Thursday, 29 January 2009


In the blog before this, I threatened to expound on Lewis Carroll´s losing his belief in God and refusing to admit it, even internally. But as the man himself would undoubtedly not have said, who gives a shit?

So we will look at other facets of this truly extraordinary individual. Below is a photograph he took of the original inspiration for Alice, Alice Liddell. A very curious picture, is it not? A field day for Freudians.
Carroll once remarked that he "loved all children, except boys."
Apart from the Alice books, he also wrote, Symbolic Logic, and was a mathematician of note. While not an acknowledged philosopher, he would I suspect, have been in sympathy with Wittgenstein on matters of language, perception and logic. The poem below, which is not one of his finest, should really be called something like, "Aspects of Perception Considered as a Hermeneutic of Symbolic Logic."
But maybe Carroll´s title is snappier.


He thought he saw an Elephant
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
"At length I realize," he said,
"The bitterness of life!"

He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister's Husband's Niece.
"Unless you leave this house," he said,
"I'll send for the police!"

he thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek:
He looked again, and found it was
The Middle of Next Week.
"The one thing I regret," he said,
"Is that it cannot speak!"

He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk
Descending from the bus:
He looked again, and found it was
A Hippopotamus.
"If this should stay to dine," he said,
"There won't be much for us!"

He thought he saw a Kangaroo
That worked a Coffee-mill:
He looked again, and found it was
A Vegetable-Pill.
"Were I to swallow this," he said,
"I should be very ill!"

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
That stood beside his bed:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bear without a Head.
"Poor thing," he said, "poor silly thing!
It's waiting to be fed!"

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