If I see one more quote from the Burton movie being attributed to Lewis Carroll I will start a fucking apocalypse.
So to avoid this, here is a recap:
"It is better to be feared than loved."
"The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad? Alice: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are."
"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would."
"I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours”
”Alice: How long is forever? White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second”
All of these (and I suspect, many others more) are NOT from Lewis Carroll. The person who wrote them has the literary talent of a 14 year-old drunk hipster and it drives me crazy to see them associated with the name of my favorite author.
(okay, the third one isn’t that bad, but it isn’t from the book.)
This picture shows three young undergratuates from Christ Church College and was taken by none other than Charles Dodgson (whom we all know under the pen name of Lewis Carroll). It turns out that Mr Dodgson was also a student at Christ Church during the time this photograph was taken.
How can you possibly stay indifferent next to the utter and complete fabulousness of the man on the left?
(You can see that the guy next to him is trying so hard not to crack up)
I’m pretty sure the photographing process went something like this:
This project is about Lewis Carroll. More precisely, about the two versions of the Myth so often spoken about him.
I want to keep the symbolism quite simple:
- On his left will be the Myth created right after his death mostly by his brother Skeffington Lutwidge and the women who knew him (or claimed to have known him) when they were little girls. According to this myth: Lewis Carroll is a kind of saint, whose works only aimed to celebrate the innocence of childhood. This incarnation of him will be represented by a statue, kneeling in prayer and entirely white. I also want to add little angels and fairies surrounding him, white roses and a cross.
- On his right is the Myth everyone knows about: the pedophile. This one will be very hard to draw on a personal level but I will do my best. I want to show an exaggerated version of the myth because I feel that those who believe Lewis Carroll to be “only” sexually repressed are actually excusing his supposed pedophilia. We call them the apologists, and it’s mainly their fault if this version of Lewis Carroll as a repressed pedophile, desperately trying to find redemption is the most famous one. It also gave an occasion for real pedophiles to see Lewis Carroll as an example to follow: “I have the right to desire children as long as I don’t touch them”. Pedophilia is harmful and wrong, no matter if it is repressed or not. Anyway… that’s the reason why I have chosen to draw him as a predator, using the help of the poem “How Doth the Little Crocodile” to illustrate all the horror of the situation: the children who were once angels and fairies have become mermaids (used here as a symbol for seduction) and thus become also the little fishes from the poem. There will also be pictures of naked girls pinned on the wall, the camera with an eye on it, blood oozing from the white roses and a curtain.
On the center is the real Charles Dodgson. I have chosen the title Forgotten Truth for now because I feel that most people, including biographers, have no idea who the real Charles Dodgson was. They often hide behind the name “Lewis Carroll” to tell their own interpretation of the man, which is a mistake: Lewis Carroll never was a real person and Charles Dodgson himself made a difference and played with this “alter-ego” in the letters he sent to the children he met. Mr Dodgson on the other hand, is the person everyone should focus on. Why? Because he was human and therefore, had a very complex personality, much more complex than the sexless saint or the terrifying predator. Those are just fantasies and I feel that not many people really understand this concept. This will be the most simple thing to draw: Mr Dodgson sitting, drawn in ink, with a blurry face.
As for the red and white knights chess pieces on the portraits in the centre, they can be found in the Chapter “It’s My Own Invention” from Through the Looking Glass. They are the only characters in the book who symbolize Mr Dodgson.
Please, feel free to tell me what you think about this project. I need every possible advice if I want to make it real. (I’m sorry about the grammar and spelling mistakes :S)
29. What’s one thing you want people who are unfamiliar with Alice to know?
OK, what? I just wrote my answer here, and Tumblr didn’t save it at all. Blaaaarg.
Right well, there are actually two things that I would like to tell to people who are unfamiliar with Alice and with Lewis Carroll. I can’t pick which one is more important, so I’m going to go with both.
Firstly, that throughout the creative process of producing the Alice stories, Lewis Carroll did not take drugs. These stories were entirely the product of his own clever imagination, no mind-altering substances were used.
Secondly, Lewis Carroll was not a child molester.
….I use that term rather than “paedophile” because I hate how that word gets misused in the media. A child molester harms children. A paedophile loves children. I just can’t see how loving children and wanting to harm them could be the same thing.
…that’s my opinion on that particular term anyway. >_>
But anyhow, that’s what I’d want to tell all the people who are not clear about the man we know as Lewis Carroll - we need to dispel this Carroll Myth once and for all.
Just to clarify though: a pedophile is a person who is sexually attracted by children, they can describe it as love, but it’s still harmful, even if they don’t attempt anything.
Mr Dodgson did loved children, but I’m convinced it was in a non-sexual way. That’s why I don’t like it when people say “he was a pedophile, but there is no record of him harming children, so it’s okay!”. No, it’s not okay: if he actually has been a pedophile, then his pictures of chrildren would have a totally different meaning than it really has. It would be downright creepy and masochist, and I’m sure he wasn’t like that.
I’m sorry about this comment, mabye you already knew what I mean. I just needed to add something.
"Something you would change about Wonderland/Looking-Glass Land"
Why would I want to change anything about these two glorious books?
Mabye I’m not the most modest person on earth but I know where to stop! I would never dare to criticize Lewis Carroll’s work. I completely lack objectivity on this specific subject.
I admit that a chapter bores me in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but that’s the only thing I would change, or cut. Like the Wasp in the Wig for Through the Lokking Glass, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland would have been better without the Lobster Quadrille chapter.
I confess this is kind of a default answer. I haven’t seen enough adaptations of Alice in Wonderland to make up my mind properly. But for now, my favorite portrayal of Alice comes from the video game, followed by the Walt Disney’s animated Alice as a close second.
Why that? Because I like to see a strong-willed Alice, just like she is in the book. I admit that both the video game and the movie forgot to give her moments of weakness, when she feels shy or afraid. I can understand why they made it this way in the game because the player needed a strong character to play with, but regarding the animated movie, I would have loved to see an Alice with both strenght and weaknesses.
Once again, I definitely need to watch more adaptations. I’m sure the ideal Alice is out somewhere ^^
"A song that reminds you of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and/or Through the Looking-Glass."
I admit it, I chose the easy way with this song. But come to think of it, how could I get wrong? This music embodies the feeling of nostalgia associated with the Alice books. It sounds to me like a prayer to get back something long gone, to find back the innocence and the magic of childhood, far away from the sadness and the dreadful weight of reality.