Esteemed thinker: Lewis Carroll

bar-b-que Look around any city or town and there is one business that has not lost its appeal, one particular enterprise that continues to lure revenue makers…that of the restaurant. Eating has become a form of entertainment for many…so much so that society has added this culinary quest into other types of leisure activities and amusements. Let us begin with the movie theater. While we complain how expensive it has become to purchase a ticket, seldom do we see the same individual turn down an overpriced tub (yes, not a bag but now a tub) of popcorn. Seats are equipped with drink holes to capsulate the jumbo sized beverage, while teetering on laps are gooey plates of nachos and cheese dip.

Feeding our bodies has also become synonymous with sporting events too, and as we engage in rooting for our home team, the before game spiriting is equally as robust where groups of fans convene behind their vehicles to consume vast amount of beer and bar-b-que for a tail-gate party right before their physically toned and well-fit team comes out to play. Then when inside, we have arenas stocked with as many types of vendors as one would find in a fast-food court at the mall. And speaking of malls…shopping for clothes and the lot is now banded together with eating…lots of eating.

The idea of eating however is not exclusively reserved for just hand –to- mouth, but is also a term that we can use to mean feeding our souls…as in a spiritual way through organized practice or less organized as with our personal interaction with nature. Yet still there is another, feeding our brains…as when we seek out to learn something new. By way of going to school or as simply as reading a book; both are considerably nourishing and their calorie consumption is virtually nil; an added benefit especially good for those looking to maintain or lose weight. (The former is not always as calorically deficient for after the spiritual soul has been fed there is often a gathering of coffee and cake, unless you take nature’s path and nibble on berries)

Least we not forget our animal friends when we think of feed; this word used as a noun is interpreted as the food we give bovine or equine…such as ‘cattle feed’. As for plants…its sustenance cannot be taken for granted, for they too desire to be fed.

And so… this blogger wishes her readers many good feedings, hoping that you continue to nourish and satiate whatever part of your hungry body you choose with generous amounts of goodness and harmony.

lewis carroll Today’s post brings you a most famous and entertaining esteemed thinker: Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). Readily remembered for his ever popular and imaginative Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland (1865), this English born author’s given name, unbeknownst to many, was Charles Dodgson. His talent could also claim other vocations for he too was a photographer and mathematician.

And so, in his succinct and ever so clever work titled, Feeding the Mind (1884), I have clipped for you a morsel that should nourish your curiosity …Here is the celebrated Lewis Carroll….

“… Considering the amount of painful experience many of us have had in feeding and dosing the body, it would, I think, be quite worth our while to try and translate some of the rules into corresponding ones for the mind. First, then, we should set ourselves to provide for our mind its proper kind of food. We very soon learn what will, and what will not, agree with the body, and find little difficulty in refusing a piece of the tempting pudding or pie which is associated in our memory with that terrible attack of indigestion, and whose very name irresistibly recalls rhubarb and magnesia; but it takes a great many lessons to convince us how indigestible some of our favourite lines of reading are, and again and again we make a meal of the unwholesome novel, sure to be followed by its usual train of low spirits, unwillingness to work, weariness of existence—in fact, by mental nightmare.

Then we should be careful to provide this wholesome food in proper amount. Mental gluttony, or over-reading, is a dangerous propensity, tending to weakness of digestive power, and in some cases to loss of appetite: we know that bread is a good and wholesome food, but who would like to try the experiment of eating two or three loaves at a sitting? I have heard a physician telling his patient—whose complaint was merely gluttony and want of exercise—that ‘the earliest symptom of hyper-nutrition is a deposition of adipose tissue,’ and no doubt the fine long words greatly consoled the poor man under his increasing load of fat.
I wonder if there is such a thing in nature as a FAT MIND? I really think I have met with one or two: minds which could not keep up with the slowest trot in conversation; could not jump over a logical fence, to save their lives; always got stuck fast in a narrow argument; and, in short, were fit for nothing but to waddle helplessly through the world…”

First image: Full Moon Bar-b-que signs in Tuscaloosa, Alabama 1946, Carol Highsmith photographer

10 thoughts on “Esteemed thinker: Lewis Carroll

  1. Pingback: Quote On Life From Lewis Carroll | Consilient Interest

  2. Very fun–but I cannot believe that there is such a thing as reading too much, in and of itself (or per se or “reading too much qua reading too much”). One may read without discretion; one may read without thinking critically about what one reads. But if one reads with discretion, and if one reads critically, then it seems to me that one becomes, not a fat-headed reader, but a reader with a lean and muscular mind, able to think for great distances and to sprint quickly to sound conclusions.

  3. Pingback: You Want To Take More Interesting Photos? | 87004 photography

  4. Thanks for Carroll. Wow, over-reading? Is he serious or sarcastic? I ask this because I saw a list on Facebook today of the reasons people were admitted to a certain asylum in the 1800s. Novel reading was one reason. And there were others that pertained to “over-use” of the mind.

  5. Pingback: For the love of food | lucymwikali

    • Yes, he was quite an accomplished portraitist, especially of Victorian children. I have seen images and his work is pretty haunting. Thanks for your insight! Regards!

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