Review: The Imagination of Lewis Carroll
William Todd Seabrook
Prose | Flash Fiction | Fabulist Biography
Chapbook, letterpressed covers
Rose Metal Press
Review originally published on 2/5/15
William Todd Seabrook shows his skill in the twisting of words in his fictional biography, The Imagination of Lewis Carroll. From start to finish, he leaves you feeling “curiouser and curiouser,” as he weaves through moments of Carroll’s life and likens them to Carroll’s own tales.
In the words of the Rose Metal Press Eighth Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest (of which this chapbook is the winner) judge Michael Martone, Seabrook “… has codified a new code of dots and dashes, of gesture and innuendo, that makes strange again the received strangeness of Carroll and his cohorts and records, in brilliant shorthand, the long game of the culture of the cultured cathedral of wordy words.” Whether it be dueling with Lord Viscount Newry, or stumbling about in the tale “When Lewis Carroll Faces the Jabberwocky,” Seabrook has an uncanny ability to bring together the life that Carroll led and the life he lived inside of his head. When talking of the watches that Carroll would wear, Seabrook includes one drawn by Alice:
[…] Alice had forgotten to draw hands on the watch face, which meant the time was always accurate if Carroll only imagined it to be. […] (p. 21).
I would highly recommend this work for those who are fans of Carroll’s work and who would care to see him in some of the situations he wrote for our dear Alice. As a send-off, I feel it only appropriate to end with the great allegoric line:
[…] If the dormouse hardly noticed, I don’t see why God would. (p. 19).