Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I'm Officially in Love

....with Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat. I've never really seen either the Disney or Tim Burton's version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, but I just finished reading the books.

Disney, for whatever reason, originally classified the Cheshire Cat as a villain, so I started off reading the books with this expectation, but really, the Cheshire Cat is perfectly pleasant and good-natured. Just horribly creepy while he's at it.

And, as Flippers says on Hoodwinked, "We don't arrest people for being creepy."

Maybe it's the juxtaposition of creepy and perfectly decent that I like. Maybe I like that, despite the cat's own claims to the contrary, he is seemingly the most sane of all the inhabitants of Wonderland. All his dialogue is well-worded and clever. I'm not sure why I love him, but I do, which is causing me to pine after a Cheshire Cat mug from Amazon that I stumbled across. When you put something hot in the cup, the cat fades away, leaving only his smile behind, just like the cat does in the story. Unfortunately, the mug is from the .com side, rather than the .ca side, so I'm debating whether it's worth it. The Disney Store has a Disney Cheshire Cat mug, but it's the original cat I'm in love with.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has been, on the whole, confusing but pleasant. I appreciate Carroll's wordplay and some of the philosophical themes he highlights. Unfortunately, it's rather difficult, at least in a culture so different from his own, to identify what he meant as pure nonsense and what he meant as a statement, or whether he distinguished between the two at all.

I wouldn't let young kids read it, though. The Queen of Hearts is positively terrifying!

Here's a taste of my new feline friend, straight from the book:

"Cheshire-Puss," she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider.

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don't much care where---" said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

"---So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.

"Oh you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

1 comment:

art said...

I like you quote "We don't arrest people for being creepy." I know there are governments today that do arrest people for being creepy.

I don't think I ever read the book. You did not give it a glowing enough report so I don't think I will plan on reading it either.