Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Asking Alice

In an effort to never repeat the start of my Monday, I dragged myself up a half hour earlier. And although the Queen must surely have a sensor on the throne because she also made use of the amenities immediately after me - she did toddle back to her bedchambers leaving me unseen and unscathed. Barring the minor altercation with the vacuum cleaner (when things that suck meet in the dark - who puts a vacuum right by the basement door?) I was able to make it to work without sobbing uncontrollably. The day is not over, however.  
So today my brain is firing off in many directions - since I allowed myself the guilty pleasure of a diatribe yesterday and now I simply must discuss some random factoid interesting only to me and a few of the personalities residing in my brain pan. (I'm a writer. My moods are named and have their own backstories) 
I watched this youtube bit about Lewis Carroll this Saturday - again because when one's brain is flinging itself against an eyeball and no amount of Excedrin will curb the pain - youtube is a safe distraction. I find it wrenchingly sad that another bit of my childhood has been exhumed and the grisly bits of human-ness have been put on display. We humans are so adept at vilification and turning the sacred profane. We revel in it like a dog revels in a fresh bovine dropping. What purpose does it serve to assume that a man over a century gone from this orb was a latent pedophile and that the legacy he left on paper is a series of exclamation points and underlines to illuminate this assumed truth? As if every soul who creates must also carry some form of evil that will inevitably bleed on to the creator's preferred medium? And we, the jury must, therefore, magnify that evil until it eclipses all the light in the room. 
Alas, that which has been seen can now not be unseen and yes, the argument that Victorian society held different values for acceptable photographs of children does little to diminish the pall- the egg-washed sepia image of Alice's possible elder sibling casts on my sunny girl heart. 
I fear I am forever consigned now to contemplate that Cheshire smile as no longer mirthsome but malevolent as another fantastical childhood sanctuary succumbs to the black hole that is adulthood. We simply cannot leave flitting dreams alone. We must pluck them until they writhe flightless and exposed to the elements - until those that survive sprout fangs and scales and consume us while we sleep.
There is this attempt by those who steward the effects of the brilliant but mad - the sanitizing of a soul - redacting of documents - pages cut from Carroll's journals - because we superimpose our own moral compass over the truth at any given point in time. Perhaps I will never be studied after passing from this planet because although I am occasionally creative I'm never brilliant - but I've left enough of myself and my rabid discourse scattered on the bandwidth there will be no need to scour my ramblings. And I suppose that is a good thing.  

1 comment:

Bill the Butcher said...

Carroll was a brilliant writer. More than that he was a readable writer, and going by the standards of the time that's more important than being brilliant. And unlike most British authors of the era the Empire didn't ooze from every pore.

And if he was a "paedophile", well, we're going by the speculative analyses of 21st century people looking at almost 200 year old photos. This is the same 21st century in which the "advanced" nation of France couldn't punish a man who had sex with an 11 year old girl because....the age of consent in France is 11. So they're talking about raising it. All the way to 13.