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nickb123
11-02-2008, 12:16 AM
Here's the place to discuss this month's book, which incorporates "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There."

For details on where you can get the book from, including how to view it online for free and fully legally, see the blog here (http://blog.lostpedia.com/2008/11/alice-in-wonderland-read-begins.html).

markno
11-02-2008, 05:06 AM
Sorry to start this forum on a bad note, but I HATED this book. Given all the great books available for us to read, I am disappointed in this choice, especially considering LLL may be ending.
I have loved being involved in the LLL and would love to see it continue even when Lost Season 5 begins. There should be some new books to add the to list next year.
Please everyone, keep the LLL going in 2009

blueeagleislander
11-02-2008, 06:38 AM
markno, why did you hate it?

markno
11-02-2008, 08:07 AM
markno, why did you hate it?

I found it annoying, no real plot or character development. No sense to the story, not funny. Just a silly read.
I remember reading it as a child and hating it then, now I've read it as an adult and I still hate it.
So sorry to be so negative

esbanks303
11-03-2008, 07:05 PM
Hey all,
first time in the book club threads. Personally, I love Alice in Wonderland. It's always been one of my favorite books and I love the influence it has on Lost.

In response to markno's take, I can completely appreciate someone finding this book annoying, etc. But I don't think it's meant to have the plot and character development that we're used to finding in other books that we read. It seems that the inhabitants of Wonderland can make perfect sense out of the world they're living in, which we find all the more infuriating because it is so ridiculous to us. But imagine one of them experiencing life in our world. Would it not be just as frustrating and absurd to them to see the way we live?
Look at the lessons that Alice is forced to study and learn day in and day out. Ridiculous, nonsensical, and entirely pointless. But that's just the way things are in the world so we accept it as making sense and having a purpose. Anything can make sense, but everything is nonsense.

Anyway, hope that sparks some discussion...

Kristallregen
11-04-2008, 11:28 AM
in my book (german version) there is a discussion at the end. It tells that what the book make so special is that the author was fallen in love with a girl that name was alice. and that all this stuff in the story are the feelings to this girl. i think this makes this book so special.

Hieroanonymous
11-04-2008, 04:05 PM
I started early and am already halfway through "Looking Glass".

The second book is much more interesting, but I have yet to find any references to the show.

The only one that I can think of so far is that the chess problem presented in the second book may have something to do with the season three ep "Enter 77" where Locke beats the chess computer.

Hieroanonymous
11-04-2008, 04:09 PM
in my book (german version) there is a discussion at the end. It tells that what the book make so special is that the author was fallen in love with a girl that name was alice. and that all this stuff in the story are the feelings to this girl. i think this makes this book so special.

Her name was Alice Liddell. Carroll's relationship with her was purely platonic and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.

esbanks303
11-05-2008, 12:02 AM
I started early and am already halfway through "Looking Glass".

The second book is much more interesting, but I have yet to find any references to the show.

The only one that I can think of so far is that the chess problem presented in the second book may have something to do with the season three ep "Enter 77" where Locke beats the chess computer.

I think the show uses Alice as more of a reference thematically. For example The Looking Glass station was half way through the whole show at the end of season three. So on one side of the looking glass, you have The Island, i.e. Wonderland, a fantastical world to which all these characters all seem to have followed a white rabbit (Jack's father, Locke's Walkabout, Sawyer's Sawyer, Hurley's curse, etc). On the other side (and we have yet to see this completely, since there's two seasons left) is the real world, (LA for the most part) where the characters feel numb to the trivial reality they're used to living in.

There are various direct references to the book, like The Looking Glass and the white rabbit, but by and large they're pretty abstract. We don't see Locke talking to a giant Caterpillar, but he does get similar advice from Ben, doesn't he?

MikeyTay
11-07-2008, 08:56 PM
The Looking Glass station was half way through the whole show at the end of season three. So on one side of the looking glass, you have The Island, i.e. Wonderland. On the other side (and we have yet to see this completely, since there's two seasons left) is the real world,


...I would doubt that the writers actually had this in mind but I do like the idea.

I've just finished Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and I have to say I didn't really enjoy it either. I think it's a nonsensical children's book really and I can see little direct relation to Lost.

However, I can understand that it might be an indirect influence to the themes of lost. The island can be very wonderland-esque with plot points like the monster, the polar bear, the French woman and the hatch etc.

Also the pace of Lost, particuarly in season 1, can be similar to that of the book. Every episode a new story line is created or a new character introduced without stopping to explain or build on the previous one. In the same way, each chapter of AAIW describes a new scene or new character before quickly moving onto the next.

des&penny
11-09-2008, 01:24 AM
Man I haven't posted in forever, although I HAVE been keeping up on the reading. Slaughterhouse Five was so, so good.

Question for you guys, this Alice In Wonderland book, my library only had the children's version, but she said that all the text is the same, it's just that this one has illustrations [which are incredible, by the way]. Is this correct? Am I reading the same thing as you guys??

blueeagleislander
11-09-2008, 02:52 AM
Of course you are. :p

Alice is a bit more family-friendly that our past reads, definitely.

MikeyTay
11-09-2008, 09:51 AM
My copy also has illustrations, I assumed they were part of the original book.

They are actually very good come to think of it. Does anyone know if Carroll drew them?

blueeagleislander
11-09-2008, 10:11 AM
They were done by John Tenniel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tenniel), who became famous for the illustrations.

booradley
11-10-2008, 03:24 AM
Then there's Rackham:

http://artfiles.art.com/images/-/Arthur-Rackham/Alice-and-the-Pack-of-Cards-Print-C10100746.jpeg

And Mabel Lucie Atwell:

http://www.the-office.com/bedtime-story/alice-attwell-caterpillar.jpg

Personal favourites. :)

island redhead
11-12-2008, 09:33 PM
I found the first book to be pretty strange reading after Slaughterhouse 5. (I know, how bizarre does that sound.:o)
I don't hate it, but it's never been one of my favorites, either. Trying to pick up any references Lost may have used, other than the obvious.

Desmond_Fan16
11-13-2008, 01:57 AM
I enjoyed rereading the stories. One thing I am surprised at is no one has talked about the major drug reference this book has. I know some people said this book is about an acid trip, some say religion, and some say politics. I've always seen this book about an acid trip, but I could be wrong. Anyway I'm glad we picked this book to read this time, it was really enjoyable.

blueeagleislander
11-13-2008, 07:18 AM
I think it's definitely all three! :D

Did anyone else think that Ben and the Cheshire Cat are...similar?Or it just me?

booradley
11-13-2008, 09:31 AM
One thing I am surprised at is no one has talked about the major drug reference this book has...I've always seen this book about an acid trip, but I could be wrong.

Do you mean nobody on the forum has talked about the drug references? ;) They've generally been discussed to death elsewhere. Also, LSD wasn't synthesised until the early 20th Century, and Alice was published in 1865. I think it was probably appropriated as an acid trip tale in the 60's, like a lot of things were. :rolleyes:

The opium-smoking caterpillar's an overt drug reference, and the drink me/eat me episode is often interpreted as such (like in the Jefferson Airplane song). But actually Lewis Carroll suffered from Migraine and drew on neurological aura symptoms for the psychedelic aspects of Alice.

In conclusion, say no to drugs. ;) :p

3RingCircus
11-17-2008, 06:24 AM
I was thinking as far as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland...I have not seen anything really that stands out to me that would be a big wow as far as connections. I can see some influences, but nothing else really. Has anyone seen similarities between characters from the book and show?

loakey
11-19-2008, 01:25 AM
I personally love love love this book so much.

I didn't notice any links to lost beyond the obvious but I think there is a bit of confusion. Carroll has wrote responses and letters stating that Alice In Wonderland is a fictional commentary on the British government, similar to Animal Farm and Watership Down. Most of the commentary is about punishment. It is simply in the form of a children's story to escape from prosecution.

Here are a few possible links, but a bit of a stretch:
The Mad Hatter was symbolic of men who wore top hat and went insane as a result. Top Hats used to have traces of opiates, or a similar drug, in them as a result from the way they were made. Men who were of a certain status were expected to wear hats, even when the link between top hats and dementia was starting to be speculated. This might be a link to Sam, who is slightly crazy due to his work.

Another link might be between the poems in the book and the obvious literary references in the show that seem to almost match up but have slight differences. Carroll used real poems to inspire the nonsense poems that are in the book. I haven't totally fleshed this idea out yet but it might be more about the writing of the show itself.

When I read this book, I had a Norton edition which has all these nifty notes which helped me interpret some of this info.

3RingCircus
11-19-2008, 07:06 AM
Here are a few possible links, but a bit of a stretch:
The Mad Hatter was symbolic of men who wore top hat and went insane as a result. Top Hats used to have traces of opiates, or a similar drug, in them as a result from the way they were made. Men who were of a certain status were expected to wear hats, even when the link between top hats and dementia was starting to be speculated. This might be a link to Sam, who is slightly crazy due to his work.

Another link might be between the poems in the book and the obvious literary references in the show that seem to almost match up but have slight differences. Carroll used real poems to inspire the nonsense poems that are in the book. I haven't totally fleshed this idea out yet but it might be more about the writing of the show itself.

Wow, thanks for the info. I did not know that about top hats. BTW, I wasn't such which Sam you are referring to?

Your idea of poems is great. I will have to think about that more as well. Thanks for the ideas!

blueeagleislander
11-19-2008, 07:38 AM
I think by Sam he meant Dan. :o

3RingCircus
11-19-2008, 09:46 AM
Ah...I was thinking Daniel Faraday is kind of a Mad Hatter, but I was not coming up with any scientists named Sam. Thanks!

thebigbosh
11-19-2008, 04:03 PM
I tend to read these books completely forgetting that I'm doing it because of Lost, so miss out on any and all connections! As well, I suspend disbelief pretty easily so never found myself looking for plot or character development.

What I found with the book was that it was a great, elaborate expansion on the dream state, where we find everything created by our subconscious, very related to what we know but in a world with different rules. I loved the different characters Alice created from young life visuals and limited experience, with odd laws applied because of the language or apparently non-sensical guidance of adults. I often found myself looking at these dream creations and imagining them as problems, thinking of how you would solve them.

I also found it an interesting read because as a youngster I spent some time playing an old text RPG computer game called Wonderland (mobygames.com/game/wonderland - any PC copies by the way, please send me!!) and it was great to relate the story back.

Coming back to Lost then, I agree with the above in that some similarities exist, although I really believe they're coincidental rather than purposeful. I think the white rabbit leading the way would work, but the rabbit character is not used in the same way as Lost and those 'rabbits' in Lost have much deeper meanings to the other characters in the story. In Through the Looking Glass, I think the idea of a world with backwards rules which have to be played to again resonates with Lost, but in a dream world you can play around with it so much more.

Right, well those are my thoughts - feel free to pick apart as you like. Back to a history of Portugal and Brazil until the next month!

B

booradley
11-20-2008, 03:27 PM
I think there is a bit of confusion. Carroll has wrote responses and letters stating that Alice In Wonderland is a fictional commentary on the British government, similar to Animal Farm and Watership Down. Most of the commentary is about punishment. It is simply in the form of a children's story to escape from prosecution.

No confusion. I think it's more complex than you're giving it credit for. Its references are political, mathematical, classical and historical. It's contemporary cultural commentary and children's story at the same time. It's also a linguistic masterpiece, and utilises theoretical physics for that dreamlike quality. I think this is where Lost comes in.

When you compare two texts (or one text and one TV show :)) you're not necessarily just looking for similarities between characters. It's a little bit like Ulysses. It's a little bit like Heart of Darkness. And Lost is a little bit like all of them. Literature is like a rainbow: when viewed from above it's a perfect circle. ;) I think by referencing Alice and so many other texts, Lost is positioning itself as Literature, the most recent installment in a grand tradition of storytelling and mythology.

We fell into a similar trap with Lord of the Flies, focusing discussion on who was most like whom: "Ralph is like Jack, Piggy is like Hurley," etc. There's a limit to how much you can squeeze out of that. It's more worthwhile to look at the story as a whole. Lord of the Flies is about power and civilisation and what happens to a group of people morally and politically when they are isolated on a tropical island. First they shed their clothes, the trappings of civilisation. Then they attempt to establish some order. Authority is challenged; anarchy ensues. They hunt, paint their faces, create a religion, form a tribe, and before long people are killing each other and all hell breaks loose. That's where Flies has resonance with Lost.

Sure, the Hatter is mad, and Dan's eccentric, but I don't think there's really a link between those characters. I think the recurring theme of madness is of more interest: was Hurley ever actually crazy? Is Alice? Is she really seeing what she's seeing? Is Hurley? Or Kate? Or Jack? What about the savants that ran the numbers over and over for the Dhama Initiative? Are Dan and the Mad Hatter actually crazy, or just really smart? ;)

Also significant is the idea of going through the looking glass, and everything being backwards. On the island, sons are taken away from their fathers, sons are required to kill their fathers, and dead fathers reappear to their sons. Doctors get sick, planes fall out of the sky, time is distorted, apparitions appear: there's even opium! (though no doped up catepillar... as far as we know. :eek:) I think in general terms Alice is significant as a Lost reference because its central theme is the subversion of reality. Normal becomes abnormal. Essentially Lewis Carroll invented the mindf***.

In both Alice and Lost, psychedelic experiences abound in a surreal landscape. If you think about Alice, it all takes place in a cramped microcosm crowded with bizarre objects and people; just like the landscape of Lost. It's a small tropical paradise that feels more like purgatory, concealing a bright yellow drug smuggler's beechcraft, an ancient blue VW that still works, a hot air balloon, a sub, a hidden community of mysterious scientists with Eastern religious influences, apparitions of the dead, a smoke monster, numerous dolls, often connected to nets, statuettes of the virgin Mary, unidentified skeletons, zoos with people in them, aquariums with people underneath them, hieroglyphs, tunnels, traps, villains, invisible Jacobs and weird dogs. It's a freaking upside-down minefield of curiosities. Just like Alice.

And just like Alice, people who end up on the island regularly ask themselves "Where are we? Who are you people? This was not supposed to happen to me! Am I crazy??" Alice made her way through Wonderland attempting to reason with herself and everyone she met. It didn't work, because the characters of Wonderland maintain a kind of subverted logic that theoretically makes sense and has an authority of it's own. Just like Jack insisting that the island didn't disappear, or Locke insisting that there's no such thing as a magic button. Sooner or later they have face up to the subverted logic, or magic, of the island, and the unlikely authority of Jacob, just like Alice ends up tangled in the perverted legal system of Wonderland and the draconian rule of the Queen of Hearts.

Whoo. :o In conclusion, I think what Alice and Lost have in common is that they create a mythology by taking what is normal and turning it inside-out and upside down. They share dreamlike landscapes accessed via plane-crash or rabbit hole. The island is Wonderland. And... I guess I think Jacob is the Queen of Hearts and it's way past my bedtime. :rolleyes:

3RingCircus
11-20-2008, 07:15 PM
I really like what you have written. I agree with Lost being like Wonderland and that Alice tried to apply reason, but it doesn't stick in a place like Wonderland. We have seen the characters on Lost try to apply reason to the island, and the results have been the same. You put it beautifully.

There's one thing though. I think that it is perfectly normal for a person to read the book and try to find similar character or plot development. I think it's part of the comparison process. Yes, looking at the overall messages and ideas is usually what we do, but I don't think that it hurts for people to explore the other things.

As for Daniel, I think he is extremely intelligent and that is part of his "madness", however I think his time travel has also attributed to his personality as well.

Anyways, thanks for the ideas. I always thought that the references to AIW were part of how everything seems nonsensical and/or illogical and you can't expect anything "normal" to be present on the island (hence my comment on the "obvious" connections btwn the two), but you took the time to put it in much better terms.:)

booradley
11-21-2008, 06:31 AM
You put it beautifully. Aw, thanks! :o
There's one thing though. I think that it is perfectly normal for a person to read the book and try to find similar character or plot development. You're absolutely right. It is natural and interesting. I only suggest broadening our scope because character comparisons alone are a bit limiting. :)

123LostFan123
11-21-2008, 08:44 AM
Wow, Boo, that was an awesomely epic post. Well put, articulate and persuasive.

markno
11-21-2008, 10:18 PM
Hey booradley
I think you are smarter than the rest of us put together. You have the type of opinions that challenge my thinking, which I always love.
Thanks for you comments

booradley
11-22-2008, 09:32 AM
Hey booradley
I think you are smarter than the rest of us put together. You have the type of opinions that challenge my thinking, which I always love.
Thanks for you comments
Will you marry me? :)

markno
11-22-2008, 09:28 PM
Hey booradley
re: Will you marry me???
Sorry already married for ten years, but so flattered at the request.
Besides, you're probably too intelligent for me!

Gilliganista!
11-22-2008, 10:42 PM
...Carroll has wrote responses and letters stating that Alice In Wonderland is a fictional commentary on the British government, similar to Animal Farm and Watership Down....

Years ago I read an article in The New York Review of Books that specifically critiqued how Carroll's books were commentaries or satires regarding British government and the Crown. However, in my search of the periodical's website, I have not been able to find this specific article, so I may have to conclude it was read under the dim light of a hookah.:rolleyes: of course, it could have been in The London Review of Books, but that website is not as user-friendly in its search function.

Nevertheless, others might be interested in some of the tidbits I discovered. The articles cited below provide an excerpt only and require payment for further reading, unless otherwise stated:


http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=11858

Volume 9, Number 11 · December 21, 1967
The Other Country
By Denis Donoghue

The Golden Key
by George MacDonald, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, Afterword by W.H. Auden
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 86 pp., $3.95

On October 14, 1863, Charles Dodgson, soon to become Lewis Carroll, visited his friends the MacDonalds at their home, Elm Lodge, Heath Street, Hampstead. During the afternoon he took a photograph of George MacDonald and his eldest daughter, Lilia. It is a curious picture. Lilia is as sweet as any of Lewis Carroll's heroines, even if she is a little too old to be perfect. But her father, reading to her in the garden, is caught with a haunted look, as if his text were the quintessence of dust and the garden a charnel-vault. The picture is probably misleading. There is nothing in the available record to suggest that MacDonald was much possessed by doom. Visits to Elm Lodge, according to Carroll's diary and other sources, were always genial occasions. Often they included private theatricals, once Pilgrim's Progress, again Polyeuctus. On formal occasions the company was always interesting and sometimes fine. Carroll noted, after a later visit: 'Met Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain) with whom I was pleased and interested.'





http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=7711

Volume 26, Number 13 · August 16, 1979
Dodgson's Passion
By Rosemary Dinnage

The Letters of Lewis Carroll Vol. I: 1837-1885 Vol. II: 1886-1898
edited by Morton N. Cohen, with the assistance of Roger Lancelyn Green
Oxford University Press, 1,244 pp., $60.00, boxed set

Lewis Carroll, Photographer of Children: Four Nude Studies
by Morton N. Cohen
Clarkson Potter, 32 pp., $10.00

Lewis Carroll is one of the writers who evoke a special kind of fuss—pedantic, nostalgic, ingrown. The first sentence of editor Morton N. Cohen's acknowledgments sets the tone: 'Almost two decades have passed since, on a golden summer afternoon, Roger Lancelyn Green proposed, over cups of tea in the garden of his Cheshire home, that the two of us collect and edit Lewis Carroll's letters for publication.' The golden summer afternoon, as everyone must know, is a reference to a journey by rowing boat from Folly Bridge, Oxford, to Godstow Lock—



http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=7704

Volume 26, Number 14 · September 27, 1979
The Heavy Fantastic
By Julian Symons

The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction
by Ursula K. LeGuin, edited and with introductions by Susan Wood
Putnam's, 270 pp., $9.95

Fantastic Worlds: Myths, Tales and Stories
edited and with commentaries by Eric S. Rabkin
Oxford University Press, 478 pp., $15.95

'We like to think we live in daylight, but half the world is always dark; and fantasy, like poetry, speaks the language of the night.' The rhetorical phrase that provides a title for Ursula Le Guin's essays, notes, and speeches about fantastic fiction becomes less plausible the longer you look at it. 'We'—you and I and Ursula Le Guin—do live almost all of our waking lives in real or artificial daylight, and if half the world is always dark, that affects us very little. And then much poetry and a good deal of fantasy uses the language of rational and logical discourse, which is I suppose what Ms. Le Guin would call the language of day. Very little fantasy uses that language of the night which speaks 'from the unconscious, to the unconscious, in the language of the unconscious,' to quote her definition of great fantasies, myths, and tales. It is not a mere literal quibble to insist that there is no such thing as the language of the unconscious, and that the Grimm brothers and Hoffmann and Poe and Cabell and Tolkien use the language of day. They may use it, more or less deliberately, to suggest symbols, myths, and archetypes, but the interest of those symbols and archetypes is that they refer back to the real world, the world of daylight in which we live.


http://www.nybooks.com/articles/7598

[This is a complete article]

Volume 26, Number 19 · December 6, 1979
The Dream of Mind and Machine
By Edward Rothstein

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
by Douglas R. Hofstadter
Basic Books, 777 pp., $18.50

"Well now, would you like to hear of a race-course, that most people fancy they can get to the end of in two or three steps, while it really consists of an infinite number of distances, each one longer than the previous one?"

—Lewis Carroll
What the Tortoise Said to Achilles



http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=1627

Volume 43, Number 3 · February 15, 1996
Alice, or The Art of Survival
By John Bayley

Lewis Carroll: A Biography
by Morton N. Cohen
Knopf, 577 pp., $35.00

The Complete Sylvie and Bruno
by Lewis Carroll, iillustrated by Renée Flower
Mercury House, 394 pp., $30.00

The Reverend C.L. Dodgson, whose invented pen name was Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, was certainly a man with two profiles, if not more. The reminiscences of those who knew him, neatly assembled and edited by his biographer, give a more vivid and contradictory impression of him than a modern biographical analysis can manage to do. Take the question of that stammer. Some who knew him, like Mrs. Shute, the wife of one of his colleagues at Christ Church, Oxford, and author of the above passage, maintain that it was no more than an effective device for telling stories, a tic that its owner made adroit use of. Others, like the Bishop of Oxford in Dodgson's time, insist that it was a serious and embarrassing handicap which prevented its devout owner from proceeding to full orders and becoming a priest. He escaped conducting services if at all possible, although he would preach sermons, over which he took immense pains, 'avoiding the words which tripped him up in speech.' And with these sermons he always 'held his audience.'



http://www.nybooks.com/articles/894

[This is a complete article which mentions concepts from Carroll]

Volume 45, Number 6 · April 9, 1998
Darwinian Virtues
By Frank J. Sulloway

The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation
by Matt Ridley
Viking (To be published in paperback by Penguin in April 1998.), 295 pp., $24.95

[…]
Ridley is hardly a newcomer to the debates over evolutionary psychology. An earlier book, The Red Queen (1993), tackled the evolution of sexuality and is one of the most respected treatments of the subject. Expressed by its title, this previous book's metaphor for evolution is inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, where the Red Queen explains that she must continually keep moving ahead just to stay in the same place. As with the predicament of the Red Queen, evolution involves an arms race between organisms and their enemies, which endlessly transform themselves just to stay competitive. Following other recent biologists, Ridley argues that sexual choices and strategies have evolved to keep pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, off balance. By continually shuffling their genetic deck of immunological locks, sexual organisms are attempting to foil the pathogens' latest molecular keys. For example, a pathogen may have evolved the ability to attach itself to a particular cellular receptor, enabling it to penetrate the cell wall and cause illness. Sexual recombination of the host's genes during reproduction continually changes these molecular locks, blocking the pathogen's previous method of entry.
[…]

G.

katewuzframed42
12-11-2008, 01:16 AM
I realize that I am new and all, but this caught my attention: In the late 1800's opium, morphine and just plain "snake oils" were in use by everyone. It was common to use herbals such as belladonna (toxic, we now know) for medicinal purposes, even as late as the early 1900's.
Realistically, the "drug" stuff is there, and empahsized by the 60's and Jefferson Airplane, but, one must wonder if the neurological issues he had pertained to the treatment given? :o




Do you mean nobody on the forum has talked about the drug references? ;) They've generally been discussed to death elsewhere. Also, LSD wasn't synthesised until the early 20th Century, and Alice was published in 1865. I think it was probably appropriated as an acid trip tale in the 60's, like a lot of things were. :rolleyes:

The opium-smoking caterpillar's an overt drug reference, and the drink me/eat me episode is often interpreted as such (like in the Jefferson Airplane song). But actually Lewis Carroll suffered from Migraine and drew on neurological aura symptoms for the psychedelic aspects of Alice.

In conclusion, say no to drugs. ;) :p

OFG
03-02-2010, 05:47 AM
booradley, much appreciated all you said about the Alice stories. I have cherished these books since I was about eight and respect them even more as an adult. They can't be simplified into one sort of meaning, such as a political allegory. They are richer than that, like Ulysses. :)

I would like to bump this because we saw David with "Annotated Alice" (and Jack discussing it).

Instead of talking about the strange creatures of Wonderland, Jack mentioned David's interest in the two kittens (Kitty and Snowdrop) that begin and end "Looking Glass."

"One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it--it was the black kitten's fault entirely."

The black kitten had unwound the whole ball of worsted, so that Alice had to wind it all up again. Black kitten sits "pretending to watch the progress of the winding." As the annotation points out, Kitty and Snowdrop "reflect the chessboard's black and white squares" and the Red and White Queens. We have an easy tie-in here to the black and white forces of the island.

Winding the ball of yarn is analogous to bringing form out of chaos. For those who don't know the purpose of the project, yarn is sold in skeins, but skeins tend to turn into a tangle when you pull on them to knit, so an organized knitter will first transform the skein into a ball. The ball isn't the end; it is the starting point of actual knitting. The scene with Alice and the kitten involves the black kitten undoing her work, which Alice refers to as "mischief" that requires "punishment."

At the same time we know it is all role-playing on her part, as she has to make up a list of the kitten's faults that deserve punishments. Also, even though the fault clearly belongs to the BLACK kitten, it's not because black is bad and white is good. The white kitten was having her face washed so couldn't have done it, wasn't free to get into mischief, whereas black kitten was done with being washed, and while not being watched, started playing.

While chiding the kitten, Alice begins descriibing her fascination with the Looking Glass world, then goes to sleep and dreams the main story of "Through the Looking Glass."

The annotations bring up the frequent "allusions to mirror reversals, and reversal of time" in the second dream, and cites references "on the symmetry and asymmetry of space and time."

Later in the episode, Jack looks in the mirror and sees into the looking glass world, as it were. But Jack chooses to smash the mirror. Did Jack's behavior disturb you? It did me. I wanted him to be curious about the vision, as Alice would have been, not angry.

Another angle that occurs to me about Looking Glass and the metaphor of the string ball being rewound as "progress" (Jacob's term): Alice's dream involves her progress as a pawn across the eight squares of the chessboard. While many things are backwards in looking glass world, she always moves forward.

At the end she becomes a Queen, sitting crowned between the Red and White Queens. It appears that at the end of LOST someone will become THE Candidate and assume Jacob's role.

Question: does the relationship between reality and the looking glass world tell us anything about the Flash Sideways relationship to the island world?

When she wakes up, Alice wonders whether it was her own dream or whether she was in the Red King's dream. This refers back to the scene with Tweedledee and Tweedledum (mirror twins?), who tell her that she is only real because the Red King is dreaming about her, and that if he were to wake up, she'd be nowhere, like a candle blown out. Who is the dreamer; who is the dreamed, or does each of them dream the other: that is the question left unanswered.


In this last chapter, Which Dreamed It?, Alice asks the black kitten a question and remarks that whatever you say to kittens, they always purr. No purr for yes and another purr for no, always the same purr. Alice points out that because there's no way to distinguish between yes and no, true conversation with kittens is not possible.

The annotation cites modern information theory. "There is no one-value logic--no way to record or transmit information without at least a binary distinction between yes and no, or true and false."

I see this as stressing the necessity that both black and white exist in order to sort out meaning and sense. Otherwise it is all one lovely but meaningless purr. In the LOST universe, this could mean that black cannot ever eliminate white, or vice versa. This balance is inherent in the concept of Yin and Yang, and is not new to the story. However, I like Carroll's observation that if we can't tell yes from no, we cannot communicate.

May I say that the LOST writers ought to meditate on that idea in so far as telling their story goes.

Thoughts?

ggormsen
03-05-2010, 09:25 PM
In this last chapter, Which Dreamed It?, Alice asks the black kitten a question and remarks that whatever you say to kittens, they always purr. No purr for yes and another purr for no, always the same purr. Alice points out that because there's no way to distinguish between yes and no, true conversation with kittens is not possible.

The annotation cites modern information theory. "There is no one-value logic--no way to record or transmit information without at least a binary distinction between yes and no, or true and false."

I see this as stressing the necessity that both black and white exist in order to sort out meaning and sense. Otherwise it is all one lovely but meaningless purr. In the LOST universe, this could mean that black cannot ever eliminate white, or vice versa. This balance is inherent in the concept of Yin and Yang, and is not new to the story. However, I like Carroll's observation that if we can't tell yes from no, we cannot communicate.

May I say that the LOST writers ought to meditate on that idea in so far as telling their story goes.

Thoughts?

What would the computer be if it were nothing but 0's or nothing but 1's. What would be rich if there was no poor? What would be Heaven without Hell? What would be Day if never be Night? There are 2 sides to every adjective, and every combat. Nobody ever truely fought for evil, just their jaded misinformed idea of what is right. What does that prove? Not what is right, but who is left, for without losers, you have no winners, and without challenge in one form or another, there is no reason to challenge, whether be conflict, for sport, or what have you. There MUST be opposing sides, or there is no reason to live, to breath, to watch the precious moments fromthe ever so happy "Previously on Lost" to the sad, yet confusing, moment of next week's Promo. For even in that, you have a dark sinister emotion, with an ever so joyous moment, unless of course the episode focuses on Kate, then it seems to get bashed for some strange reason. Are you still reading this dribble? Sorry.

chap
03-09-2010, 04:27 PM
Here is a recently restored version of the 1903 film. Amazing special effects for the time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeIXfdogJbA