January 27, 2011

le fete de l’imagination: Lewis Carroll


Today we’re celebrating the birth of Mr. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson…aka Lewis Carroll. He isn’t southern, nor do his enchanting tales take place in the south, but in my opinion they could have. Tubby little co-dependent twins who finish each others’ sentences? They could just as easily have been characters created by eccentric southern author, Tennessee Williams.


I should probably come right out and admit that I’m teetering on the edge of obsession where Alice and her adventures are concerned. I always loved the stories/films while I was growing up, but I think it took becoming an adult to truly appreciate them. I think this is because as children, we tend to take our imaginations for granted. It is only as adults when we are no longer encouraged to use our imaginations daily that they become something we long for and miss.


Thankfully, I’m not the only person who is fascinated with these whimsical tales. Carroll’s imagery, characters and magic permeate all sorts of areas of expression, from high fashion and graphic design to musical theatre, books and film. Above, Alice chats with Uncle Karl and below, relaxes in a meadow with Donatella Versace (both images from Vogue 2003, Annie Leibovitz).


The story goes that Lewis Carroll met a family who had a daughter (Alice) and she inspired him to write some of the stories. I have an interesting book that presents a different version of the story…it’s fantasy, but still a fun read.


If we take anything at all from Lewis Carroll, let’s adhere to his policy of using our imagination daily…who knows when it might serve us well to get out of a pickle or two?

Happy Birthday Lewis Carroll & thanks for the adventures!