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Surrealism’s Curiosity: Lewis Carroll and the Femme-Enfant

By Catriona McAra


This paper concerns surrealist artists' and writers' appropriation of Lewis Carroll. Predominantly focusing on the work of Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst, it suggests that Carroll's work appealed to the surrealists' fascination with their childhood selves, and their wish to identify with the curious character of Alice as femme-enfant as a way of subverting their bourgeois family backgrounds. Whether stepping Through the Looking Glass or breaking the rules in Wonderland, Alice can be read as a transgressive character apt for surrealist appropriation. The paper traces Carroll's reception in the surrealist movement, and articulates the curious character of the surrealist femme-enfant in order to reinscribe her epistemophilia in line with surrealism's orientation towards research

Topics: NX, PR
Publisher: Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

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