Alice in Space (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
Antal sidor
University of Chicago Press
228 x 152 x 25 mm
430 g
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Alice in Space (häftad)

Alice in Space

The Sideways Victorian World of Lewis Carroll

Häftad Engelska, 2018-01-18
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In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll created fantastic worlds that continue to delight and trouble readers of all ages today. Few consider, however, that Carroll conceived his Alice books during the 1860s, a moment of intense intellectual upheaval, as new scientific, linguistic, educational, and mathematical ideas flourished around him and far beyond. Alice in Space reveals the contexts within which the Alice books first lived, bringing back the zest to jokes lost over time and poignancy to hidden references. Gillian Beer explores Carroll's work through the speculative gaze of Alice, for whom no authority is unquestioned and everything can speak. Parody and Punch, evolutionary debates, philosophical dialogues, educational works for children, math and logic, manners and rituals, dream theory and childhood studies all fueled the fireworks. While much has been written about Carroll's biography and his influence on children's literature, Beer convincingly shows him at play in the spaces of Victorian cultural and intellectual life, drawing on then current controversies, reading prodigiously across many fields, and writing on multiple levels to please both children and adults in different ways. With a welcome combination of learning and lightness, Beer reminds us that Carroll's books are essentially about curiosity, its risks and pleasures. Along the way, Alice in Space shares Alice's exceptional ability to spark curiosity in us, too.
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"The title of this wonderful work--alert and witty in its attention to details, capacious and learned in its opening up of the realms of knowledge Carroll lived among and engaged with--evokes outer space and rightly so. Alice travels underground and through a mirror and beyond any earth we know. But she inhabits other zones, too. She lives in our minds. She reads the signs of a foreign world and is herself read by others. All of this comes richly alive for us in Beer's writing. We are as close to 'adamant eager Alice' as we shall ever be."--Michael Wood, author of Literature and the Taste of Knowledge "While Lewis Carroll's importance to the history of children's literature has long been recognized, this book convincingly establishes Carroll and the Alice books at the very heart of Victorian literature and culture. Here we learn how the Alice books engage in active conversations with the ideas of great minds like Charles Darwin, Thomas Henry Huxley, Max Muller, John Stuart Mill, and Emily Bronte. Beer brilliantly reveals Carroll to be, like his famous protagonist, always curious, always enquiring."--Jan Susina, author of The Place of Lewis Carroll in Children's Literature "Offering sensitive and judicious insights into Lewis Carroll--the man, the mathematician, and the writer--Beer takes us on a vertiginous voyage through the wonderlands of his creation. She explores the scientific and ethical questions of his time and reveals how the comic--and dark--fantasy of the Alice books often conveys the subtlety of his dissenting views. Beer always writes with stylish, consummate eloquence. Alice in Space exemplifies how flights of passionate sympathy and imagination can also be acts of scrupulous inquiry and immaculate research."--Marina Warner, author of Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights "Just when we all thought we knew the Alice books, along comes Gillian Beer, who opens up not just new doors, but whole new corridors and gardens down in Carroll's sideways world. Alice in Space is a joy: playful, brilliant, and wise."--Rebecca Stott, author of Darwin's Ghosts: In Search of the First Evolutionists

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Övrig information

Gillian Beer is the King Edward VII Professor of English Literature Emerita at the University of Cambridge. Her books include Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction and Virginia Woolf: The Common Ground. Named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1998, she has edited popular editions of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, Jane Austen's Persuasion, and Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky and Other Nonsense: Collected Poems.