'Be what you would seem to be' — or, if you'd like it put more simply — '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 to be otherwise.'
I recently had the pleasure of reading Alice in Wonderland to my three-year-old, and she rather enjoyed it despite (I'm guessing) not understanding half of what was happening in the book. Then again, I suppose most adult readers can only understand about half of what's going on in the book. I thought that I'd read it before—I mean, who hasn't, right?—but after reading it I wasn't entirely sure. Perhaps, as was the case with Peter Pan, I was just so familiar with the story from various movie versions, parodies, and imitations, that I just thought I'd read it. Certainly I'd read large sections of it before, but the ending at least seemed new to me.
I have always been a fan of Lewis Carroll and his bizarre poetry and rambling nonsense, and this story is a favorite, even if it turns out I just read it for the first time. This particular volume was illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger (we've also got a Noah's Ark book and The Wizard of Oz with her illustrations) and they're wonderfully whimsical and modern. They're quite different from the original illustrations (which I do like) and it's an interesting contrast.
Update, 12/7/10: I just finished reading Alice in Wonderland again, to my just-turned-seven-year-old. She really enjoyed it and I think understood more of it, but there were still several parts that I think just went over her head. And, again, I'd forgotten how the story ended and wasn't expecting it. Hey, good to know I can forget enough about a book to enjoy it again!
Fed to jonathan's brain | December 01, 2007 | Comments (0)