Archive for the Chapter 9 Category

Alice Precedes Wonderland

Posted in Benedikt K.'s Entries, Chapter 9, Philosophy / Big Picture on December 3, 2009 by Benedikt K

So after having a nihilistic interpretation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which left me both depressed and looking for another way, here I am again, after all, showing another argument. Both the reason for me writing this post, and the posts argument are based off yet another Nietzsche quote:

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, the only way, it does not exist

Alice does not follow one particular way ever, and all the ways he could choose lead to different outcomes. It is not as if all of them lead to her waking, but rather all of them lead to different experiences before her awakening. To quote Ursula K. LeGuin,

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.

Alice’s journey can be interpreted many different ways, and there is no one single right way to look at the story. One can even argue that the story has no meaning what so ever, as I did in my last blog some time ago. We have also have had arguments that it is meant simply as a children’s story. But we have not yet had the simplest of all possibilities. What if Alice’s journey is an end in itself?

What if we, as humans and interpreters, have to find a grand meaning in a story, because we are not ready for what is really there? Maybe this quest for meaning is simply a lie to ourselves. We seem to be unable to accept the fact that there is no one single meaning to Alice. Meaning depends upon existence, not existence upon meaning.

Alice has no meaning at first. All meaning we have found are simply scenarios our brain creates so that we find consolidation in seeming meaning. Our whole life we have created meaning for ourself, not accepted one given to us by our parents or some institution. There must be a deeper sense in everything that exists.

Do not understand me wrong, I do not think Carroll’s book has no meaning, or is only meant to be a childrens book. I believe that there is an infinite amount of meaning in it. Every human creates his own meaning out of the story. I may say it is simply a dream, you may argue that it is a representation of the real world with society removed and us seeing the faults in the system. The greatest meaning within Alice is the pure existence of meaning. Her journey to the duchess, to the realization that there is a moral, meaning, in everything, is, in itself, a meaning. This meaning precedes everything else but the words it is written in.

Thus the journey precedes the moral, alice precedes wonderland, and existence precedes essence.

CoverItLive Session #3

Posted in Benedikt K.'s Entries, Beth A.'s Entries, Chapter 9, CoverItLive sessions, Deron M.'s Entries, Gabriella B.'s Entries on November 18, 2009 by Benedikt K

We finally managed to get all four contributors into one CoverItLive session!

We had tried this process twice before, here and here, but neither of those had all four of us in them.

So, here is our full-team CoverItLive session where we talk about:

  • the morals mentioned by the dutchess in chapter 9
  • the puns and references made by Carroll, in particular to math and victorian society
  • what values Carroll tried to embed in his readers, especially Alice

Love to hear what you thought about our conversation.