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Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: Collingwood's 1932 letter to Menella

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  • keith
    Mark, Collingwood wrote his Life and Letters at the Chestnuts in Guildford. His father had died a week before CLD and he was domiciled in Guildford throughout
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 31, 2002
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      Mark,

      Collingwood wrote his Life and Letters at the Chestnuts in Guildford. His
      father had died a week before CLD and he was domiciled in Guildford
      throughout the period he was writing his book.

      Perhaps when he says he never saw the complete diary he means that, as with
      Green many years later, he was not allowed free access but only allowed
      those bits the sisters and Wilfred approved of. In other correspondence
      Collingwwod did say he had access to all the diaries. He is perhaps being
      economical with the truth in both his statements.

      Keith


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "markisrael2" <MarkIsrael@...>
      To: <lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, August 30, 2002 7:17 PM
      Subject: [lewiscarroll] Re: Collingwood's 1932 letter to Menella


      > I'm just making the assumption that, IF Collingwood was lying, he
      > would have tried to lie CONVINCINGLY -- and seeing where that leads
      > me. (You'll recall that we got into a very similar dispute when I
      > argued that, IF Dodgson was trying to flatter Alice Liddell, he would
      > have tried to flatter CONVINCINGLY.)
      >
      > If Menella had asked Collingwood "Where are the missing diary
      > volumes?", then Collingwood's response, "I don't think I ever had the
      > COMPLETE diary, though possibly Uncle Wilfred had it", would likely
      > have caused Menella to think, "Let's see now. Stuart was going
      > through LC's diaries, gathering material for his biography, and he
      > noticed 4 of the volumes were missing, and he thought Papa might have
      > them, but HE DIDN'T EVEN ASK Papa if he had them??? That doesn't
      > compute." That doesn't compute.
      >
      > But if Menella had written to Collingwood, "Four of the diary volumes
      > are missing, so we're trying to trace where all the volumes have been
      > since you used them for your biography. You had them in your house
      > at one point, didn't you?" -- well, then --
      >
      >
      >
      > to unsubscribe send a blank email to:
      lewiscarroll-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • mikeindex@aol.com
      I thought it might be interesting to get back to the discussion of Dodgson s poetry that got derailed somehow a few weeks back, so here is a belated reply to a
      Message 2 of 24 , Sep 11, 2002
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        I thought it might be interesting to get back to the discussion of Dodgson's poetry that got derailed somehow a few weeks back, so here is a belated reply to a mail of Kate's


        Kate wrote:

        It appears to me that Stolen Waters is based upon Thomas of Erceldoune - Thomas the Rhymer, which is an ancient ballad. In it, Thomas lays himself down on 'Huntlie Bank' and is tempted by the Queen of Fairu, who appears to him in the guise of a young and beautiful woman. However, after he has made love to him, her flesh changes, and she becomes an old and ancient hag.  Thomas, however, is given a choice of roads - but chosses to follow with the beautiful woman.  He returns, after seven years has passed, these seven years seeming like an a few minutes.  



        While, of course Dodgson doesn't use the 'relativity' of time in 'Stolen Waters', it's interesting that you mention it, since it is such a feature of 'Sylvie and Bruno' (and indeed of 'alien abductions!'). Hard to know what to do with the connection, yet also rather hard to ignore it or dismiss it as mere coincidence.

        I think the link to 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' is rather one of poetic style than direct borrowing; they are both coming from the same deep tradition source and the tales of Fairy power. There is also a similar link to Tennyson and aspects of 'Idylls of the King', though Dodgson's poem is more sexually charged and graphic than anything Tennyson was writing.

        I think a proper analysis of this poem has to take account of its mythological connections, its biblical references, and also, in the biographical sense, the emotional construction and how it relates to other work he was doing at that period. The great thing to avoid is looking at things in isolation.  I'd like to see Kate's input and John's joined with Karoline's, (and I can put in the dull stuff about rhyme schemes),  and see what we come up with.

        Just for starters, let's consider the image of the beloved as the Circe/Lilith/Dark Muse that we find in this poem. It was written in May 1862, just six or seven months after  'Dream of Fame/ Three Sunsets', yet the image of the female beloved in both poems could not be more different. In the earlier poem, as in his previous love poem 'Faces in the Fire', the beloved is depicted tenderly, worshipfully, adoringly, and the love between the hero and his lover is depicted as beautiful and positive. Yet in 'Stolen Waters' this image of angelic sweetness and divine passion is suddenly replaced  by one of demonic seduction and debased consummation. The woman in Stolen Waters is as vile as her predecessors were lovely; the passion the hero shares with her is as repugnant as previously it was inspirational.

        It seems to me biographical and artistic questions collide here, and it becomes impossible to address them separately. Assuming Collingwood was right and there is at least an emotional autobiography here - then what do we make of his sudden switch in characterisation of the female lover, who is a near angel of sweetness in 'Faces in the Fire'  and 'Dream of Fame/ 3 Sunsets', yet in the space of just a few months has morphed into a demonic and deceiving seductress?

        Artistically it's tempting to see here an anticipation of the bizarre juxtaposition of female sweetness/vileness in Sylvie and Bruno, where 'my Lady' and Lady Muriel briefly share a common identity before splitting into two polarised images of womanhood, good and awful.  Madonna and whore? not quite. Though Lady Muriel is undoubtedly virginal, and Carroll plays heavily pointed up word games about 'my Lady's'  status as 'VICE-wardeness'

        One does have the feeling that some similar twinning of  all that is lovely and all that is vile, madonna/whore, encapsulated in a single being, was somehow personally important to Dodgson as an artist and quite possibly beyond that as a man. Something draws him to the mythologies that allow him to explore this theme, again and again.

        Interesting also to look at some of the comic poetry he was writing at roughly the same period in which Stolen Waters was composed.  Although the style and the authorial intent are superficially very different, yet, interestingly, even here in this much more traditionally 'Carroll' territory, we can see  that the themes of female perfidy/stupidity which seem to have suddenly begun obsessing Dodgson the serious poet in early 1862, are also present in Dodgson the comic poet of the same time.  

        'Damon and Chloe', written in 1861,  'My Fancy', and 'Miss Jones', both composed within a few months of 'Stolen Waters' in 1862, all present a similar antagonistic, rather sneering attitude to woman, and there is a sense of a quite real loathing on the part of the poet that is imperfectly disguised by the supposed comedy.

        Again, beyond the poetry, a similar edgy representation of womanhood can be found in 'Alice', with the Duchess and Queen of Hearts both being near cliches of the male image of the stupid terrifying irrational woman - and indeed both direct ancestors of 'my Lady' in Sylvie and Bruno'.

        It seems that for whatever reason, some time in the early 1860s saw a sudden focus, almost an obsession, in Dodgson on the negative, destructive, evil, vile and comically grotesque aspects of womanhood, which he attacks, even in comic form, with an almost vitriolic intensity. This is a curiosity that should focus the attention of lit-critics and biographers alike I think.


        Does anyone agree?

        Mike

      • Kate Lyon
        Nice mail Mike. Okay. Lilith - as I may have already said - was the first wife of Adam, and according to legend she tried to set herself higher than him. Adam
        Message 3 of 24 , Sep 11, 2002
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          Nice mail Mike. Okay. Lilith - as I may have already said - was the first wife of Adam, and according to legend she tried to set herself higher than him. Adam wasn't having that, so Lilith flew away into the desert, and spawned many demon children. And she was supplanted by Eve. Who, of course, became the temptress in her turn. "Better the devil you know!" I suppose. But Lilith was the serpent.  And later, of course, it was the serpent who twined himself around the tree in the garden and whispered to Eve that SHE eat of the fruit.  Which, of course, is exactly what the woman is doing in Stolen Waters. Tempting him. The serpent, once upon a time, was simply wisdom.  Wisdom, as we know, has a price. Everything does.  Alice found that out when she went to buy an egg from the sheep. Not only did she have to pay for it, but she had to get it, ie find out, for herself, the hard way.
           
          Thomas of Erceldoune chose to go with the fairy queen - but that was the price of his prophetic gift. but so, of course, Adam fell. "Et in Arcady ego".
           
          Kate Lyon
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 10:11 PM
          Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] "Stolen Waters" - and 'Proverbs'

          I thought it might be interesting to get back to the discussion of Dodgson's poetry that got derailed somehow a few weeks back, so here is a belated reply to a mail of Kate's


          Kate wrote:

          It appears to me that Stolen Waters is based upon Thomas of Erceldoune - Thomas the Rhymer, which is an ancient ballad. In it, Thomas lays himself down on 'Huntlie Bank' and is tempted by the Queen of Fairu, who appears to him in the guise of a young and beautiful woman. However, after he has made love to him, her flesh changes, and she becomes an old and ancient hag.  Thomas, however, is given a choice of roads - but chosses to follow with the beautiful woman.  He returns, after seven years has passed, these seven years seeming like an a few minutes.  



          While, of course Dodgson doesn't use the 'relativity' of time in 'Stolen Waters', it's interesting that you mention it, since it is such a feature of 'Sylvie and Bruno' (and indeed of 'alien abductions!'). Hard to know what to do with the connection, yet also rather hard to ignore it or dismiss it as mere coincidence.

          I think the link to 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' is rather one of poetic style than direct borrowing; they are both coming from the same deep tradition source and the tales of Fairy power. There is also a similar link to Tennyson and aspects of 'Idylls of the King', though Dodgson's poem is more sexually charged and graphic than anything Tennyson was writing.

          I think a proper analysis of this poem has to take account of its mythological connections, its biblical references, and also, in the biographical sense, the emotional construction and how it relates to other work he was doing at that period. The great thing to avoid is looking at things in isolation.  I'd like to see Kate's input and John's joined with Karoline's, (and I can put in the dull stuff about rhyme schemes),  and see what we come up with.

          Just for starters, let's consider the image of the beloved as the Circe/Lilith/Dark Muse that we find in this poem. It was written in May 1862, just six or seven months after  'Dream of Fame/ Three Sunsets', yet the image of the female beloved in both poems could not be more different. In the earlier poem, as in his previous love poem 'Faces in the Fire', the beloved is depicted tenderly, worshipfully, adoringly, and the love between the hero and his lover is depicted as beautiful and positive. Yet in 'Stolen Waters' this image of angelic sweetness and divine passion is suddenly replaced  by one of demonic seduction and debased consummation. The woman in Stolen Waters is as vile as her predecessors were lovely; the passion the hero shares with her is as repugnant as previously it was inspirational.

          It seems to me biographical and artistic questions collide here, and it becomes impossible to address them separately. Assuming Collingwood was right and there is at least an emotional autobiography here - then what do we make of his sudden switch in characterisation of the female lover, who is a near angel of sweetness in 'Faces in the Fire'  and 'Dream of Fame/ 3 Sunsets', yet in the space of just a few months has morphed into a demonic and deceiving seductress?

          Artistically it's tempting to see here an anticipation of the bizarre juxtaposition of female sweetness/vileness in Sylvie and Bruno, where 'my Lady' and Lady Muriel briefly share a common identity before splitting into two polarised images of womanhood, good and awful.  Madonna and whore? not quite. Though Lady Muriel is undoubtedly virginal, and Carroll plays heavily pointed up word games about 'my Lady's'  status as 'VICE-wardeness'

          One does have the feeling that some similar twinning of  all that is lovely and all that is vile, madonna/whore, encapsulated in a single being, was somehow personally important to Dodgson as an artist and quite possibly beyond that as a man. Something draws him to the mythologies that allow him to explore this theme, again and again.

          Interesting also to look at some of the comic poetry he was writing at roughly the same period in which Stolen Waters was composed.  Although the style and the authorial intent are superficially very different, yet, interestingly, even here in this much more traditionally 'Carroll' territory, we can see  that the themes of female perfidy/stupidity which seem to have suddenly begun obsessing Dodgson the serious poet in early 1862, are also present in Dodgson the comic poet of the same time.  

          'Damon and Chloe', written in 1861,  'My Fancy', and 'Miss Jones', both composed within a few months of 'Stolen Waters' in 1862, all present a similar antagonistic, rather sneering attitude to woman, and there is a sense of a quite real loathing on the part of the poet that is imperfectly disguised by the supposed comedy.

          Again, beyond the poetry, a similar edgy representation of womanhood can be found in 'Alice', with the Duchess and Queen of Hearts both being near cliches of the male image of the stupid terrifying irrational woman - and indeed both direct ancestors of 'my Lady' in Sylvie and Bruno'.

          It seems that for whatever reason, some time in the early 1860s saw a sudden focus, almost an obsession, in Dodgson on the negative, destructive, evil, vile and comically grotesque aspects of womanhood, which he attacks, even in comic form, with an almost vitriolic intensity. This is a curiosity that should focus the attention of lit-critics and biographers alike I think.


          Does anyone agree?

          Mike



          to unsubscribe  send a blank email to: lewiscarroll-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
        • Kate Lyon
          PS to my last mail - Orme, of course, means serpent. ... From: Kate Lyon To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 11:13 PM Subject:
          Message 4 of 24 , Sep 11, 2002
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            PS to my last mail - Orme, of course, means serpent.
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Kate Lyon
            Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 11:13 PM
            Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] "Stolen Waters" - and 'Proverbs'

            Nice mail Mike. Okay. Lilith - as I may have already said - was the first wife of Adam, and according to legend she tried to set herself higher than him. Adam wasn't having that, so Lilith flew away into the desert, and spawned many demon children. And she was supplanted by Eve. Who, of course, became the temptress in her turn. "Better the devil you know!" I suppose. But Lilith was the serpent.  And later, of course, it was the serpent who twined himself around the tree in the garden and whispered to Eve that SHE eat of the fruit.  Which, of course, is exactly what the woman is doing in Stolen Waters. Tempting him. The serpent, once upon a time, was simply wisdom.  Wisdom, as we know, has a price. Everything does.  Alice found that out when she went to buy an egg from the sheep. Not only did she have to pay for it, but she had to get it, ie find out, for herself, the hard way.
             
            Thomas of Erceldoune chose to go with the fairy queen - but that was the price of his prophetic gift. but so, of course, Adam fell. "Et in Arcady ego".
             
            Kate Lyon
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 10:11 PM
            Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] "Stolen Waters" - and 'Proverbs'

            I thought it might be interesting to get back to the discussion of Dodgson's poetry that got derailed somehow a few weeks back, so here is a belated reply to a mail of Kate's


            Kate wrote:

            It appears to me that Stolen Waters is based upon Thomas of Erceldoune - Thomas the Rhymer, which is an ancient ballad. In it, Thomas lays himself down on 'Huntlie Bank' and is tempted by the Queen of Fairu, who appears to him in the guise of a young and beautiful woman. However, after he has made love to him, her flesh changes, and she becomes an old and ancient hag.  Thomas, however, is given a choice of roads - but chosses to follow with the beautiful woman.  He returns, after seven years has passed, these seven years seeming like an a few minutes.  



            While, of course Dodgson doesn't use the 'relativity' of time in 'Stolen Waters', it's interesting that you mention it, since it is such a feature of 'Sylvie and Bruno' (and indeed of 'alien abductions!'). Hard to know what to do with the connection, yet also rather hard to ignore it or dismiss it as mere coincidence.

            I think the link to 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' is rather one of poetic style than direct borrowing; they are both coming from the same deep tradition source and the tales of Fairy power. There is also a similar link to Tennyson and aspects of 'Idylls of the King', though Dodgson's poem is more sexually charged and graphic than anything Tennyson was writing.

            I think a proper analysis of this poem has to take account of its mythological connections, its biblical references, and also, in the biographical sense, the emotional construction and how it relates to other work he was doing at that period. The great thing to avoid is looking at things in isolation.  I'd like to see Kate's input and John's joined with Karoline's, (and I can put in the dull stuff about rhyme schemes),  and see what we come up with.

            Just for starters, let's consider the image of the beloved as the Circe/Lilith/Dark Muse that we find in this poem. It was written in May 1862, just six or seven months after  'Dream of Fame/ Three Sunsets', yet the image of the female beloved in both poems could not be more different. In the earlier poem, as in his previous love poem 'Faces in the Fire', the beloved is depicted tenderly, worshipfully, adoringly, and the love between the hero and his lover is depicted as beautiful and positive. Yet in 'Stolen Waters' this image of angelic sweetness and divine passion is suddenly replaced  by one of demonic seduction and debased consummation. The woman in Stolen Waters is as vile as her predecessors were lovely; the passion the hero shares with her is as repugnant as previously it was inspirational.

            It seems to me biographical and artistic questions collide here, and it becomes impossible to address them separately. Assuming Collingwood was right and there is at least an emotional autobiography here - then what do we make of his sudden switch in characterisation of the female lover, who is a near angel of sweetness in 'Faces in the Fire'  and 'Dream of Fame/ 3 Sunsets', yet in the space of just a few months has morphed into a demonic and deceiving seductress?

            Artistically it's tempting to see here an anticipation of the bizarre juxtaposition of female sweetness/vileness in Sylvie and Bruno, where 'my Lady' and Lady Muriel briefly share a common identity before splitting into two polarised images of womanhood, good and awful.  Madonna and whore? not quite. Though Lady Muriel is undoubtedly virginal, and Carroll plays heavily pointed up word games about 'my Lady's'  status as 'VICE-wardeness'

            One does have the feeling that some similar twinning of  all that is lovely and all that is vile, madonna/whore, encapsulated in a single being, was somehow personally important to Dodgson as an artist and quite possibly beyond that as a man. Something draws him to the mythologies that allow him to explore this theme, again and again.

            Interesting also to look at some of the comic poetry he was writing at roughly the same period in which Stolen Waters was composed.  Although the style and the authorial intent are superficially very different, yet, interestingly, even here in this much more traditionally 'Carroll' territory, we can see  that the themes of female perfidy/stupidity which seem to have suddenly begun obsessing Dodgson the serious poet in early 1862, are also present in Dodgson the comic poet of the same time.  

            'Damon and Chloe', written in 1861,  'My Fancy', and 'Miss Jones', both composed within a few months of 'Stolen Waters' in 1862, all present a similar antagonistic, rather sneering attitude to woman, and there is a sense of a quite real loathing on the part of the poet that is imperfectly disguised by the supposed comedy.

            Again, beyond the poetry, a similar edgy representation of womanhood can be found in 'Alice', with the Duchess and Queen of Hearts both being near cliches of the male image of the stupid terrifying irrational woman - and indeed both direct ancestors of 'my Lady' in Sylvie and Bruno'.

            It seems that for whatever reason, some time in the early 1860s saw a sudden focus, almost an obsession, in Dodgson on the negative, destructive, evil, vile and comically grotesque aspects of womanhood, which he attacks, even in comic form, with an almost vitriolic intensity. This is a curiosity that should focus the attention of lit-critics and biographers alike I think.


            Does anyone agree?

            Mike



            to unsubscribe  send a blank email to: lewiscarroll-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


            to unsubscribe  send a blank email to: lewiscarroll-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
          • knaveofarts
            ... at ... Although the ... yet, ... territory, ... to have ... are also ... both ... present a ... is a sense ... imperfectly ... womanhood can be ... near
            Message 5 of 24 , Sep 11, 2002
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              >
              > Interesting also to look at some of the comic poetry he was writing
              at
              > roughly the same period in which Stolen Waters was composed.
              Although the
              > style and the authorial intent are superficially very different,
              yet,
              > interestingly, even here in this much more traditionally 'Carroll'
              territory,
              > we can see that the themes of female perfidy/stupidity which seem
              to have
              > suddenly begun obsessing Dodgson the serious poet in early 1862,
              are also
              > present in Dodgson the comic poet of the same time.
              >
              > 'Damon and Chloe', written in 1861, 'My Fancy', and 'Miss Jones',
              both
              > composed within a few months of 'Stolen Waters' in 1862, all
              present a
              > similar antagonistic, rather sneering attitude to woman, and there
              is a sense
              > of a quite real loathing on the part of the poet that is
              imperfectly
              > disguised by the supposed comedy.
              >
              > Again, beyond the poetry, a similar edgy representation of
              womanhood can be
              > found in 'Alice', with the Duchess and Queen of Hearts both being
              near
              > cliches of the male image of the stupid terrifying irrational
              woman - and
              > indeed both direct ancestors of 'my Lady' in Sylvie and Bruno'.
              >
              > It seems that for whatever reason, some time in the early 1860s saw
              a sudden
              > focus, almost an obsession, in Dodgson on the negative,
              destructive, evil,
              > vile and comically grotesque aspects of womanhood, which he
              attacks, even in
              > comic form, with an almost vitriolic intensity. This is a curiosity
              that
              > should focus the attention of lit-critics and biographers alike I
              think.
              >
              >
              > Does anyone agree?
              >
              > Mike

              Mike:

              In your great post No. 7127, you wrote "the striking thing about
              the cut pages and missing volumes is of course that they virtually
              all belong to a single ten-year period 1853-63. About 60% of the
              record for that decade is missing, compared with only one missing
              page for the remaining 35 years of Dodgson's life."

              "Aha!"

              (Who said that?)

              By the way, as you advised, I've ordered Cohen's and Leach's
              books. I hope to instigorate knowledge.
            • AnisaT@aol.com
              In a message dated 11/09/2002 12:14:45 GMT Daylight Time,
              Message 6 of 24 , Sep 29, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                In a message dated 11/09/2002 12:14:45 GMT Daylight Time, lyon@... writes:


                Subj:Re: [lewiscarroll] "Stolen Waters" - and 'Proverbs'
                Date:11/09/2002 12:14:45 GMT Daylight Time
                From:lyon@...
                Reply-to:lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
                To:lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
                Sent from the Internet



                PS to my last mail - Orme, of course, means serpent.

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Kate Lyon
                To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 11:13 PM
                Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] "Stolen Waters" - and 'Proverbs'


                Nice mail Mike. Okay. Lilith - as I may have already said - was the first wife of Adam, and according to legend she tried to set herself higher than him. Adam wasn't having that, so Lilith flew away into the desert, and spawned many demon children. And she was supplanted by Eve. Who, of course, became the temptress in her turn. "Better the devil you know!" I suppose. But Lilith was the serpent.  And later, of course, it was the serpent who twined himself around the tree in the garden and whispered to Eve that SHE eat of the fruit.  Which, of course, is exactly what the woman is doing in Stolen Waters. Tempting him. The serpent, once upon a time, was simply wisdom.  Wisdom, as we know, has a price. Everything does.  Alice found that out when she went to buy an egg from the sheep. Not only did she have to pay for it, but she had to get it, ie find out, for herself, the hard way.

                Thomas of Erceldoune chose to go with the fairy queen - but that was the price of his prophetic gift. but so, of course, Adam fell. "Et in Arcady ego".

                Kate Lyon


                ----- Original Message -----

                From: mikeindex@...
                To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 10:11 PM
                Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] "Stolen Waters" - and 'Proverbs'


                I thought it might be interesting to get back to the discussion of Dodgson's poetry that got derailed somehow a few weeks back, so here is a belated reply to a mail of Kate's


                Kate wrote:

                It appears to me that Stolen Waters is based upon Thomas of Erceldoune - Thomas the Rhymer, which is an ancient ballad. In it, Thomas lays himself down on 'Huntlie Bank' and is tempted by the Queen of Fairu, who appears to him in the guise of a young and beautiful woman. However, after he has made love to him, her flesh changes, and she becomes an old and ancient hag.  Thomas, however, is given a choice of roads - but chosses to follow with the beautiful woman.  He returns, after seven years has passed, these seven years seeming like an a few minutes. 



                While, of course Dodgson doesn't use the 'relativity' of time in 'Stolen Waters', it's interesting that you mention it, since it is such a feature of 'Sylvie and Bruno' (and indeed of 'alien abductions!'). Hard to know what to do with the connection, yet also rather hard to ignore it or dismiss it as mere coincidence.

                I think the link to 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' is rather one of poetic style than direct borrowing; they are both coming from the same deep tradition source and the tales of Fairy power. There is also a similar link to Tennyson and aspects of 'Idylls of the King', though Dodgson's poem is more sexually charged and graphic than anything Tennyson was writing.

                I think a proper analysis of this poem has to take account of its mythological connections, its biblical references, and also, in the biographical sense, the emotional construction and how it relates to other work he was doing at that period. The great thing to avoid is looking at things in isolation.  I'd like to see Kate's input and John's joined with Karoline's, (and I can put in the dull stuff about rhyme schemes),  and see what we come up with.

                Just for starters, let's consider the image of the beloved as the Circe/Lilith/Dark Muse that we find in this poem. It was written in May 1862, just six or seven months after  'Dream of Fame/ Three Sunsets', yet the image of the female beloved in both poems could not be more different. In the earlier poem, as in his previous love poem 'Faces in the Fire', the beloved is depicted tenderly, worshipfully, adoringly, and the love between the hero and his lover is depicted as beautiful and positive. Yet in 'Stolen Waters' this image of angelic sweetness and divine passion is suddenly replaced  by one of demonic seduction and debased consummation. The woman in Stolen Waters is as vile as her predecessors were lovely; the passion the hero shares with her is as repugnant as previously it was inspirational.

                It seems to me biographical and artistic questions collide here, and it becomes impossible to address them separately. Assuming Collingwood was right and there is at least an emotional autobiography here - then what do we make of his sudden switch in characterisation of the female lover, who is a near angel of sweetness in 'Faces in the Fire'  and 'Dream of Fame/ 3 Sunsets', yet in the space of just a few months has morphed into a demonic and deceiving seductress?

                Artistically it's tempting to see here an anticipation of the bizarre juxtaposition of female sweetness/vileness in Sylvie and Bruno, where 'my Lady' and Lady Muriel briefly share a common identity before splitting into two polarised images of womanhood, good and awful.  Madonna and whore? not quite. Though Lady Muriel is undoubtedly virginal, and Carroll plays heavily pointed up word games about 'my Lady's'  status as 'VICE-wardeness'

                One does have the feeling that some similar twinning of  all that is lovely and all that is vile, madonna/whore, encapsulated in a single being, was somehow personally important to Dodgson as an artist and quite possibly beyond that as a man. Something draws him to the mythologies that allow him to explore this theme, again and again.

                Interesting also to look at some of the comic poetry he was writing at roughly the same period in which Stolen Waters was composed.  Although the style and the authorial intent are superficially very different, yet, interestingly, even here in this much more traditionally 'Carroll' territory, we can see  that the themes of female perfidy/stupidity which seem to have suddenly begun obsessing Dodgson the serious poet in early 1862, are also present in Dodgson the comic poet of the same time.  

                'Damon and Chloe', written in 1861,  'My Fancy', and 'Miss Jones', both composed within a few months of 'Stolen Waters' in 1862, all present a similar antagonistic, rather sneering attitude to woman, and there is a sense of a quite real loathing on the part of the poet that is imperfectly disguised by the supposed comedy.

                Again, beyond the poetry, a similar edgy representation of womanhood can be found in 'Alice', with the Duchess and Queen of Hearts both being near cliches of the male image of the stupid terrifying irrational woman - and indeed both direct ancestors of 'my Lady' in Sylvie and Bruno'.

                It seems that for whatever reason, some time in the early 1860s saw a sudden focus, almost an obsession, in Dodgson on the negative, destructive, evil, vile and comically grotesque aspects of womanhood, which he attacks, even in comic form, with an almost vitriolic intensity. This is a curiosity that should focus the attention of lit-critics and biographers alike I think.


                Does anyone agree?

                Mike



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              • AnisaT@aol.com
                In a message dated 11/09/2002 12:12:42 GMT Daylight Time,
                Message 7 of 24 , Sep 29, 2002
                • 0 Attachment
                  In a message dated 11/09/2002 12:12:42 GMT Daylight Time, lyon@... writes:


                  Subj:Re: [lewiscarroll] "Stolen Waters" - and 'Proverbs'
                  Date:11/09/2002 12:12:42 GMT Daylight Time
                  From:lyon@...
                  Reply-to:lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
                  To:lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent from the Internet



                  Nice mail Mike. Okay. Lilith - as I may have already said - was the first wife of Adam, and according to legend she tried to set herself higher than him. Adam wasn't having that, so Lilith flew away into the desert, and spawned many demon children. And she was supplanted by Eve. Who, of course, became the temptress in her turn. "Better the devil you know!" I suppose. But Lilith was the serpent.  And later, of course, it was the serpent who twined himself around the tree in the garden and whispered to Eve that SHE eat of the fruit.  Which, of course, is exactly what the woman is doing in Stolen Waters. Tempting him. The serpent, once upon a time, was simply wisdom.  Wisdom, as we know, has a price. Everything does.  Alice found that out when she went to buy an egg from the sheep. Not only did she have to pay for it, but she had to get it, ie find out, for herself, the hard way.

                  Thomas of Erceldoune chose to go with the fairy queen - but that was the price of his prophetic gift. but so, of course, Adam fell. "Et in Arcady ego".

                  Kate Lyon


                  ----- Original Message -----

                  From: mikeindex@...
                  To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 10:11 PM
                  Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] "Stolen Waters" - and 'Proverbs'


                  I thought it might be interesting to get back to the discussion of Dodgson's poetry that got derailed somehow a few weeks back, so here is a belated reply to a mail of Kate's


                  Kate wrote:

                  It appears to me that Stolen Waters is based upon Thomas of Erceldoune - Thomas the Rhymer, which is an ancient ballad. In it, Thomas lays himself down on 'Huntlie Bank' and is tempted by the Queen of Fairu, who appears to him in the guise of a young and beautiful woman. However, after he has made love to him, her flesh changes, and she becomes an old and ancient hag.  Thomas, however, is given a choice of roads - but chosses to follow with the beautiful woman.  He returns, after seven years has passed, these seven years seeming like an a few minutes. 



                  While, of course Dodgson doesn't use the 'relativity' of time in 'Stolen Waters', it's interesting that you mention it, since it is such a feature of 'Sylvie and Bruno' (and indeed of 'alien abductions!'). Hard to know what to do with the connection, yet also rather hard to ignore it or dismiss it as mere coincidence.

                  I think the link to 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' is rather one of poetic style than direct borrowing; they are both coming from the same deep tradition source and the tales of Fairy power. There is also a similar link to Tennyson and aspects of 'Idylls of the King', though Dodgson's poem is more sexually charged and graphic than anything Tennyson was writing.

                  I think a proper analysis of this poem has to take account of its mythological connections, its biblical references, and also, in the biographical sense, the emotional construction and how it relates to other work he was doing at that period. The great thing to avoid is looking at things in isolation.  I'd like to see Kate's input and John's joined with Karoline's, (and I can put in the dull stuff about rhyme schemes),  and see what we come up with.

                  Just for starters, let's consider the image of the beloved as the Circe/Lilith/Dark Muse that we find in this poem. It was written in May 1862, just six or seven months after  'Dream of Fame/ Three Sunsets', yet the image of the female beloved in both poems could not be more different. In the earlier poem, as in his previous love poem 'Faces in the Fire', the beloved is depicted tenderly, worshipfully, adoringly, and the love between the hero and his lover is depicted as beautiful and positive. Yet in 'Stolen Waters' this image of angelic sweetness and divine passion is suddenly replaced  by one of demonic seduction and debased consummation. The woman in Stolen Waters is as vile as her predecessors were lovely; the passion the hero shares with her is as repugnant as previously it was inspirational.

                  It seems to me biographical and artistic questions collide here, and it becomes impossible to address them separately. Assuming Collingwood was right and there is at least an emotional autobiography here - then what do we make of his sudden switch in characterisation of the female lover, who is a near angel of sweetness in 'Faces in the Fire'  and 'Dream of Fame/ 3 Sunsets', yet in the space of just a few months has morphed into a demonic and deceiving seductress?

                  Artistically it's tempting to see here an anticipation of the bizarre juxtaposition of female sweetness/vileness in Sylvie and Bruno, where 'my Lady' and Lady Muriel briefly share a common identity before splitting into two polarised images of womanhood, good and awful.  Madonna and whore? not quite. Though Lady Muriel is undoubtedly virginal, and Carroll plays heavily pointed up word games about 'my Lady's'  status as 'VICE-wardeness'

                  One does have the feeling that some similar twinning of  all that is lovely and all that is vile, madonna/whore, encapsulated in a single being, was somehow personally important to Dodgson as an artist and quite possibly beyond that as a man. Something draws him to the mythologies that allow him to explore this theme, again and again.

                  Interesting also to look at some of the comic poetry he was writing at roughly the same period in which Stolen Waters was composed.  Although the style and the authorial intent are superficially very different, yet, interestingly, even here in this much more traditionally 'Carroll' territory, we can see  that the themes of female perfidy/stupidity which seem to have suddenly begun obsessing Dodgson the serious poet in early 1862, are also present in Dodgson the comic poet of the same time.  

                  'Damon and Chloe', written in 1861,  'My Fancy', and 'Miss Jones', both composed within a few months of 'Stolen Waters' in 1862, all present a similar antagonistic, rather sneering attitude to woman, and there is a sense of a quite real loathing on the part of the poet that is imperfectly disguised by the supposed comedy.

                  Again, beyond the poetry, a similar edgy representation of womanhood can be found in 'Alice', with the Duchess and Queen of Hearts both being near cliches of the male image of the stupid terrifying irrational woman - and indeed both direct ancestors of 'my Lady' in Sylvie and Bruno'.

                  It seems that for whatever reason, some time in the early 1860s saw a sudden focus, almost an obsession, in Dodgson on the negative, destructive, evil, vile and comically grotesque aspects of womanhood, which he attacks, even in comic form, with an almost vitriolic intensity. This is a curiosity that should focus the attention of lit-critics and biographers alike I think.


                  Does anyone agree?

                  Mike



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