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PRINT May 2002

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Lewis Carroll

Take away the whiff of pedophilia in the photographs of Lewis Carroll and what’s left? Perhaps the idea that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Carroll, was playing on the boundaries between dreaming and waking and between theatricality and absorption. “Dreaming in Pictures: The Photography of Lewis Carroll,” a traveling exhibition of seventy-six vintage prints organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and opening there August 3, will look at Dodgson’s photography from an art-historical perspective—that is, without the wink and smirk.

Enough speculation about whether this shy, stuttering Victorian did or did not propose marriage to Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, when she was just eleven years old. Enough about Dodgson’s predilection for those intense little girls in their nighties, whom Vladimir Nabokov (a Carroll translator) described as “sad

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