Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Victorian Non-Sense

After today's lecture, reading the nonsense rhymes by Edward Lear & Hillaire Belloc has its explanatory context. Lear is pure nonsense: play, delight, glorious enjoyment, free of rigour, analytical significance, and rigid order. Lear, in other words, represents a dialectical counter for the Victorian reader to the growing social dominance of the secular Trinity of Scientism, Mechanism and Capitalism. Belloc shares this, of course, but retreats from pure nonsense to a subversive -- yet clearly playful -- alternative to the imposition of rigid behavior on children in Victorian (and much much later, as I can attest) Britain.

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