A Happy Nightmare

“The pure nonsense they invented was a holiday of the mind; one of the few things, like Gothic architecture, that had really never been done before. It was something to create a happy nightmare; it was something more to create a thing that was at once lawless and innocent… It was the avowal of a sport or enjoyment to which the whole mind of the people must already have been tending. The Victorian Englishman walked the world in broad daylight, a proverbially solid figure, with his chimney pot hat and his mutton-chop whiskers. But something happened to him at night; some wind of nightmare blowing through his soul and his subconsciousness dragged him out of bed and whirled him out of the window, where he rose into a world of wind and moonshine… with his whiskers waving like wings.” GK Chesterton on Carroll and Lear