Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


The first time I read Alice in Wonderland was in school when I was ten. I don't remember what I thought about it. I must have liked it and read it as a little girl's adventure. Alice falls down the rabbit hole and all sort of strange things happen to her. That was basically it.

This December I decided to visit an English book club in my local library. The book that we were supposed to read was Alice in Wonderland. I'm not a big fan of children's literature and it was interesting to find out how I felt about reading Alice after more than thirty years. It turned out I liked it. At the time I was reading it I stumbled upon an article discussing Alice in Wonderland and its 150th anniversary. The article said that it was children's and adults' book. But I already knew that. It's full of undertones that couldn't have been meant for children. For example, there's a parody of judicial system, how easy it is to condemn a person, when someone shouts: "Off with his head!" this person being the queen of hearts which is just a card.

The World of Wonderland is chaotic and absurd. There are talking animals and a couple of creatures, for example the Hatter, the Cook and the Duchess about which we don't know if they are human or not. The book doesn't specify it, or I wasn't paying enough attention to it. Or maybe we were supposed to take it for granted that they were human (or not).  Illustrations are a different matter. :-) Alice falls into this world through the rabbit hole full of book shelves. It reminded me of growing up, of entering a world of adults after years of education. She certainly changes, she notices it herself when she says that she was one person in the morning but a different one later in the day. Is the world of adults chaotic and absurd? I sometimes I think it is. "We are all mad here," says the Cheshire cat. The world is definitely mad and it's getting madder by the minute. Mad as a Hatter!

There was a lot of debate about Lewis Carroll being on drugs when he wrote Alice in Wonderland. We have a caterpillar smoking a water pipe and Alice nibbles on a mushroom in order to grow or become smaller. But was he? Is it so hard to imagine a person with imagination not induced by drugs? Or are all creative people supposed to be high on something.

There's a lot I could write about this book, but what I liked the most was the impression I got about not forcing things to happen. Stay in the moment, which for me isn't the same as going with the flow. Things will happen when there's time for them to happen.

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Prvič sem Alice v čudežni deželi brala, ko sem bila v četrtem razredu osnovne šole. Brali smo jo za domače branje. Spominjam se, da je bila to prva knjiga, ki sem si jo izposodila iz "knjižnice za odrasle" in da je imela modre platnice z ilustracijo. Ne spominjam se kaj sem si mislila o zgodbi. Verjetno mi je bila všeč, gotovo pa sem jo brala kot dogodivščine deklice, ki pade skozi zajčjo luknjo v Čudežno deželo in se ji tam marsikaj dogaja.

Decembra sem se odločila, da obiščem Angleški bralno debatni krožek, ki ga vodi dr. Leonora Flis v knjižnici Otona Župančiča. Knjiga, ki se je brala za to srečanje je bila ravno Alice v čudežni deželi. Nisem posebna ljubiteljica knjig za otroke, tako da me je zanimalo ali jo bom sploh prebrala oziroma kakšna se mi bo zdela po trideset in več letih. Bila mi je všeč, kar me je po svoje presenetilo. Letos mineva 150. obletnica knjige in ravno, ko sem jo brala, sem v časopisu naletela na članek o njej. V uvodu je pisalo, da je to knjiga za otroke in odrasle, kar pa sem do takrat že vedela. V njej je kup skritih pomenov, ki gotovo niso bili namenjeni otrokom. Na primer parodija sodnega sistema, ko je tako lahko obsoditi človeka. Dovolj je, da nekdo zavpije "Stran z njegovo glavo!" Ne glede na to, da je ta oseba srčna kraljica, torej vladarica, ki pa je po drugi strani samo karta.

Čudežna dežela je kaotična in absurdna. Tam živijo govoreče živali in nekaj bitij, na primer Klobučar, Kuharica in Grofica, o katerih Carroll ne pove ali so ljudje ali morda niso. Razen, če to ni samoumevno ali pa nisem bila pozorna na to. Ilustracije so druga stvar, one povedo. :-) Alice v Čudežno deželo pade skozi zajčjo luknjo polno knjig na knjižnih policah. To me je spomnilo na odraščanje, vstop v svet odraslih po letih šolanja. Alice se spremeni, to opazi tudi sama, ko reče, da je je bila zjutraj ena oseba, sedaj pa je drugačna. Je svet odraslih res kaotičen in absurden? Včasih mislim, da je. "Tu smo vsi nori," reče mačka. Svet je definitivno nor, vedno bolj.

Zasledila sem kar nekaj ugibanja o tem ali je bil Lewis Carroll zadrogiran, ko je pisal zgodbo o Alice. Tu je gosenica, ki kadi vodno pipo, Alice pa vsake toliko poje nekaj gobe, da bi zrasla ali se zmanjšala. Je bil res zadrogiran? Ali je tako težko verjeti, da ima oseba domišljijo, ki je ne povzročajo mamila? Ali pa so vsi kreativni ljudje zadeti ...

O knjigi bi lahko napisala še marsikaj. Najbolj pa mi je bil všeč občutek, ki sem ga dobila med branjem, da naj ne silimo, da bi se kaj zgodilo. Ostanimo v trenutku, kar ni isto kot da plovemo s tokom. Stvari se bodo zgodile, ko bo čas zanje. 



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