3.06.2009

Alice is my Wonderland

A random piece of Rebecca-trivia: my all-time favorite children's book would not make it on my top 5 desert island picks list. Weird, huh? Here's the thing - I LOVE Alice in Wonderland. I think it's brilliant, genius, funny, witty, really weird, doesn't make much sense, and should never be read all the way through in one sitting. In fact, to be honest, I can't remember the last time I actually read it. I pick up a copy here and there, or read a line or two whenever I discover a new version. But actually reading it all the way through? Not bloody likely - which is why it would never make my desert island list.

Why, then, you might ask, do I consider this my favorite children's book?

Honestly? I don't know. But I DO know that it absolutely fascinates me, that I have quotes from it randomly around my apartment, that I adore the way it sparks so much creativity and imagination, and that I'm going to name my children's store (when I open it someday in 3-5 years) aft
er a line from Through the Looking Glass.

"'Well, I never heard it before," said the Mock Turtle; 'but it sounds uncommon nonsense.'"

Uncommon Nonsense. The name of my store.

But I digress - I believe I was in the middle of an ode to Alice.

It's really more of an "ode-to-the-things-other-people-have-come-up-with-that-have-to-do-with-Alice" sort of thing, if you want to get right down to it.

I feel that I need to make a disclaimer at this point. Please do not mistake me for one of those people who, say, loves a certain type of cat or dog and then MUST HAVE EVERYTHING THEY OWN with a Saint Bernard or a calico kitty on it. I am not an Alice collector. My entire Alice collection is comprised of a pop-up version, an illustrated version, a really bad knock-off called Princess Alyss of Wonderland, an advanced paperback copy of the new Disney version rewritten by Jon Scieszka, a set of notecards, and a puzzle which I have almost finished putting together. I don't even own a copy of the full story in regular novel form.

My enchantment with Alice is primarily with other people's inspiration of, by, and for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, particularly the artwork. Such as:


An Alice in Wonderland group show in Portland, OR.

Gothic Alice

Fashion inspired by Alice

Naughty Alice (seriously, not for children)

Here is a collected gallery of Alice art through the ages.

Are you starting to understand what I'm saying?

There's the artwork, and then there are the aforementioned quotes (scattered throughout my apartment). I mean, what's more brilliant than this?
(From Through the Looking Glass)

`They gave it me,' Humpty Dumpty continued thoughtfully as he crossed one knee over the other and clasped his hands round it, `they gave it me -- for an un-birthday present.'

`I beg your pardon?' Alice said with a puzzled air.

`I'm not offended,' said Humpty Dumpty.

`I mean, what is an un-birthday present?'

`A present given when it isn't your birthday, of course.'

Alice considered a little. `I like birthday presents best,' she said at last.

`You don't know what you're talking about!' cried Humpty Dumpty. `How many days are there in a year?'

`Three hundred and sixty-five,' said Alice.

`And how many birthdays have you?'

`One.'

`And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five what remains?'

`Three hundred and sixty-four, of course.'

'That shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents --'

`Certainly,' said Alice.

`And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

Three hundred and sixty-four unbirthday presents for me, please!

Pure genius, that is. Now you see what I'm saying? Jumped on the Alice bandwagon yet? Yeah, that's what I thought.

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2 comments:

Book Blog? said...

Rebecca! I can't believe that Alice in Wonderland would not make your island list! Now that truly is Uncommon Nonsense...in other news today love the naughty Alice, will have to look at in more detail when I am not at work!

Emily Crowe said...

Ohhh, I love the Alice books, too. When I was little and would get bored of reading them the regular way I would turn the book upside down and start at the back and work my way forward. I guess maybe I was getting an early start for appreciating how my husband reads hand-set type!