April 12th, 2011 / 7:45 pm

According to Deleuze, “Artaud considers Lewis Carroll a pervert, a little pervert…”


[Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” read by David Henry Sterry]

Deleuze discusses Artaud’s dislike of Carroll here in The Logic of Sense


  1. alanrossi

      that so rocks.

  2. reynard

      pretty good but i prefer the reading i heard about six months ago from a 1st grader who spoke fluent chinese

  3. Frank Greasestain

      his eyes are confusing my penis

  4. deadgod

      First-graders use Chinese to discuss their interpretations of Deleuze?

      I gotta start listening to Mozart in my sleep.

  5. reynard


  6. marshall

      this is sick

  7. alanrossi

      i feel like the article, though, from Artaud and Deleuze might as well add a critique of dr. seuss. why can’t it just be fun sometimes?

  8. M. Kitchell

      because for Artaud “fun” wasn’t really something that entered the equation when it came to language. for Artaud, language was suffering. this is why, for Artaud, it could not “just be fun” sometimes.

  9. Ken Baumann

      Good timing. Just bought an Artaud collection today (the one put out by Exact Change). Dig this. And dig the “pervert, little pervert”.

  10. Shannon

      I love this so much. It made me remember the first time I heard it read by a teacher when I was a kid. This made my day.

  11. reynard

      i would add carl sandberg and paper rad comics and the films of jan svankmajer

  12. M. Kitchell

      man, paper rad comics are so awesome

  13. alanrossi

      i understand that. what i don’t understand: why then is reading and then writing about lewis carroll? feels like going to a jimmy buffett concert and complaining when it’s not mozart’s requiem. just read something else. i mean, what the fuck, it’s fucking jabberwocky, who the fuck cares.

  14. M. Kitchell

      clearly artaud cares

  15. Donald

      I was under the impression that Lewis Carroll was actually, objectively, a little pervert. Or, well, maybe a big pervert. Wasn’t he involved in some kind of child-tampering? Have I been misinformed?

  16. deadgod

      In the letter that Deleuze quotes, Artaud is clearly disgusted by what he takes to be the ‘snobbery’ of Carroll’s “affected infantilism” – fair enough; Artaud thinks Carroll is a fake nonsensicalist, that Carroll is a poet ventriloquizing where Artaud himself is real, ‘deep’: “the distance separating Carroll’s language and Artaud’s language–the former emitted at the surface, the latter carved into the depths of bodies.” (Deleuze) Inspecting the shit and finding the digestion wanting in some way – that makes pretty good non-psychotic sense.

      But why “could [we] say that Artaud considers Lewis Carroll a pervert“? Artaud says of Carroll that he’s like “a profiteer who, satiated after a fine meal, seeks to indulge himself in the pain of others” – Carroll’s wordplay is sadistic. From Artaud’s point of view, is that a ‘perversion’? Or does Deleuze – whose word it is here – mean “pervert” in a class sense (of misused privilege), or in the sense of ‘disingenuousness’?

  17. deadgod

      What’s the evidence that Carroll’s attraction to particular girls – to interacting with particular girls – ever involved “tampering”? I thought the consensus was that he’d never been physically inappropriate with any of them, that he simply felt comfortable being ‘friends’ with a small handful – two or three?? – of the children known to him. Have I been misinformed?

  18. Donald

      No, you’re right — it looks like there isn’t any concrete evidence of it. Just eccentricities and a lot of speculation, most of it on the part of tabloids and the sort of blog that offers in-depth analysis of the occult symbolism in the new Miley Cyrus video. This article from the Guardian is one of the more balanced:
      The suggestion there is that he did, undeniably, have erotic feelings for little girls, but seems never to have acted upon them, his imaginative work & mathematics being a kind of avoidance tactic and/or release of pressure.