Where did Nonsense go?
One of the questions which are often asked about Nonsense is, Why did it disappear almost completely from literature after the great season of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll? As M.B. Heyman writes in his thesis (Isles of Boshen: Edward Lear’s literary nonsense in context, University of Glasgow, Faculty of Arts, Department of English Literature, 2005):
If we skip Lear, Carroll, and the rest of the nineteenth century momentarily, we find a curious twist to the course of nonsense. Although literary nonsense drastically changed the face of children’s literature, as a more “pure” form for children it seems to have died away toward the turn of the century. Instead of remaining a children’s genre, nonsense returned to its old adult audience in various forms (p. 3).
After listing a few examples (Edward Gorey, Mervyn Peake, Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl) he concludes that “the genre has never returned…
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