Alice Question #13 ~ Jabberwocky

by Lewis Carroll

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Alice Question #13 ~ Jabberwocky

Unread postby Liz » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:58 pm

In note #16 from the Annotated Alice, about Jabberwocky:

Carroll was not, of course, the first to use this technique of double-talk in humorous verse. He was preceded by Edward Lear, and it is a curious fact that nowhere in the writings or letters of these two undisputed leaders of English non-sense did either of them refer to the other, nor is there evidence that they ever met. Since the time of Lear and Carroll there have been attempts to produce a more serious poetry of this sort—poems by Dadaists, the Italian futurists, and Gertrude Stein (another TZ moment for me) , for example—but somehow when the technique is taken too seriously the results seem tiresome. I have yet to meet someone who could recite one of Miss Stein’s poetic efforts, but I have known a good many Carrollians who found that they knew the “Jabberwocky” by heart without ever having made a conscious effort to memorize it.

Which do you like better? Jabberwocky or Gertie’s poems? Why?

If there is anything else that you would like to discuss about Jabberwocky, this is the thread on which to do it.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Alice Question #13 ~ Jabberwocky

Unread postby gemini » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:47 pm

I can't say I have read many of Steins poems (only a few when we discussed her here on ONBC) but the few I have were, although written in perfect English, very hard for me to make sense of. Jabberwocky is more of an attempt to tell a story but with jibberish non-words but with a bit of imagination it seems almost a story. Maybe Stein's poems are that way for some but they were too deep for me. Maybe I have not read enough of them to find one I could understand. :perplexed:
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Re: Alice Question #13 ~ Jabberwocky

Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:06 am

Thanks for starting us off, gemini.

I agree with you that Jabberwocky is more like a story, but both Jabberwocky and many of Stein’s poems were written in a kind of code. I remember laughing at Stein’s poems but didn’t do that with Jabberwocky—not sure why. Maybe Stein had initiated me to such gibberish. I really don’t like either. I think that maybe I am more forgiving of Carroll’s poem because I know he has the capability of writing something that makes sense. Not so with Stein. Let me rephrase that....she may have had the capability, but didn't share it with the world.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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