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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Carroll, Lewis

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  #1  
Old 09-27-2012, 09:22 PM
R Wallace R Wallace is offline
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Default Can anagrams ever be used as evidence?

Can the presence of anagrams identified in an author's works ever be used as evidence regarding state of mind, intent, or action?

The case for Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, being a person filled with rage (as opposed to the historical saintly persona) and possibly perpetrator of the Jack the Ripper murders is based on the presence of anagrams throughout his works. It is this author's contention, as presented in The Agony of Lewis Carroll (AOLC) and Jack the Ripper: Lighthearted Friend (JTR), that Dodgson began using anagrams to express his real state of mind and anger at his parents and society as a child, using publications supported by his parents as the publishing vehicle. And, that he continued to do so under the guise of nonsense in his poetry and famous Alice books as well as his much later works, all under the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll.

While the "discovery" of anagrams within anyone's writings and inferring meaning is filled with risk, if an author is known as an expert -- even a genius – in word games and play, as Dodgson was, is it beyond the pale to suspect that he could have used them in his works? Especially if the author wrote at times such that he created words, as in his "nonsense" poem Jabberwocky – "Twas brillig and the slithy toves..." In his Foreword to JTR, Colin Wilson suggested that if there was any literary figure who could or might do that, it would be Charles Dodson.

What does it mean if a reader of these works accepts even a single anagram as more than coincidence? Does it forever change a reader's view of Lewis Carroll, suggesting strongly that he was at the least more devious than ever even considered? Would it forever spoil one's (perhaps life-long) love for his works and, therefore, precondition one to reject even considering that he intentionally buried them in his nonsense?

Some of the discussion thus far has taken place in the prior thread. But without in some way "resolving" these issues, "evidence" regarding Charles Dodgson as Jack the Ripper is as sorely lacking as any of the other suspects. At least some of the answers to the above question require as a minimum the reading of JTR, which contains a generous summary of AOLC.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:33 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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No - it would be utterly subjective, unless the author had deliberately and unmistakably provided the key and admitted motive.

Phil H
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:44 PM
Sally Sally is offline
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Anagrams eh?

Well, why not. What I really want is a suspect who left a series of wordsearch puzzles for us to solve.

That would convince me, for sure.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:49 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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Sally - you'rea joy and a wonder. So certain, so clear, so straightforward.

Phil H

P.S. Is there an anagram in your post?
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:53 PM
Sally Sally is offline
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An Anagram? Why Phil, there are several - of course.

Would you expect anything less?
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:56 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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With you, Sally the subtlest of anagrams, within an anagram, wrapped in a riddle and folded in an enigma.

Phil H
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:57 PM
R Wallace R Wallace is offline
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To Phil H

Why would anyone up to no good leave an admission? Wouldn't he keep it hidden and protect deniability should anyone stumble on it, which is what I think LC did? The whole idea is to play games with those who might be searching for him.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:05 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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Then the discovery will ALWAYS be subjective.

Phil H
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:20 PM
R Wallace R Wallace is offline
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To Phil H

Doesn't a pattern of subjective inferences lead toward a circumstantial case when there is no hard evidence? I think the conclusion reached is that there's a case to be made from a series of things being more than coincidental.

In fact, I believe I also discovered clues that LC left which greatly aided the identification of which of his words, phrases, or sentences, or, indeed paragraphs could be anagram targets. The clues were his use of quotation marks, italics for no apparent reason, or, in the Alice books as well as the Sylvie books, reactions of characters which were inappropriate for the overt writing, but appropriate for the covert writing.

And, of course, there's his Poeta Fit non Nascitur, which describes exactly how to do it. Basically it's write a sentence, then break it up into letters and rearrange them; and in Sylvie and Bruno, it's rearranging sentences until they have the most sensational meaning.

Is all of that still subjective? Perhaps yes, but we reach at least tentative conclusions all the time on a subjective basis.

R Wallace
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:54 AM
Steven Russell Steven Russell is offline
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Come on, R Wallace. They're all over the place if you can be bothered to look for them and have a natural aptitude for anagrams. Which I don't but no. 1 is mine:

He right if ET landed: Light Hearted Fiend
I'm a merry bachelor: Michael Barrymore
Naked tit model: Kate Middleton

Alright so mine's rubbish but the other two are good and completely co-incedental.

Didn't I once read a critique of you theories which stated that the author had found the very same anagrams in Moby Dick? Thar she blows!

Best wishes,
Steve.
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