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Re: [lewiscarroll] Multiple identities in Sylvie and Bruno

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  • Michael Everson
    ... And most other genres. Science fiction uses it certainly. ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absurdist_fiction http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_nonsense
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 28, 2011
      On 27 Feb 2011, at 23:27, John Tufail wrote:

      > Ambiguity is at the heart of 'Absurdist' literature.

      And most other genres. Science fiction uses it certainly.

      > This of course raises a point. Carroll, traditionally has been described as belonging to the 'Nonsense' genre. I disagree. I think more accurately he should be included within the absurdist genre - in fact, perhaps, the first absurdist.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absurdist_fiction

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_nonsense

      It's really rather hard to find a reason to care about why these categories should be considered genuinely separate.

      > Anyone who reads Carroll either linearly or as nonsense misses the point.

      Well, you'll find me wholly disagreeing here. Anyone can read Carroll any way they like. And there is richness to be found no matter what lenses you're wearing while you read them.

      I know... you criticized me for "turgidly" saying that I didn't want to burden my edition of the Snark with all sorts of criticism because I (like Carroll, explicitly) think people should get out of it what they want. If he addressed it to children (as he did) he can hardly have been concerned about them puzzling out the great emotional secret depths he plumbed in writing it.

      I think it's arrogant, though, to suggest that there is any one way to read Carroll, or any one "point" to get out of it.

      > To Carroll the world, the reality, in which we exist is relative and continguent. He challenges, both in his fictional and non-fictional work our perceptions of time, space and identity.

      To YOU, he does these things, evidently. There are no absolutes with Carroll.

      Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
    • Guy
      ... Quoting the above: Absurdist fiction is a genre of literature, most often employed in novels, plays or poems, that focuses on the experiences of
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 1, 2011
        --- In lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com, Michael Everson <everson@...> wrote:
        >
        > On 27 Feb 2011, at 23:27, John Tufail wrote:
        >
        > > This of course raises a point. Carroll, traditionally has been described as belonging to the 'Nonsense' genre. I disagree. I think more accurately he should be included within the absurdist genre - in fact, perhaps, the first absurdist.
        >
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absurdist_fiction

        Quoting the above:

        "Absurdist fiction is a genre of literature, most often employed in novels, plays or poems, that focuses on the experiences of characters in a situation where they cannot find any inherent purpose in life, most often represented by ultimately meaningless actions and events."

        I would take issue with the implied claim that Carroll's characters "cannot find any inherent purpose in life". On the contrary, most of them seem to driven by a strong sense of purpose, be it hunting the Snark or organizing mad tea-parties. The purpose itself may be illogical or incoherent, but I see little of the nihilistic philosophy that one finds in the works of, say, Beckett (except perhaps in characters like the Mock Turtle).
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