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Re: [lewiscarroll] CLD as poet: The Path of Roses

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  • AnisaT@aol.com
    Mike, re: Path of Roses, You could not, ironically, have picked a better poem to pick in the light of the current debate re: the importance of Maurice and c.
    Message 1 of 5 , May 31 4:17 PM
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      Mike, re: Path of Roses,

      You could not, ironically, have picked a better poem to pick in the light of
      the current debate re: the importance of Maurice and c. to Carroll.

      I will provide a more thorough reading later - as it deserves it. But two
      short points to be going on with.

      First, it exemplifies many of Karolines arguments about Carroll's interest in
      women as people rather than objects of desire (whatever their age!). The
      more I read Cohen's chapter 'The Child' the more I wonder just who the author
      is referring too! Oh, I hasten to add, I am not suggesting any freudian
      interpretation of Cohen himself here - just that he still seems fixated on
      Carroll's untoward sexual attractions! Carroll as myth or metaphor.

      It is actually, it seems to me, a genuine 'poem' enriched with possible
      allusion and metaphor. But I personally can't avoid the obvious Maurice
      connection here. I daren't say influence or Karoline will slap me down
      )quoting date)! But it is clear that there was a parallel between Maurice's
      fully documented influence in improving the status of women intellectually
      and socially (he was founder and principle of the first coherent 'university'
      for women) and Carroll's lifelong preference for the intellectual curiosity
      of women over men.

      Second point, it is certainly 'romantically' influenced. I think it could
      be, if presented blindly to a critic, mistaken for Wordsworth, Tennyson......
      or Christina Rossetti? The fact that this was such a comparatively early
      work is of particular interest as, dateless, I could blithely argue
      MacDonald's influence on the poem - but when people of like minds meet who
      can argue about who influences whom except such evidences as this! In the
      end Blake comes to mind - but more in an elliptical or allusory sense than
      direct.



      John Tufail

      I would bet my last volume of Beckett that NO ONE, not knowing it, would
      identify it as Carroll!
    • mikeindex@aol.com
      Thanks again to John and Matt for their comments. What does anyone else think? ... in ... Exactly - glad you picked that up. ... Agreed. ... Maurice s ...
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 6, 2000
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        Thanks again to John and Matt for their comments. What does anyone else
        think?

        John writes:

        > First, it exemplifies many of Karolines arguments about Carroll's interest
        in
        > women as people rather than objects of desire (whatever their age!).

        Exactly - glad you picked that up.

        > It is actually, it seems to me, a genuine 'poem' enriched with possible
        > allusion and metaphor.

        Agreed.

        > But I personally can't avoid the obvious Maurice
        > connection here. I daren't say influence or Karoline will slap me down
        > (quoting date)! But it is clear that there was a parallel between
        Maurice's
        > fully documented influence in improving the status of women intellectually
        > and socially (he was founder and principle of the first coherent
        'university'
        > for women) and Carroll's lifelong preference for the intellectual
        curiosity
        > of women over men.

        I'm aware of Maurice's position as head of Queen's College in Harley Street -
        an early teacher training college for ladies, I gather. Certainly there are
        connections to be made between Maurice's active participation in female
        education and the poetry written by CLD and Tennyson in the fifties; also the
        position taken up by CLD in the eighties. At this time he opposed the
        much-debated admission of women to Oxford, not because he was a misogynist or
        a hidebound reactionary (unlike many of the plan's opponents), but because he
        believed an entirely separate institution would better suit the interests of
        the women themselves. (See Annie Rogers' bit in 'Int & Rec', & various
        letters - I can find the quotes if wished).

        But parallels aren't influences and CLD undeniably didn't meet Maurice for
        another six years.

        > Second point, it is certainly 'romantically' influenced. I think it could
        > be, if presented blindly to a critic, mistaken for Wordsworth,
        Tennyson......
        > or Christina Rossetti?

        I stand by Tennyson. I can't see Wordsworth there personally (but I'm pretty
        sure which one CLD would rather have been taken for!). I've read very little
        Christina Rossetti so I can't comment there.

        > I would bet my last volume of Beckett that NO ONE, not knowing it, would
        > identify it as Carroll!

        Now this is just the kind of comment I was hoping for. Wait till you see one
        or two of the others! Funny you should mention Beckett, by the way - he
        comes in again later.

        Has anyone else on the list found the poems and my analyses so far at all
        thought-provoking? Thoughts like, e.g. 'This is a good/bad poem', 'This is
        exactly/not at all what I'd have expected from CLD', 'Your crit makes
        sense/stinks/makes some sense, but...' would be welcomed. Or do the
        majority here just not find poems or crits terribly interesting - in which
        case there's not really much point in going on with the project?

        Regards to all

        Mike
      • AnisaT@aol.com
        Mike, Your sentiments I agree with. But don t give up. There are many reasons why people on the list may not respond. The only lurkers I have problems
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 6, 2000
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          Mike,

          Your sentiments I agree with. But don't give up. There are many reasons why
          people on the list may not respond. The only 'lurkers' I have problems with
          are those who join the list purely for the purpose of accumulation and are
          not even prepared to register their presence - let alone contribute to a
          debate. But about 60% of the students I had at a certain northern academic
          institution were the same! Remember your years at Oxford? Don't deny that a
          goodly proportion of the students in your seminar group were only there to
          aquire/plagiarise so they could get better grades than anyone else? As a
          tutor I hated them! Mechanical crocodiles in search of a piece of parchment!
          But as a lecturer, examiner etc I had to recognise that they tended to
          produce competent, though uninspiring stuff - they tended to get 2/1s - thus
          relatively harmless. I have no doubt they made excellent junior ministers
          and superb advertising executives. Richard Adams stuff. So calm down and
          put the list into perspective.

          Apart from the above, I think we have to genuinely get some of the more
          diffident members that any genuine offering will NOT be lampooned or attacked
          - at worst it will be subjected to sympathetic commentary. I have been
          genuinely - cross my heart - more impressed with the contributions of many of
          the diffidents than virtually anything on the more 'academic' lists. I have
          also been more challenged on this list than any other!

          I like it!

          I think that you, as I suffer from the disease of tantalisation. Or, to
          blatantly and outrageously mix a metaphor, I hope you will agree, "very good,
          but could do better.

          I was going on to comment further on your mailing but I think the subject
          matters are so far apart that I'd better do it separately.

          John Tufail
        • AnisaT@aol.com
          Mike, (being list formal) You wrote: I m aware of Maurice s position as head of Queen s College in Harler Street - an early teacher training college for
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 6, 2000
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            Mike,
            (being list formal)

            You wrote:

            'I'm aware of Maurice's position as head of Queen's College in Harler Street
            - an early teacher training college for ladies I gather. Certainly there are
            connections to be made between Maurice's active participation in female
            education and the poetry written by CLD and Tennyson and the fifties; also
            the position taken up by CLD in the eighties. At this time he opposed the
            much-debated admission of women to Oxford, not because he was a misogynist or
            a hidebound reactionary (unlike many of the plan's opponents), but because he
            believed an entirely different institution would better suit the interests of
            the women themselves.'

            But parallels aren't influences and CLD undeniably didn't meet Maurice for
            another six years.

            Mike. Although parallels aren't direct influences - there are such things as
            indirect influences which eventually mean the parallels eventually frustrate
            Euclid and converge! Both Carroll and Maurice were influenced by Coleridge -
            Maurice earlier than Carroll. It was inevitable that a man of Carroll's
            radical mind would eventually gravitate towards Maurice. The blatant way in
            which he did it is, I suppose the point. There is nothing, I hope,
            mechanical about what I am trying to say. The difficulty is in explaining
            the nature of the development without having to go through a potted history
            of 19th century political and theological thought - Carroll's (always uneasy)
            postion at Christ Church in the early days and Maurice's ostracism. His
            decision to attend, and even volunteer to assis in services, at Vine Street
            were acts of great moral, intellectual, and personal courage.

            I think that Carroll's position regarding women did develop parallel to
            Maurice's - in fact that may well of been one of the impetuses that directed
            Carroll to Vine Street.

            Regarding my 'Romantics' point. I think in terms of structure I would
            undeniably agree that Tennyson was a major influence (as later events, I
            feel, prove) - but in terms of philosophical content, neither Wordsworth nor
            Coleridge cam be discarded. And Blake, I suspect cannot be far behind. The
            Christina Rossetti comment should not be taken seriously/literally -another
            example of parallels converging.

            I think it is a good poem - perhaps ten years earlier it would have been
            lauded.

            John Tufail
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