Monday, October 4, 2010

Why do I love Alice?

Taken June 2010 when I read Alice in my happy little cottage in Suffolk
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland doesn't totally make me feel happy- in fact, sometimes the books gets me quite upset. I find the fantasy chaotic and hostile, and at time a little to trippy to fully take in (this is especially the case for "Through the Looking Glass").  Then why do I like it? Why am I featuring it on my happy blog- my digital sanctuary away from everything else that I find hostile and chaotic??

Truthfully, I don't know.  There is something about this story that appeals to me, but I can't put my finger on it. Thinking about it makes me smile even if actually reading it doesn't cause the same reaction. I like to hunt for old copies of it in used book shops and think about the people who have visited Wonderland through those pages.  I even seek out the history of the book...and its author.  I walked the halls of Christ Church College in Oxford and saw many sources of Carroll's inspiration. (Here's a link describing a few).  And I spent far more time looking at the progression of Alice through the years than anything else on my last visit to the British Library in London.  The exhibit featured nearly every version, starting from Carroll's first handwritten book he made as a gift to Alice and ending with Tim Burton's newest movie adaptation.

But still, I don't fully understand my attraction to the book.  It's got to be more than just the creativity that appeals to me since there are endless books and stories that transport readers to fantasy lands. And I know I am really hung up on all things British these days, but my love of Alice precedes that too.  Maybe it's Alice herself-- a fairly average *blond* girl who gets herself in a crazy situation and just sort of goes with it-- that's admirable, right?  Maybe I like it because it isn't sugar coated and neatly organized like many other children's books nor does it seem (to me) to have any agenda to teach readers any particular life lesson.

Or, maybe, deep down, I like feeling a little chaotic sometimes. 

Or maybe it doesn't really matter at all why I love Alice... just that I do. 

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