ERIC Number: ED195998
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Lifting the Curse of the Roman: Quintus Horatius Flaccus Meets the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
There are many similarities between Robert Browning's "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" and Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" that are seldom noted by literary critics. Both works were begun for the amusement of specific children, both employ a strange subterranean journey as a central device, and both are works of nonsense insofar as nonsense is the art of rearranging immutable laws in such a way as to set logic, order, authority, or accepted standards of behavior slightly awry. This last feature is most significant. Both works attempt an imaginative revelation of child-adult relations, and both are critical of adults in general and of those in authority in particular. Both violate the reigning didactic premise that had been in existence since Horace. The curse of the didactic tradition in children's literature is the insistence that literature has to teach and that literary and aesthetic values are neglected in favor of teaching useful lessons. However, in both "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" and "Alice in Wonderland" the moralizing narrator is not a good guide and the reader is encouraged to look beyond the formal comments of the narrator to the story itself. (MKM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Alice in Wonderland; Pied Piper of Hamelin
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association (34th, Denver, CO, October 16-18, 1980).