Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Moving ImagesNineteenth-Century Reading and Screen Practices$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Helen Groth

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748669486

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748669486.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Dissolving Views

Dissolving Views

Dreams of Reading Alice

(p.126) Chapter 5 Dissolving Views
Moving Images

Helen Groth

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers Lewis Carroll’s multifaceted relationship to the way images of Alice were generated in his readers’ minds, from her incarnation in the first imprint of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 to George Buckland’s dissolving view adaptation, staged at the Royal Polytechnic in 1876. As his private and published writings attest, the dynamics of literary mediation preoccupied and frustrated Carroll. His prefaces flirt with a technologically impossible immediacy, pressing against the material limits of the printed page in his earnest desire to communicate with his readers with a persistence that exemplifies Walter Benjamin’s familiar theory that certain art forms and, correspondingly, artists aspire to effects that ‘could be fully obtained only with a changed technical standard’. It is striking therefore, that Carroll chose the medium of the dream as his organising motif for the Alice books, a state of consciousness which his contemporaries, such as Frances Power Cobbe, George Henry Lewes, William Carpenter, and James Sully, variously theorise as an infinite archive of remembered activities, including books read and images viewed, that momentarily emerge then dissolve in a timeless associative stream.

Keywords:   Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Dreaming, Magic Lanterns, Dissolving Views, Psychology of Reading, Media History

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.