Lewis Carroll

Alice and the Cheshire Cat in the Disney adaptation

On this date in 1898 Lewis Carroll died (born 1832).

Frye in “The Nature of Satire”:

Non-satiric humor tends to fantasy: one finds it most clearly in the fairy worlds of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, and Walt Disney, in Celtic romance and American tall tales.  Yet even here one can never be sure, for the humor of fantasy is continually being pulled back into satire by means of that powerful undertow which we call allegory.  The White King in Alice in Wonderland felt that one should be provided for everything, and therefore put anklets around his horse’s feet against the bites of sharks, may pass without challenge.  But what are we to make of the mob of hired revolutionaries in the same author’s Sylvie and Bruno, who got their instructions mixed and yelled under the palace windows: “More taxes!  Less bread!”  Here we begin to sniff the acrid, pungent smell of satire. (CW 21, 44-5)

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