Some authors are in step with their time; others seem to write worlds outside of it. One way is not inherently better than the other. However, in Carrol one greatly enjoys his departure from Victorianism in his childs poem. While I keep reading de Quincey, I am not enjoying the way he exercises the style of his era, using it as an excuse to tell the most dull details of his childhood as a wordy confession of–nothing!
Carrol’s musical nosense is so much more than Sussical. It’s really brilliant, topsy-turvy–fun–but with harmonious internal order that extends to the logically played-out rules of his world, even if the world he depicts is going snark hunting. In some ways, his language is very caught up in the Victorian culture of his day, but his subjects and the made up vocabulary he uses to match it are outside of what we typically think of as Victorian. The stories he tells are children’s stories, and his work can be seen as a method of escape. Despite the trappings of Victorianism, it’s hatboxes and tea ceremonys and mannerly insistence on order, Carrol uses fiction as an escape valve, with the joy of a child throwing his mother’s clothes on the floor and writing on the walls in red lipstick.
Thomas de Quincy can go shove it. I slogged through another installment, and like Sysphis have slight concerns I might have to repeat the effort tommorow all for naught. This long-winded autobiography should not be entitled “Confessions of an Opium Eater”–he does not confess. I wish he would. I am distinctly uninterseted in his excellent command of Greek and his views on the manners of bishops. However, if one wants insight into the typical style of Regency England, it’s quite appropriate. It’s all Jane Austen avoided in her social satire–de Quincy would have been a tiresome bore who fancied himself quite the revolutionary. In some way, his novel inspires me. I’m going to come up with a very sensational title, then write a weather report. Maybe posterity will keep getting tricked in to reading me.