Edward Lear (1812-1888) Published A Book of Nonsense (1846) when he was thirty-four. Professionally, Lear was an illustratorHe was recognized for his drawings of birds, He wrote and illustrated several journals during his European travels, He acted for a while as Queen Victoria's drawing master at Osborne House. The public did not know who the author was until his name appeared on the title page of the 1861 enlarged edition. Lear lived to see thirty more editions printed before he died.
A Book of Nonsense1846There was an Old Derry down Derry, who loved to see little folks merry;So he made them a Book, and with laughter they shook At the fun of that Derry down Derry.
There was an old man with a beard
Although his name became famous from his nonsense books, many people didnt believe he existed.
Owl and the Pussycat1871
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful pea green boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!'
Owl and the Pussycat1871IIPussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl! How charmingly sweet you sing! O let us be married! too long we have tarried: But what shall we do for a ring?' They sailed away, for a year and a day, To the land where the Bong-tree grows And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood With a ring at the end of his nose, His nose, His nose, With a ring at the end of his nose.
Owl and the Pussycat1871IIIDear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.' So they took it away, and were married next day By the Turkey who lives on the hill. They dined on mince, and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon; And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon, The moon, The moon, They danced by the light of the moon.
Drawings such as this one demonstrate Lears artistic capabilitiesfrom Journals of a Landscape Painter in Southern Calabria and the Kingdom of Naples (1852)
Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots42 lithographs with original hand-colorPublished only 125 sets. Changed the history of natural history illustration from engraving to lithography. Lear worked in great detail, outlining every feather and filling in the details with fine lines. This scientific accuracy extended to every part of the bird, from the beak to the claws. from Christine Jacksons Bird Illustrators
Zoological Illustrations from Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or ParrotsScarlet-collared Parakeet (Trychoglossus rubritorquis)
The purpose of nonsenseThe most important purpose is the delight of nonsense for its own sake. Its principal value is that people who read and appreciate nonsense are better equipped to cope with the madness of the modern world, especially as reported via the print and electronic media. (Kenneth Gangemi)The purpose of nonsense is to give young children a sense of self-assurance as they feel able to distinguish between sense and nonsense. (Kornei Chukovsky. From Two to Five. 1963)Nonsense offers that ability to confront without consequence the more weighty problems of life (Donald Grey 171)
JabberwockyLewis Carrols nonsense poem found in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) is generally considered to be one of the greatest nonsense poems written in the English language. The word jabberwocky is also occasionally used as a synonym of nonsense.
Jabberwocky 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe. "Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!" He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time the manxome foe he sought So rested he by the Tumtum tree, And stood awhile in thought. And as in uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came! One, two! One, two! and through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back."And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" He chortled in his joy. 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
Social ConstraintsWhat is a good child like?What are some things that children should not do?Who makes the rules that children are supposed to follow?
Social ConstraintsRules from parentsRules at schoolReligious guidelinesPeer pressure Laws of propriety (socially acceptable behavior)Fashionlanguage/behaviorSelfishness/selflessness Behavior toward opposite sex
Breaking social constraints in literature gives a feeling of power when readers identify with characters who break the rules.challenges the norms and conventions of society by testing them provides a site for humor
Humor in Childrens LiteratureWhy is there so much?Why do people love humor?Why do children love humor?
HumorThree theories about why we find things funny.Superiority (Aristotle)Incongruity (Hutcheson)Release from Social Constraint (Freud)
Superiority Its not my tragedy. We laugh when other people look foolish because it make us feel superior.The laugher looks down on what he laughs at. Enjoyment of other peoples mistakesWhen the Dodo wants to be respected, but when uses big words but obviously doesnt really know what hes talking about, he looks foolish.
IncongruityWe laugh when we notice the incongruity, when something doesnt match the expectation. The noticing is more important than the actual incongruity.A very short and fat man holding hands with a very tall, thin woman.A very sophisticated-looking person acts sillyExaggeration & SurpriseSeeing a white rabbit with a waistcoat and a watch, and not thinking it odd, at first.
Release from social restraintWe laugh when social rules are broken. Being shockingly crude. Bad language.Scatological humor: Poopoo peepee.A lot of sexual humorDefiance & Violence sometimes (Its not funny if anyone we care about really gets hurt).The violence in the Duchesss house. Speak roughly to your little boy And beat him when he sneezes.
Humor in AliceWhat did you find funny?Or what do you think is intended to be humorous?Explain why you think its funny.