Wednesday, Oct 16th

LATEST:
You are here: People Entertainment After 150 years, Alice in Wonderland still feeds heads

Best_of_2015_587x57_Results

After 150 years, Alice in Wonderland still feeds heads

aliceLONDON--It's 150 years since a hookah-smoking caterpillar sitting on a mushroom asked a curious young girl called Alice "Who are you?" and readers have been wondering the same thing ever since.

Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", with characters including the Hatter, the White Rabbit and the "off with his head" Queen of Hearts, has delighted generations of children since its publication in 1865. Carroll first told the story on July 4, 1862 as he and a friend rowed 10-year-old Alice Liddell and her two sisters along the River Thames in Oxford.

The Hatter's mad tea party, the tears of the Mock Turtle and a croquet game in which flamingos are used as mallets make up a topsy-turvy world of delightful nonsense. But "Alice" and "Through the Looking-Glass", published six years later, continue to captivate adults with their brilliant and subversive portrayal of how the grown-up world might appear to a seven-year old.

"There are really two stories," said Oxford University academic Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, whose new book "The Story of Alice" reveals the history and impact of the stories and the relationships between their author and the real-life Alice for whom they were written. One is a story to help children grow up "because it is about how confusing and surprising and disturbing the adult world is, but described in a comic and playful way."

"But it is also a book for adults, who want to recapture that sense of wonder that they might have lost," he added.

Take Alice's answer to the caterpillar. "I - I hardly know, Sir, just at present - at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then."

A perfectly understandable response after Alice's body has been shrunk and stretched but also one that resonates in an age when identity is fluid and changing.

Douglas-Fairhurst, university professor and tutor of English at Magdalen College, Oxford, says the books' author also raises questions of shifting identity. Lewis Carroll was the pseudonym of The Reverend Charles Dodgson - a stammering, "rather stuffy" mathematics tutor at Christ Church, Oxford - for whom Wonderland was a break from his rules-based world.

"Nonsense isn't the opposite of sense, it's a kind of holiday from sense...they are the stories of Carroll's real-life self playing around with dream versions of what he had to spend his working hours doing," Douglas-Fairhurst said.

Throughout his life, Dodgson sought the friendship of young girls. He photographed many of his "child-friends", some naked, raising uncomfortable questions while he was alive and today, when child abuse has rocked many institutions.

Douglas-Fairhurst says there is no evidence that Carroll's feelings were anything other than paternal or protective. "Was he secretly harbouring forbidden desires for them? If he was, it was such a deep secret, even he wasn't in on it."

But today's focus on the child is arguably one more reason to read the books. "I think today we are so nervous about children and childhood and that we want something we can use to understand them and Alice is a kind of inkblot or empty vessel we can fill with meaning."

The anniversary is being marked with events nationwide and, as has happened since the books first appeared, with new works based on Alice's adventures. Among them, Les Petits Theatre Company is putting on two "immersive" productions - one for adults and one for children - in The Vaults under London's Waterloo Station.

At the Manchester International Festival, a new musical, "wonder.land", with music by Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, tells the story of bullied 12-year-old Aly who escapes to a virtual online world. "That's an example of how protean and slippery the stories are and that's why we like them," Douglas-Fairhurst said.

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...