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Still She Haunts Me

by Katie Roiphe

An evocative and disturbing story of a man who is driven by his unconscious feelings for a young girl. Although we never fully know what happens between Dodgson and Alice, there is a sense of unease which permeates the book, and gives a powerful impression of repressed sexuality in Victorian Oxford.

Extract

Great conjurer, master creator, lonely landscapist, Dodgson was making more Alices and might never stop. He knew that her parents no longer wanted his photographs, and Alice herself already had copies of them all pressed between the leaves of her keepsake book. Only he seemed to have an insatiable curiosity, an insatiable, almost scientific need to experiment with his technique. What if I soak it for just a second more? What if it's just a shade lighter? Only he seemed to have the desire to see Alice in every gradation of light. At this point Dodgson knew that more photographs would be superfluous, wasteful, no longer art, because there were too many of them .... And yet he was never satisfied, feeling the warm egg white mixture wash over his hands and the slippery print of Alice emerging from its redolent dip.

Parallels

Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
In the Shadow of the Dreamchild by Karoline Leach
 

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