I was first introduced to Lewis Carroll in my 6th grade English class years ago. Although English was like, my thing–I’ll admit, I never was a bibliophile. The problem is, I always get close to halfway through a novel before putting it down and attempting to rewrite my own spin on it. I digress. But Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was one of the absolute few books that kept my attention, year after year. I actually read it more than once, and I read the sequel, too. These two things should account for how much Carroll’s 1800s-esque penmanship enticed me to a point that no few writers had reached before. The quirky words, the genuine, endemic nature of Alice’s character, which represented little curious girls so well. And then there is the drug counterculture brought forth in America and Europe during the 1960s and 70s, which propelled Alice to one her greatest heights. Lewis Carroll–whose real name is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson–created trippy events throughout Alice’s story which still speak to me, years after my childhood. She was the epitome of purity, innocence… Alice was just a child who found herself in situations with different characters with various motives, as she tried so hard to maintain her innocence throughout. She was constantly faced with decisions in which would give her a single drastic outcome which then would lead to the next big decision. So many elements of her life were clearly out of her control, yet she learned to manage and adapt to her unfortunate circumstances. Lewis Carroll was inspired by a real life Alice Liddell in which he saw aspects of his own character. The merging of the childlike girl and the inadequate but accomplished adult are familiar both my ID and my ego. Though I could swerve into the story of Lewis’ personal life and relationship with Alice. Whenever I view an artist’s art (or in this case, read their literature), I am honoring their openness in sharing a sacred side of themselves. Therefore, I won’t take that opportunity to judge them as a person, just respect them as an artist.
Happy birthday to a legend and one of my greatest literary influences, Lewis Carroll.