By Melanie Benjamin
Few works of literature are as universally cherished as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, during this spellbinding old novel, we meet the younger lady whose brilliant spirit despatched her on an unforgettable journey down the rabbit hole–and the grown girl whose tale is not any much less enthralling.
But oh my pricey, i'm uninterested in being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?
Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s existence has been a richly woven tapestry: As a tender lady, spouse, mom, and widow, she’s skilled severe ardour, nice privilege, and bigger tragedy. yet as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she is familiar with that, to the area round her, she is and may continuously be in simple terms “Alice.” Her lifestyles used to be completely dog-eared at one fateful second in her 10th year–the golden summer season day she recommended a grown-up buddy to write one in all his fanciful stories.
That tale, a wild story of rabbits, queens, and a precocious younger baby, turns into a sensation internationally. Its writer, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does greater than immortalize Alice–he alterations her existence ceaselessly. yet even he can't cease time, up to he may well wish to. And as Alice’s formative years slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances offers method to the pressing tide of war.
For Alice, the stakes couldn't be greater, for she is the mummy of 3 grown sons, infantrymen all. but whilst she stands to lose every thing she treasures, one a part of her will consistently be the made up our minds, undaunted Alice of the tale, who came upon that lifestyles past the rabbit gap was once an amazing journey.
A love tale and a literary secret, Alice i've got Been brilliantly blends truth and fiction to seize the passionate spirit of a girl who used to be really necessary of her fictional modify ego, in an international as fascinating because the Wonderland merely she may well encourage.
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Extra info for Alice I Have Been
These are, no doubt, signiﬁcant arguments (their most notable merit being their originality). But I don’t have any obligation to answer them. I’m not erecting any system here–– God preserve us from systems! I’m simply stating a fact. I’m writing history, not criticism. Like it or not, this is the way things are. To return to the point, then, let’s try to show that this fertile union of the grotesque with the sublime has been the origin of the modern spirit–– so complex, so varied in form, so inﬁnite in its creations (in striking contrast to the uniform simplicity of the ancient spirit); this must be our point of departure, if we are to describe the real and radical diﬀerence between the two systems.
Aristophanes stands incomparably higher than Plautus; Aristophanes has a place among the ancient poets, as Diogenes has among the ancient philosophers. It’s obvious why Terence isn’t mentioned in this passage alongside the two popular comic writers of the ancient world. Terence is the drawing-room poet of the Scipios,* an elegant and charming engraver whose hand obliterates the uncouth old comedy of the ancient Romans [Hugo’s note]. 2 This great drama of human damnation dominates the whole medieval imagination.
We mustn’t eye the period too scornfully; it was the seedbed of everything that has come to fruition since, and (allow me to use a banal but expressive image) its second-rate writers made it a dunghill to fertilize the future harvest. The Middle Ages were grown from the Byzantine empire. So there we have a new religion and a new society; on that dual basis, inevitably a new kind of poetry would develop. In ancient times–– if I may draw attention to something that the reader will already have deduced from the preceding pages–– in ancient times, the Muse had been purely epic, and, in keeping with the old polytheism and the old philosophy, she had seen nature only from one side; when she imitated the world around her, she ﬁrmly rejected from art anything that didn’t correspond to a particular type of beauty.