This is very good:
Prospect – What Alice did
A new exhibition reminds us of Alice In Wonderland’s enduring influence on visual art. But its impact extends much further. Why do Lewis Carroll’s books still have such a hold on us? By Richard Jenkyns
By common consent Carroll is the Tolstoy of the nursery. His puns, parodies and plays on English idiom make him the hardest children’s author to translate, and yet he is among the most translated English authors. A few externals apart, he has not dated, and the books feel as fresh as when they were written. Do they, nevertheless, depend on the time and place at which they were created? The golden age of children’s literature does seem to belong to a particular historical moment, between intimations of immortality in the romantic age and intimations of immorality after Freud. And for whatever reason, Britain has been the superpower of children’s writing (even as its imperial power was waning), and Oxford has played a disproportionate part—besides Carroll, there are Grahame, Tolkien, Lewis, Pullman. Maybe there is something in the air of the city of dreaming spires and home of lost causes that has stimulated a recherche du temps perdu.
A love that someone can write at such length and so eruditely about a children’s book about a long and very bizarre dream.
(I also love how the description of the Freudian interpretation lists one, two, “and so on.”. Ain’t that always the way with him.)
Anyway read the whole thing. It’s a bit long, but goes quickly.