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Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Edward Lear, by Jackie Wullschlager
... His fantastical characters mirror the passage of his own life. The Yonghy Bonghy Bo's hilarious courtship of Lady Jingly Jones parallels his own failed attempts at proposing to a female friend who might have accepted him; just a shred of absurdity links the sad, ridiculous Dong with a Luminous Nose, half-menacing, half-pathetic, to the world of nonsense where at the end of Lear's life "awful darkness and silence reign/ Over the great Gromboolian plain". What gives depth to his escapist fantasies is the ability to transform emptiness and pain into a unique, attractive nonsense world, with its own evolving characters and landscape: the Jumblies, the great Gromboolian plain, the hills of the Chankly Bore...
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:26 PM

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