Saturday, June 28, 2008

June 21 - 22, 2008

Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
Hardcover, Peter Pauper Press, Mt. Vernon
5 cards

The cover of this book offers the sense that this is a true, classic library book and the pages, with their black text and red page numbers and illustrations by Sir John Tenniel, further emphasizes its classic nature. There are also lots of great stamps from the library all over the copy I read and, according to one stamp, I think it may have been acquired by the library on February 10, 1959. Does any of this matter? Perhaps not, but all of this made me wonder about all of the people who have read this copy of Alice in Wonderland. While familiar with the story, I realized my knowledge had been filtered through the Disney. The original book is, of course, unparalleled. Carroll masterfully integrates into the story issues of questions and answers that resonate in Duchampian ways. Alice deals with issues of identity, knowing who one is and where one is going. Carroll also plays with language and meaning and related issues of différance. A story worth reading and any and many ages since as one acquires more knowledge the lens through which one reads will continue to shift, revealing additional treasures within the story's sentences.

5- Proem- "Our wanderings to guide."
10- "In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again."
11- maps
19- "...but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way."
20- "Curiouser and curiouser!"
-"Good-bye feet!"
23- "Who in the world am I? Ah that's the great puzzle!"
27 hippopotamus
33- "Speak English!" said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words and what's more I don't believe you do either!"
34- "But who had won?"
78- "'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where-' said Alice.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you walk,' said the Cat."
-"'-so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation. 'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.'"
85- "'Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on. 'I do,' Alice hastily replied: 'at least I mean what I say- that's the same thing, you know.'
'Not the same thing a bit,' said the Hatter."
87- Alice, "'I think you might do something better with the time,' she said, 'than wasting it in asking riddle that have no answers.'
'If you knew Time as well as I do,' said the Hatter, 'you wouldn't talk about wasting it. It's him.'"
91- Hatter "'it's very easy to take more than nothing.'"
93- drawing everything that begins with an M
94- drawing of muchness
-Alice, "'I don't think-' 'Then you shouldn't talk,' said the Hatter."
114-115- Duchess, "'Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them otherwise.'"
-Duchess, "'I make you a present of everything I've said as yet.'"
117- Gryphon, picture
128- "'Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?'"
131- porpoise, purpose- "'I mean what I say.'"
-Alice, "'but it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.'"
-Gryphon- adventures first
134- "'What is the use of repeating all that stuff,' the Mock Turtle interrupted, 'if you don't explain it as you go on?...'"
145- guinea pig cheered
153- letter
155- "'If there's no meaning in it,' said the King, 'that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn't try to find any. And yet I don't know,' he went on, spreading out the verses on his knee and looking at them with one eye; 'I seem to see some meaning in them, after all.'"

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