Friday, July 2, 2010

Themed Reading: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


This one's a classic. Like most people, I'm familiar with its bits and pieces--the Red Queen, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat and the rest have permeated our culture--but I don't think I'd ever read it through and through before. So inventive, so clever, so witty!

I tried hard to take these episodes at face value and not worry about whether Carroll (Dodgson) was working on some sort of a political send-up, conducting a serious experiment with language, or had some kind of unnatural obsession with children. I kept firmly in mind that it was all good fun and nothing more. Which is easy to do with lines like these:

What does one learn in school? Why, "Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."

How about a riddle? "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" (Don't hold your breath; no one knows the answer, at least not in Wonderland.)

Want to sing something now? "Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you're at! Up above the world you fly, like a tea tray in the sky."

I'm even laughing as I type these silly things. The good stuff never gets old.

4 comments:

  1. I just bought a very nice used copy of this at the library's book store. I'm ready for a silly adventure!

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  2. I'm a tad embarrassed to admit that I've never read the entire thing either.

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  3. I've read it several times through....I still get to read aloud to my kids, and do I ever love it.

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  4. Like you, I know bits and pieces of this book, maybe I have even read it once. But I have not much recollection of that. I should definitely read this.

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