10th October 2021

The Jaberwock is the most obscure of beasts, perhaps not quite as impossible as the Snark, which is of course beyond any description, any observer quite vanishing away before they can relay either an accurate or approximate description of that nonsenses appearance.

Lewis Carrol, or Master Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, as he was better known at the time, created the terrible image of the Jabberwock for a most improbable tale, published in his own adolescent magazine for the amusement and probably consternation of relatives and friends. The work was a most unlikely and almost indecipherable piece of rhyming prose, penned as complete gobbledygook, using words picked haphazardly from out of the air without reference to any known language spoken or written.

The compete poem reappears in ‘Through the Looking Glass’ first published under the pen of the now adult Lewis Caroll in 1871. The heroine of the piece, Alice, finds a most mysterious book whilst in the company of the White King and Queen, that proves to be impossible to read in any sensible way. With her usual quick mind Alice realizes that the book is printed in mirror writing, reflecting exactly the construct of looking glass world, and holding the volume up to a hand mirror is able to read if not understand the strange stanzas. A little later in the text Humpty Dumpty, a most unfortunate ovoid, translates some of the more obtuse words and phrases for Alice’s elucidation, although the use words like beamish, gyre, gimble, or mimsy, might serve Alice in her future endeavors is somewhat open to question.

The Jaberwock proves to be a most unpleasant creature, perhaps somewhat reminiscent of a griffin, with according to the illustrator John Tenniel the leathery wings of a tetradactyl and the long scaly neck and tail of a sauropod, no doubt a homage to the Victorian obsession with pseudo-science, paleontology, and geology.

That the wholly imaginary beast remains an iconic representation of knee knocking terror has much to do with that lack of detail. Mythical creatures hold a most firm grip on the imagination, particularly in childhood.

9th October 2021

Many of the events that I considered at the time to be coincidental I now realize were carefully prearranged to come to completion in the exact way they would eventually transpire, generally to my temporary detriment. My naivety caused these miscalculations, never rewarded others with those same purposeful manipulations I employed unendingly. In my partial defense my own motivations were never spiteful, malicious, splenetic, or ill-natured in any way, rather just displays of pure hedonism, having decided that my own particular picadilloes would automatically invest, pleasure, pervade, my chosen partners disposition unfailingly. The very height it must be said   of unnatural self-conviction.

That I can now see the threads of manipulation, intrigue, liaison, quite plainly, is but proof that both wisdom and clarity leach increasingly through the broken mirror of the passing years, till the truth will eventually appear clarion, unobstructed by self-reflection.

As with the 17th century theatrical transformation scene, the metamorphosis of puppeteer to marionette is starkly revealing.

8th October 2021

The question we are all inclined to forget to ask, is not the final destination of a journey, for that answer will eventually become quite obvious to anyone but a total fool but rather the purpose that the entire peregrination serves, for ‘tis that answer that is the rub.

 Many an odyssey, much as both Odysseus’s and Alices, are concentrated upon the singular and often entirely unique experiences garnered along the way, and quite naturally the characters such happenstances introduce to the participant and to we the fascinated observer.

The actual meander is quite plain, to Troy and the return to Ithaca, or perhaps just circuitously down a rabbit hole and back up to Oxfords spires, if not for the endless absurdities that make each step bizarrely unprogressive, rather quite stationary, sedentary, like attempting to walk through quicksand. Both it resolves are but pilgrimages of discovery, Odysseus’s to the reality of his relationship with his regal position, Alice’s the truth behind her seemingly harmless narrators innermost goal.

7th October 2021

The Knave of Hearts is a characterization most recognizable in the 21st-century. He is so smothered by protection, face never allowed to be exposed to the slightest breeze, he finds it necessary to act out in any way possible to shrug off the constraint he feels has somehow disallowing his development, as opposed to simply keeping his pasty and overly sensitive skin away from the dangers of Wonderland at large.

The Jack is not as might be supposed by his position in the ascendency of the pack a direct offspring of the King and Queen of Hearts, but rather a mere fool who is but marginally more important than the number ten, if only because of his rather flamboyant clothes. A repeatedly accused thief of pepper tarts, the very singular produce of the Duchesses cook, a renowned and most very serious baker of all things sneezery, and infamously the second most unattractive female in the whole of the universe, the first notably being the Dutchess herself, who height just happens to be exactly right for most annoyingly continuously resting her very prodigiously pointed chin upon Alices shoulder. The poor ladies appearance is never truly described in the narrative itself, simply stated by Alice as being ’very ugly’. Later graphic representations, particularly that by John Tenniel, follow more the physical aspect of ‘A Grotesque old Woman’ by Quention Matsys (c.1513) and ‘Grotesque Head’, a sketch in red chalk by Leonardo da Vinci, both subjects suggested to be suffering from Paget’s disease, or osteitis deformans. The Dutchess has a want to beat her baby boy for the teasing habit of sneezing, an erroneous diagnosis of the fault, the cook more obviously being the true miscreant, with her constant pepper flinging ways.

The other notable in the Duchesses household is her cat, a Cheshire cat, of very peculiar characteristics and a most catenary smile, an expression having the disturbing tendency to ever appear first and disappear last at every singular meeting. As with most felines the creature is dismissive and inclined to be cheesy but originating from the Midlands such a trait is quite to be expected. The puss should more correctly be addressed as Pusey, that being both its name and nature.

6th October 2021

Some beasts are better left alone, for in finding them the very worst of happenstances might occur, the very hunting, spotting, or trapping the creatures bringing about a change in the very nature of the universe.

Such beings exist in legend, in literature, in verse, both simple and obtuse, frequenting islands and lands sufficiently far away to make the journey daunting in the beginning, precarious in the going, and extremely haphazard in the arrival. A quest not to be taken casually or alone, rather in the company of other adventurous souls, equally keen to observe the unlikely as ever you may be.

Provisions you will need a plenty, food for consumption and for bait, crystal clear water or ginger beer for the slaking of momentous thirsts, for stalking, especially in foreign climes is exceeding parching work. Clothing is best kept utilitarian, perhaps a matelots suit of deep French blue, with white piping to accent the nautical theme, for a boat of adequate birth is most decidedly needed both for the going and the homecoming with the safely and suitably caged prey.

5th October 2021

Knights, whether White, Black, or even Red, are obsessed by playing within the rules, however obtuse and idiocentric those restrictions might appear when looked at with eyes wide open and a most sensible perspective. Admittedly, they are obliged to keep their adventures within the boundaries of a very restrictive area, but sixty-four squares large. And those squares but barely larger that the base upon which they are permanently are obliged to stand.

These officious, military, regimental type chaps follow the very same chivalric code, meaning they all unfailingly understand each other’s motives and methods. Meaning any chance of an unexpected move or gambit is entirely removed. The Knecht will unfailingly leap to the opposite corner of a six square oblong with the predictability of the passage of existence itself.

Such outmoded warriors may still be observed, decoration embellished, pennant brandishing, corralled within the confines of association clubhouses, seated, quaffing, relating tales of games won, lost, and drawn.

4th October 2021

Dark Alice is hardly removed from the original stories in any way. The fundamental flaws in her character are there for all to see and understand, for her creator made her exactly as his inner desires demanded. A curious girl, with little fear of anything in our world or Wonderland, capable of standing up to the most vaunted of personalities and simply state, ‘Do you worst, I dare you!’

No shrinking violet our heroine, overflowing with a vivaciousness quite uncommon for her age and time. More Goth than innocent, a strangely knowing acceptance of quirks most perverse, whether habitual or casual, and antagonistically anarchical, questioning any power, however well situated, particularly when wielded prejudiciously.

Fond of collecting acquaintances that might prove useful, amusing, diversionary, and happily shucking them when no longer purposeful. A young lady of very specific tastes, bordering upon the contrary, irregular, and socially inappropriate.

The Victorians view of life was particularly divisive, acknowledging both ends of existences possible objectives, the paths angelic and devilish. The stark nature of their literature shows the truth of their leanings all too tangibly, in the focused writings of Dickens, both Shelley’s, Dodgson, and Stoker. A sudden understanding of the mortality of humanity, mixed with a realization of the capricious and often depraved nature of their imaginings produced an outflow of thought and writing that pushed the very boundaries of religious and philosophic considerations to the extreme.

Goth Alice’s attractiveness to the feminine is wholly understandable and laudable, she represents a figure of irreproachable power and confidence, unwilling to compromise her own well based positions for those of less studiously assembled criteria, no matter the eminence of their source. An adolescent Harley Quinn, without the restraint of any overriding romantic fixation, Alice is a celebutante not to be easily erased from any girls formative search for paragons.

3rd October 2021

The two, five and seven of Spades are most infamously remembered as being the gardeners tasked with painting the white roses red throughout the formal gardens surrounding the croquet courts to appease the always inflamed tempers of the Red Queen, should she by chance happen to squander a momentary glance in their particular direction. To Alice this seems the height of ridiculousness, so suppose that nature should be appended artificially simply to assuage a monarchs narcissistic tendencies. However, but a small number of heads being lopped off willy nilly by the axe man quickly amends her initial perspective.

As with many a momentary happenstance within Dodgson’s profound essays, the ridiculousness highlights quite graphically a very base fault in the fabric of humanities social construct. That the granting or possession of unnatural powers disseminates rapidly into a multitude of   acts of fawning sycophantism by attending cohorts of numeric value both great and small.

2nd October 2021

For many years I have scrupulously adopted the persona of the Mad Hatter, hero, ideal, incomparable individualist, his sole purpose be the best Hatter he can possibly be without compromising his integral style and pursuit of the truth, however illogical his version of honesty might be. This continuing commitment causes innumerable dilemmas, when pressing circumstances call for direct action but the artists path is far more circuitous and fanciful. The scenic route must always win hands down, for what purpose life if it is not beautifully convoluted?  

Accouterments by design should serve several purposes, to illustrate the mood, character and point of the mannequin, to when possible advertise his association and commodities, but most importantly not in a classless way, rather with style and flamboyance, attracting interest, compliments, and positive interactions. The Hatter is not self-absorbed, or pompous, rather he is an open book, obvious, plain, in a most fashionable way, ostentatious with a flair for reclusion, obvious but almost invisibly abstract.

He is of course a creature of uncompromising habits, for what is good fashion if not a constant regurgitation of the similar, slightly amended by shape, color, and concept. Unending teas are of course most necessary, both to feed the innovative juices, and more importantly to slake a constantly thirst for best Darjeeling, and the moist deliciousness of jam infused cream sponge cakes.   Good tea insists upon fine crockery, for what is piping   beverage without a cup and saucer, the perfectly formed and handled bowl to avoid spillages, the saucer to ensure a relaxed and sedate pose whilst partaking sustenance. Tea is both a refreshing and invigorating infusion, and a most polite and dignified diversion.

Emotionally my hero is rather harshly labelled mad, crazy, touched, yet pointedly harmless to all except recently awakened dormice. His more twisted counterpart, the most villainous Joker is an entirely different matter, yet equally universally appealing.

1st October 2021

The Caterpillar is a figure most familiar, as he reclines atop his sacred toadstool surrounded by a physically divisive space. He feels consummate in his superiority, having accomplished the fulfillment of all purposes, to be eternally adulterated in a wholly illusory realm.

We perceive his person as an ancient scholarly eccentric, mysteriously arrested in physical transformation from crawling child to fleet adult most likely by the constant ingestion of intoxicating panaceas. In modern parlance the larva could quite easily be expressed as either male or female, but Victorian prejudices within Alices misadventures still prevail.

The word caterpillar is derived from the old French ‘chatepelous’, literally ‘hairy cat’, an interesting connecter with that other speaker of vagary, the Cheshire cat, another resident of a fanciful and sacrosanct sphere.

Conversation with the addled recluse in circuitous, travelling no further than the predisposed whims of the sybaritic, involving as little real of imagined labor as can be perceived. Life is simply visualization, without practical parameters to keep ideas or concepts within the bounds of possibility of practicality.

In their conversations Alice appears to represent the quizzical voice of reason, a viewpoint that really has no relevance in the constant absurdity that is Wonderland.  We all easily commiserate our heroines situation, all having at some stage in our experience having been confronted by that most irritating and uncontradictable of creatures the avid believer in their own narrative, the changeling that never quite reaches maturity, whom finds the wonderment of transformation far more appealing than any possible final result, the eternal adolescent, without restrictive past or oppressive future to curb them.

To my fault I am inclined to indulge the dreamers, their illusions, fantasies, sharing their dissolution when time passes and reality remains static and disobliging, spoiling aspirations with unapologetic verisimilitude.