Example essay

Lewis Carroll Essay Revisited

For some reason, I received no email notification of reader feedback on this essay with another “story”. I wanted to respond, but, much to my disappointment, I was blocked (which is a little odd considering this was my posted “story”, after all). “COMMENTS ARE CLOSED ON THIS STORY.”

The first part of my essay reads as follows:

“With celebrity sexual assault and harassment scandals stemming from the showbiz industry, some people (including a CNN-based commentator) are wondering if they will feel comfortable consuming quality products involving entertainers. and seriously offensive producers.In the meantime, some superstar fans will nonetheless continue to watch their favorites, while others may remain in denial indefinitely, as the superstar’s brightness can be blinding, especially when the product becomes legendary. .

(The dubious story of the late Michael Jackson having slumber parties with a young boy at his Neverland Ranch comes to mind as a current example, due to the huge vicious attacks staged via various media against anyone, including the major TV producers, who dare to suggest that the legendary pop music artist was a pedophile. He was just – and still is – that big and beloved.)

As an example of an artist from the pre-broadcast era, many people to this day find it very hard to accept, or perhaps even care, about this acclaimed author Lewis Carroll – author of the Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass children’s novels – liked to pose naked little girls in front of his camera. ….”

One reader, clearly a huge Lewis Carroll fan, was the most critical, with a few other readers seeming to follow his lead.

I don’t take the content I post lightly, especially the more controversial essays/comments, which is a big part of why, unlike other posters, I attach my true identity.



May 26, 2022 at 8:17:17 PM

As someone who has been involved with Lewis Carroll for the past thirty plus years…illustrated a number of his works…and who knew most of Carroll’s leading scholars and biographers during that time…

My reaction to this diary is basically…so, more of this BS urban legend. How about referencing real Lewis Carroll scholars and biographers?

Many photographers and artists made portraits of nude children at the time. It was part of the Victorian aesthetic. There is NO evidence that Dodgson was a “pedophile” or did anything wrong. Despite what people think, the majority of his photographic work did not involve children at all, and of the work that did, only a tiny fraction involved nudity.

Not one child never accused him of anything indecent later in life. On the contrary, most had very fond memories of him. The more mildly critical memories tended to go in the opposite direction – that is, he was a little too judgmental and pretentious.

In recent years, biographer Jenny Woolf came up with the idea of ​​consulting Dodgson’s private banking records, kept in her bank. No one had ever thought of doing this before, and what was discovered was instructive. Among other things, he quietly donated much of his money to numerous charities – and this included charities dedicated to helping sexually exploited women and children – including one that helped prosecute men. who have sexually abused children. What a strange thing for a so-called “pedophile” to do.



May 30, 2022 at 2:54:09 PM

Well, I just checked to see if any other comments appeared in this log. What a surprise: All these inconvenient facts, which go against what some want to believe, passed without response or acquiescence, as if they had never even appeared.

No doubt these people will blithely go on, slanderously claiming, as if it were fact, that Lewis Carroll was a dark, sick, twisted pedophile who sexually abused little girls.

By the way (I don’t expect anyone to see this comment)… In response to democratos below: I knew Martin Gardner. He had one of my watercolors hanging in his house. I still have a houseplant he and his wife gave me thirty years ago. I’ve known Mark Burstein for almost as long. I am mentioned several times in this 2015 edition of The Annotated Alice. Peter Heath wrote the introduction to the first book of a play by Carroll that I was the first to illustrate.



May 27, 2022 at 12:34:22

…Alice Liddell never posed nude for him. There are only basic facts to be observed here, despite what people want to believe. …

While he downplayed his connection to Carroll’s works for confidentiality reasons, in some contexts he had no problem being known as the author and talking about his works (for example, when classes of children wrote to ask him questions about them). …

He was only one person. His childhood work reads like Lewis Carroll, and the humor of the wider Dodgson family had a very “Carrollian” vein to it. His lighthearted private letters read exactly like Lewis Carroll, but are signed with his real name. It was just his humor and his personality. (Remember, he first improvised Alice’s story in private company, among friends, as Charles Dodgson, not thinking of “Lewis Carroll.”) Why is it so difficult for modern people to d to simply accept that someone was basically decent, pretty well-adjusted, imaginative person?



May 27, 2022 at 10:35:11 am

That’s essentially what these ignoramuses do: cling to a simplistic caricature of cartoon urban legend, then show how iconoclasticly “hip” they are to overthrow a beloved figure. … But the fact is, in this case, just about everyone who knew Dodgson agreed that he has been a very nice person.

Quirky in some ways, definitely; a bit pungent and obstinate in others, yes; but the overwhelming picture that emerges is someone who was kind and compassionate in the extreme… caring, empathetic and loving… gentle, sensitive and humble… witty and good company… and very, very concerned about what which was fair and moral (to the point of being almost too much, according to some).


On another forum, which I will not name, I posted an article similar to the essay in question, and it was deleted. What really pissed me off was that it was fully censored not by the automated filter, which quickly removes material that specifically violates clearly defined rules, but rather by a living “moderator(s)” for the Lewis Carroll section of the website (a subsite that, to me, looked a lot like Carroll fandom). As punishment, I was banned from commenting or contacting anyone there – like I was a sordid troll. Apparently that upset a powerful Lewis Carroll fan or two out there. And I had no way to communicate with any of the Carroll site “moderators” regarding the blatant unwarranted censorship.

I was accused of calling Lewis Carroll a “paedophile”. I did not, although the implication could be seen, understandably, especially by its defenders. My post included factual information, mostly full quotes, from scholars and writers; he included various sources (for, against, and in between) on Carroll’s prolific propensity to take nude pictures of little girls who trusted him. This photograph is a clear, basically undisputed fact. However, while there may be strong suspicions that he did so, I have read nothing, including in his correspondence or that of others, of Carroll inappropriately touching his girlfriends.

The article was the most journalistic and sought-after post I have seen on this website, yet I was brazenly told to “please do some real research”.

Perhaps as a general rule there was/was no way to contact the custodian of the Lewis Carroll section of this website about this. At least not all that has been made visibly available. Thus, I had no way to challenge the blatant repression. Where was I? China? Russia?

DailyKOS.com’s Niemann ask the same, “How about referencing real Lewis Carroll scholars and biographers?

What about the writers and scholars I referenced and cited in my original published essay? : https://ww.dailykos.com/stories/2022/5/26/2100613/-Few-People-Seem-to-Know-or-Care-About-the-Man-Behind-That-Great-Book?_ =2022-05-26T19:21:52.000-07:00

I used to feel comfortable watching weekend big book marathons on TLC way back when it was really The Learning Channel and not its later form with so many schadenfreude content.

Outraged Alice in WonderlandI have four other collector’s editions of The Great Books documentaries, albeit on VHS – Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finnby Jonathan Swift Gulliver’s TravelsH. G. Wells’ War of the Worldsand Herman Melville Moby-Dick – which I watched several times. (I wish I had many more, like Plato’s Republic and Sigmund Freud Dreams interpretationbut they are no longer available to me.

Besides via a few readings, with the five documentaries, but above all with Alice in WonderlandI took notes and quotes almost every time I watched them, sometimes rewinding and replaying over and over to make sure the notes were correct.

Ironically, the most memorable scholars included in the Alice in Wonderland For me, documentaries are those that speak enthusiastically of the author while – contrary to criticisms of my Lewis Carroll essays – having apparently accepted his predilection for photographing little naked girls.

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