lewis carroll | images
Lewis Carroll's Alice (*to skip straight to images, scroll down on this page and click on Images | Carroll) has become such a part of our culture that almost every artist somewhere, in some country (and there are over 162 languages into which Alice has been translated if you include minor dialects), that there are myriad illustrations, with each illustrator having his or her own take on Alice. It's interesting to see the range - the gamut from Disney's happy, blonded, and giggly Alice all the way to perhaps a truer Alice in Jonathan Miller's 1966 film about Alice in which she appears wild-haired, pouty, and she never loses her sang-froid - able to negotiate her strange world and even with an attitude at times; Miller's Alice has broken free of the shoulds and oughts of Victorian convention (even contemporary convention) for children's behavior (or even adult behavior); we do not talk back, we accept arbitrary rules, things that do not make sense we are not meant to question; there are those in the world who would and will intentionally mislead and try to intimidate us; life is a riddle; if you don't know the answers to the fundamental question Who Are You then you must be stupid.
Of course, there is a great deal more going on here, but these are central themes. Do you know yourself? Adult or child, do you really know yourself? If not, then Wonderland is a dark place and our Alice, apart from her happy Disneyfied version, finds herself quite alone and quite melancholy at times in this dark wood and tells us as much in both books. Wonderland is not a "happy" book; It is a difficult book, a complex book, it is sense within nonsense, it is a book that transcends all genre, all age-group, all language barriers and reaches the collective consciousness in a way that no other book has since (apart from perhaps Shakespeare) or ever will - or at least, so far has not. Other books may come and go and they will do well and have many years of success - maybe ten or more. But will they last as long as Carroll? Will we be quoting from them in every possible way over a hundred years from now? Have they created words of whole cloth that have made their way into the Oxford English Dictionary and common usage? Not yet. Only Lewis Carroll achieved this and therein lies his true genius: a remarkable ability to see that thing that makes all of us, worldwide, the same in some way. A sameness that we can all identify with in this wholly different world.
This is Lewis Carroll, and below in this gallery are some images of characters from his books as seen by different illustrators (including Carroll himself), samples of his handwriting, and yet more.
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images | carroll (54)