“A gilded consommé”

From the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London:

“ “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”: Exploring its origins, adaptations and reinventions over 157 years, this immersive and theatrical show charts the evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from manuscript to a global phenomenon beloved by all ages. We will be increasing capacity over the summer and are also gradually making more tickets available for our exhibitions, which will be released each Tuesday at midday. On now until Friday, 31 December 2021.”

From Laura Cumming’s review for The Observer of 29 May 2021:

“…Even cookery is involved – Alice is forever eating and drinking, as Freudian interpreters regularly note – with a film by the chef Heston Blumenthal attempting to make his own mock turtle soup over several days, the White Rabbit’s fob watch ultimately dissolving in a gilded consommé…”

From: Online Etymology Dictionary:

“consommé (n.)
1815, “strong, clear soup containing juices of meat extracted by long cooking,” from French consommé, noun use of past participle of consommer “to consume” (12c.), from Latin consummare “to complete, finish, perfect,” from assimilated form of com “together, with” (see com-) + summa “sum, total,” from summus “highest” (see sum (n.)). The French verb was influenced in sense by consummer, from Latin consumere “to consume.” “

From Jonathan Jones’s review for The Guardian of Tue 18 May 2021:

“…Yet the V&A makes a powerful case for Carroll as an overwhelmingly positive influence on the world. It stresses Alice Liddell’s own agency – first as an assertive child who “bullied” him to write down his story about her, then as a woman growing up among artists, tutored by John Ruskin and posing for Julia Margaret Cameron. We see how her hugely publicised visit to America in 1932 got Hollywood interested in Alice. Disney’s creation of a pop culture Alice is explored in detail but so are more eclectic versions, such as Jan Švankmajer’s Freudian puppet nightmare and Jonathan Miller’s black and white 1966 vision with Ravi Shankar on sitar…”

From Wikipedia:

“…From the 1930s to 1940s, the books came under the scrutiny of psychoanalytic literary critics. Freudians believed that the events in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland reflected the personality and desires of the author, because the stories which it was based on had been told spontaneously. In 1933, Anthony Goldschmidt introduced “the modern idea of Carroll as a repressed sexual deviant”, theorizing that Alice served as Carroll’s representation in the novel; Goldschmidt’s influential work, however, may have been meant as a hoax. Regardless, Freudian analysis found in the books symbols of “classic Freudian tropes”: “a vaginal rabbit hole and a phallic Alice, an amniotic pool of tears, hysterical mother figures and impotent father figures, threats of decapitation [castration], swift identity changes”.”

Clifton Snider (English Department, Emeritus, California State University, Long Beach) writes in “Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Jungian Looking-Glass”:

“…One Freudian critic goes so far as to declare: “It is impossible to gain conscious understanding of the life of Lewis Carroll or of the meaning of his written fantasy unless a psychoanalytic approach is used” (Skinner 293). Although much nonsense has been written using the psychoanalytic approach, the approach itself is valid. At the same time, it leaves many psychological issues unexplored. In “The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man,” Jung writes: “If anything of importance is devalued in our conscious life, and perishes–so runs the law–there arises a compensation in the unconscious”.

Jungian criticism attempts to account for the collective appeal of a classic like Alice in Wonderland. It asks, For what that is lacking in the contemporary collective psyche does the work compensate? An account for such appeal or compensation cannot be entirely provided by an examination of the author’s life, however provocative and interesting that life is–and Carroll’s life is certainly an interesting case study. First generation Jungians like Marie-Louise von Franz (in Puer Aeternus ) and Barbara Hannah (in Striving Towards Wholeness ) do examine in tandem the lives and works of literary artists, but Jung himself warned against the “reduction of art to personal factors.” Such a reduction “deflects our attention from the psychology of the work of art and focuses it on the psychology of the artist . . . the work of art exists in its own right and cannot be got rid of by changing it into a personal complex” (“Psychology and Literature” 93). In other words, the work of art is independent of and greater than its creator. It may tell us much about the artist, but ultimately, if it is to endure, its appeal must be collective–“visionary,” to use Jung’s term (ibid. 89)…”

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