Category Archives: Carroll (Lewis)

“Alice” Shaped Joyce Carol Oates

“Alice in Wonderland” is the book that changed the life of Joyce Carol Oates.

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Rumsfeld through the Looking Glass

Interviewing Donald Rumsfeld is like entering Alice’s looking glass world.

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Lewis Carroll’s Revolt against “Reality”

“Alice in Wonderland” was Carroll’s protest against Victorian society.

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Using Fantasy to Take Back Time

Fantasy appeals to us as we chafe against machine-imposed reality, including machine-imposed time.

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Scandal? Nothing but a Pack of Cards

Like Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts, GOP investigation committees want verdict first, trial afterwards.

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Sam Spade Gambles with the Filibuster

Is the GOP filibuster like a Sam Spade-Kasper Gutman negotiation? Is Obama like the Queen of Hearts in his drone program?

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Medicare Politics and Gullible Oysters

Like the oysters in “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” Americans are being lied to about GOP plans for Medicare.

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Romney and Ryan’s Gently Smiling Jaws

Romney’s call for us to trust him on his taxes and policy specifics reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s “little crocodile.”

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Portal Fantasies – Nadal Loses, Italy Wins

Judging by the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision and the defeats of Rafael Nadal and the German soccer team, the world passed through a strange portal this past Thursday.

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Mitt Romney and Looking Glass Politics

To understand Mitt Romney’s lying, look not to “Pinocchio” but to “Alice through the Looking Glass.”

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Fantasy to the Rescue in Hard Times

Byatt’s book “The Children’s Hour” demonstrates many of the uses of fantasy.

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Lit Explains Romney’s Off-Putting Laugh

Lewis Carroll, Kundera, and Dostoevsky help us understand why Mitt Romney’s laugh makes us nervous.

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Campaign 2012: Assorted Lit Allusions

Literary allusions are flying fast and free in this primary season.

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The Presidential Candidates in Wonderland

Should we dismiss all the rhetoric coming from the Republican presidential candidates as the gryphon in “Alice in Wonderland” dismisses the “off with their heads” commands of the Queen of Hearts?

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Reading for Fun, the Best Education

In “Northanger Abbey,” Jane Austen advocates the ideal way to raise one’s kids: encourage them to read good literature and they will learn the life lessons that they need.

Also posted in Austen (Jane), Gay (John), Gray (Thomas), Pope (Alexander), Shakespeare (William), Thompson (James) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Rightwing Rewrites Reality

Today’s Republican right are practitioners of the Humpty Dumpty approach to communication: “I said it very loud and clear. I went and shouted in his ear.” Like Lewis Carroll’s Humpty, they also believe that they can make reality, as Humpty makes words, mean whatever they want it to mean.

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Tweedledum, Tweedledee, and Medi(s)care

I, however, find all the posturing over Medicare depressing. When the Democrats respond with their own scare tactics, they just become Tweedledee to the Republicans’ Tweedledum.

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Believing 6 Impossibilities before Breakfast

Slate Magazine recently had a Jacob Weisberg column that invoked Alice through the Looking Glass in talking about the current Republican Party. Lewis Carroll’s Alice books seem indeed to be works for our times.

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Analyzing Loughner’s Booklist

Like much of America, I am still in a state of shock over Saturday’s shooting of a Congresswoman, a judge, and 16 others. Like many I wonder if this was an example of a disturbed mind encountering the inflamed political rhetoric that has come to characterize American political discourse. (Add Arizona’s permissive gun laws into […]

Also posted in Aesop, Barrie (J. M.), Baum (L. Frank), Bradbury (Ray), Bukowski (Charles), Hemingway (Ernest), Hesse (Hermann), Hitler (Adolph), Homer, Huxley (Aldous), Juster (Norton(, Kesey (Ken), Lee (Harper), Marx (Karl), Orwell (George), Plato, Rand (Ayn) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

What Fictional Fantasy Means

Having taught British Fantasy Literature for the first time last semester, I need to think back on it before it becomes a distant memory.    By reflecting publicly, I can share some of the insights I gained from the course. Two major things I learned are that (1) fantasy is an oppositional genre—by which I […]

Also posted in Andersen (Hans Christian), Barrie (J. M.), Chaucer (Geoffrey), Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Dickens (Charles), Grahame (Kenneth), Grimm Brothers, Haggard (Rider), Keats (John), Kipling (Rudyard), Rossetti (Christina), Shakespeare (William), Sir Gawain Poet, Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Tolkien (J.R.R.) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

It’s Been a Mad Tea Party

Tuesday’s election gave us a chance to assess the effectiveness of the American Tea Party movement, which has fascinated not only the American media but people around the globe. For liberals like me, at times Tea Partiers have seemed to resemble less the American colonialists dumping tea into the Boston Harbor and more Lewis Carroll’s […]

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Michael Jackson and Peter Pan

  “I am Peter Pan,” Michael Jackson reportedly once said, and of course he chose to name his ranch Neverland. In this second of my two posts marking Jackson’s death, I thought I would reflect upon why J. M. Barrie’s fictional creation meant so much to him. Peter Pan: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up […]

Also posted in Barrie (J. M.), Burnett (Francis Hodgson), Milne (A. A.), Nabokov (Vladimir) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

The Magic World of Children’s Lit

William Kristof, the much traveled Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, wrote recently about the disturbing way that children’s IQ scores often drop over summer vacation. The cause is lack of intellectual stimulation. The problem is more severe with poor than it is with middle class kids. As an antidote, Kristof offered […]

Also posted in Berna (Paul), Burnett (Francis Hodgson), Day-Lewis (Cecil), Doyle (Arthur Conan), Dumas (Alexander), Homer, Kipling (Rudyard), Lewis (C. S.), MacDonald (George), Milne (A. A.), Nesbitt (E.), Orczy (The Baroness Emmuska), Tolkien (J.R.R.), Verne (Jules), White (T.H.) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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