A is for Alice, perhaps —
So I was working on a post about Alice in Wonderland and identity a few days ago, when a “ding” and a number 1 popped up on my Mac Mail icon. Well, a new e-mail trumps everything else for me, so I retrieved the e-mail, whose subject line was “Havelock.”
Hmmm. Havelock is in the Andaman Islands. Did you know that? I didn’t; and there was a photo from Havelock, very nice photo, but not relevant to what I had been working on, which was — what? Uh oh! Derailment. Train of thought shunted off the track, next stop — Porlock.
Havelock, Porlock — remember Porlock? When Samuel Coleridge was hard at work on a marvelous marvelous poem, his servant came in and interrupted him to announce an unexpected visitor, a person from Porlock. Needless to say, the marvelous marvelous poem went forever unfinished, and the person from Porlock went down in literary history as the definitive interruption.
I did remember, though, that the post was about Alice — in Wonderland — Alice Springs –Annie, my young Japanese friend in Frankfurt, went to university in Australia, not so far from Alice Springs — Alice Springs always fascinated me, well, really Ayers Rock did, and I thought perhaps some day I’d get to Australia and see it, but I’m too old now —
Distraction! Distraction, Alice in Wonderland, a-Googling we go, yes, here it is: Alice’s Arithmetic:
`Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,’ the Mock Turtle replied; `and then the different branches of Arithmetic– Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.’
`I never heard of “Uglification,”‘ Alice ventured to say. `What is it?’
The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. `What! Never heard of uglifying!’ it exclaimed. `You know what to beautify is, I suppose?’
`Yes,’ said Alice doubtfully: `it means–to–make–anything–prettier.’
`Well, then,’ the Gryphon went on, `if you don’t know what to uglify is, you ARE a simpleton.’
Lewis Carroll, of course, was a mathematician, so we must suppose there is an agenda here, or a self satire, more likely.
Just as for me, no agenda really, but self-satire? Uh huh. A blogging technique exposed: anything that comes to hand is fair game, even DISTRACTION. Just keep the hands going, said Madeleine L’Engle in a writing workshop. A writer writes; and having writ, moves on. Enough words, bring on the cinnamon toast and tea.
(Don’t forget to check out the daily dose of color on A View from the Woods)