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James Web Paper 1

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Alice in Layers

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head,  ‘Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; ‘only as its asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind, (Carroll, 68). 
How did this pathetic creature, the Dormouse, come to occupy a place in a fantastic tea party with Alice James, Emily Dickinson, Margaret Fuller, and Myrtha?  What might a much abused, semiconscious mammal contribute to the conversation?  What function might this character serve in fleshing out Susan Sontag’s portrayal of Alice James?

Marina's picture

The Visions of Alice James


Caravaggio's "The Tooth Extraction"

“I had a tooth out the other day, curious and interesting like a little lifetime- first, the long drawn drag, then the twist of the hand and the crack of doom!” (137).

kjmason's picture

The Show Begins




I walk into the theatre, all her family, friends and those who call themselves her friends, sitting in the burgundy velveteen rows of seats that ripple out from the stage. In the centre of the stage, one light shines down, dim and yellow with age, on a chez lounge.

MissArcher2's picture

The Book of Alice

The Book of Alice—Process Commentary

            Writing a half-crown of sonnets was a significantly more intense process than I had anticipated, but I would say well worth the time and effort. The form of my project, a half-crown of sonnets, was inspired by this work of Marilyn Nelson’s (hers a far nobler attempt than mine):

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The Victories of the Imagination are Enough


The Victories of the Imagination are Enough


fabelhaft's picture

Surviving Illness


Illness, whether it is real or calculated, can be used as a means of survival/escape. It can lead one to much desired physical, or mental, freedom. A headache is a handy method of retreat when confronted with an unwelcome situation. Haven’t you heard someone say, “Not tonight, dear, I have a headache”? Well, SURVIVAL: WE'LL SHOW YOU HOW presents a special edition: ILLNESS 101. In this issue we will provide you with the ins-and-outs of illness.


kkazan's picture

Stuck in Era of Hysteria

             For all that Alice James knew she was crazy. At least that’s what her doctors, and the society at the time, told her. In the Victorian era, hysteria was a common diagnosis for women who had chronic pain that had many variables. As can be seen through her diary, Alice spent most of the second half of her life in bed, a common treatment for women with hysteria. At her time, hysteria was a disorder that only women had, as it was considered a womb disorder, with the common symptom of causing trouble; almost any disease could fit the symptoms of hysteria, there being no definite list of symptoms. It’s no wonder that Alice James had such a diagnosis.

aseidman's picture

Transcript of the First Annual Bedroom Debates


Hello and welcome to the first annual 2010 Bedroom Debates! I’m Arielle Seidman, and I’ll be your host for a fascinating few pages of reclined repartee!

Calamity's picture

Mind the Gap[s]

When reading The Diary of Alice James I found the gaps between her entries fascinating; these gaps began to interest me more than the entries themselves—my attention caught by what Alice didn’t write, rather than what she did. Professor Dalke suggested creating a visual representation of the diary to see where the gaps fell in the thirty-five months Alice kept her diary. I used a chart system, one chart for each year she wrote, and I chose red to represent the gap days for its contrast to black and white, and to emphasize the gaps more than the entries.

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