Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

Childhood memories are a curious thing. As an avid reader, books and reading have always been a big part of my life and I vividly recall our family's weekly library visits on a Friday after school to stock up on a few books for the next week, only for my mother to be exasperated when I'd read them all by Saturday morning and needed more. One of the many titles I read was the classic novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), otherwise known as Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Or was it?

I remember Alice falling down the rabbit hole and shrinking and growing to different sizes. I remember the grinning Cheshire Cat. The Queen of Hearts and her stolen tarts. The White Rabbit. The Mad Hatter and his never-ending tea party. I remember the game of croquet using hedgehogs as balls. I remember the Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland when I was six years old. For weeks afterward I had terrified dreams of endless bunny rabbits being poured out of a giant teapot. I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts at our school's Book Week in my first year of teaching (the children in my class didn't recognise me!), and threw a Mad Hatter's Tea Party earlier this year. Yes, Alice was a classic for me.

I recently downloaded the Classics app for my iPod Touch. I love the idea of never being without a book and always having something to read when faced with waiting around somewhere, or even just having a short break. I also figured it was a more effective way to help me with another one of my 101 in 1001: #31 - Read a classic novel. (Wuthering Heights is still on my bedside table, half-read, by the way.) After browsing the titles, I decided to re-read Alice in Wonderland. That's when I discovered that I've never actually read Alice in Wonderland; not from start to finish, not an abridged version, not most of it ... in fact, I'd only ever read the occasional excerpt! So how can I recall the story so fondly? Yes, childhood memories are, indeed, a curious thing.

A perfect example of the literary nonsense genre, things make a lot more sense now, including the 1965 song White Rabbit by Grace Slick and the Great Society (hallucinogenic drugs aside). It's been stuck in my head most of the time I've been reading Alice. I now need to see the movie in 3D.


Kellee said...

How's this for a sign of the times - I didn't even know it was a book!! I just thought it was another disney movie.

It seems you do learn something new every day :)

Café Chick said...

Kellee, that is simply adorable! I wonder how many other people watching the movie will also think that? Mind you, I need to be told when a particular movie is based on an old comic strip, otherwise I wouldn't have a clue myself. ;-)

Kellee said...

I've got no clue when it comes to the comic books, but the Boy is all over it. He know's which characters were made from which franchise and very accurately predicts all the sequels/hybrid movies.

~JarieLyn~ said...

I recall all the same things from the book as you.

I have no desire to see the movie though. I might check it out when it debuts on demand.