we all have to agree LC seems a little bored with Alice's
      > > > Adventures at this point.
      > > >
      > > > I'm afraid the rest of what you say feels a little special-pleady. Isn't
      > > > creative amnesia inherently dishonest? Isn't that its point - to re-draw
      > > > memory less accurately and more acceptably? Don't we agree dishonesty
      > > > is deeper than wholly conscious intent?
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > You say:
      > > > "if he had said :"When I wrote the poem that would eventually grow
      > > > into'Jabberwocky', I did so with no other motive than to please some
      > > > people who Iloved and with no thought of publication", would you again
      > > > call him dishonest?"
      > > >
      > > > If he'd sent it to a publisher and an illustrator and a lot of authorial
      > > > friends before the person for whom he claimed to have written it had
      > > > even seen it then yes, I probably would, wouldn't you?
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > You say:
      > > >
      > > > "It certainly took him a very long time to complete the creation of the
      > > > hand written book which he gave Alice L but it was surely worth waiting
      > > > for - beautifully written (in both senses), illustrated and bound.
      > > > Thereason that he waited until the end of November and posted it to her
      > > > (instead of popping round with it himself in September) was surely
      > > > because it wasplanned as a Christmas present (you fail to mention
      > > > this)."
      > > >
      > > > Whether Alice thought it was worth waiting for would probably depend on
      > > > the reason for the delay, don't you think? Re. the Christmas gift –
      > > > I'm sure you're right that's why he left it until November
      > > > (though why not December?), but I don't think it explains why he
      > > > *mailed* it.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > You said:
      > > >
      > > > I don't think that LC was uncaring or lazy (or dishonourable as you
      > > > imply)on this occasion. He was a perfectionist - it took him 26 years
      > > > tofinish (the much more interminable) Sylvie and Bruno.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > No, not uncaring or dishonourable, just human and fallible.
      > > > Distracted probably, and possibly a little uncomfortable about giving
      > > > the gift at all after the long delay. Putting off thinking about it as
      > > > it made him edgy. Plenty of instances of him doing similar things. You
      > > > seriously think he took two years to get it to her just because he
      > > > was a perfectionist?
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Sylvie and Bruno is not the product of perfectionism, is it? Nor of 26
      > > > years steady labour. It took him a long time because he only wrote it
      > > > intermittently.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > k
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >


    • fernando soto
      Hi John, I know that Carroll certainly was influenced by Phantastes, and, in 1863, by David Elginbrod. I can show Carroll using both works in Wonderland and S
      Message 85 of 85 , Nov 9, 2010
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        Hi John,

        I know that Carroll certainly was influenced by Phantastes, and, in 1863, by David Elginbrod.  I can show Carroll using both works in Wonderland and S & B.  MacDonald certainly was very important, but he was no "best-selling author of children's books" in 1863.  Therefore, saying so is at best an exaggeration.

        My point was that although Karoline says she is out to quash "myths," she seems to be creating a whole new set, which even a little bit of research will uncover.  And, even after she is shown that what she states is either wrong or very unlikely, the stuff remains.  I just checked her blog, and there is the stuff, as though it was true!

        Fernando


        From: tufail45 <johntufail@...>
        To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tue, November 9, 2010 7:12:52 PM
        Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: Chronology of Creating Wonderland (LC's memory)

         


        Hi Fernando, no major quibble here. Just to get to the context. You are right to say that MacDonald was not a 'best selling' writer in 1863. However, within the circles that Carroll was circulating at the time he was certainly a hugely influential writer. 'Phantasies' (illustrated by Arthur Hughes (a Pre-Raphealite - as Holiday) was published in 1858 and had considerable influence on the literary/philosophical group that Carroll was increasingly attracted to and influenced by.

        regards

        JT

        --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, fernando soto <ferjsoto42@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi J,
        >
        > This is very well put. The same method, in my opinion, should also apply to
        > the majority of the other work devoted to Carroll.
        >
        > When we can show that both Carroll and the MacDonalds, through Neville,
        > unambiguously state that it was the family's idea to publish, this can't be just
        > ignored, at least not without a lot of strong evidence to the contrary. The
        > records show that both Carroll and the MacDonald's believed that the idea to
        > publish originated with George MacDonald's family. And in 1863, MacDonald was
        > not a best-selling author of children's books.
        >
        > All best,
        >
        > Fernando


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