Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

1.16.2010

Adventures in Wonderland

Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas--only I don't exactly know what they are.

The joy of a tale is in the telling. Alice in Wonderland is such a part of our cultural landscape that I've long been familiar with many of the characters and events in the story, but I've never actually read the book before. It's a whole other thing when experienced with Lewis Carroll's actual words. I knew the plot was fairly nonsensical, but the dialogue is even more so. Constant wordplay and silliness, but more often than not entertaining. Each time I felt things were getting too trite or tedious something else would come along to tickle or delight me. Of course, I'm quite given to this exact kind of nonsense so it's right up my alley, but now that I'm aware of it I can see Carroll's influence all over the place. And, as Alice says above, as often as not I really didn't understand much of what I was reading, but somehow the ideas were still amusing. Now onto the annotated version so I can begin to understand his hidden meanings.

The best examples are too long to include here because they involve ongoing dialogue, but here are a few bits I enjoyed:
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Once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
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If you drink much from a bottle marked "poison," it is almost certain to disagree with you sooner or later.
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She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it).
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"Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with," the Mock Turtle replied; "and then the different branches of Arithmetic--Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."
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Here one of the guinea pigs cheered, and was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings; into this they slipped the guinea pig, head first, and then sat upon it.)

"I'm glad I've seen that done," thought Alice. "I've so often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, 'There was some attempt at applause, which was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court,' and I never understood what it meant till now."
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"You know," he added very gravely, "it's one of the most serious things that can happen to one in a battle, to get one's head cut off."
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"There's no use trying," she said; "one
can't believe impossible things."

"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
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"When
I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less."
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"What does it matter where my body happens to be?" he said. "My mind goes on working all the same."

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