How Writers Can Find Meaning in Nonsense

By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature. See entries from Karl Ove Knausgaard, Jonathan Franzen, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, and more.

Doug McLean

When I spoke to Jesse Ball, the author of A Cure for Suicide, he forged into the dense, alliterative groves of Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky.” Carroll’s poem famously relies on a strange, idiosyncratic language—but, Ball argues, it’s far from meaningless.

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