Why does everyone keeping going on about this blasted wonderland?
What is it with clocks and cards, mirrors and roses, cakes that say eat me and drink’s that say drink me that drive people wild? What do these inanimate objects do to stir the curious imaginations of the young and old? It’s all people seem to talk about when they want to sound abnormally original or uniquely individual – but it doesn’t really, does it?
Let’s put it this way – Good old Lewis Carrol got a bit high, stared at a few ordinary objects and then, suddenly, they were extraordinary. Things of the everyday were suddenly walking around with little legs or had begun to spout nonsensical rhymes; they were magical and frightening. Give an object or an animal a bit of a human spark and you’ve got something. It’s as simple as that – personify them, incarnate them with a characteristic, clothes or a body part and suddenly they have become fantastical. Dear Lewis even played with his food; making what would usually satisfy hunger make us grow or shrink. It’s the trick of perception.
It just makes me wonder, did he need to get high to discover this? Or did he know this already and just used the drugs to help the idea along?
I used to think that wonderland was the ultimate benchmark for creativity. This outrageous and bewildering world was unlike anything that had come before. It was something we writers should aspire to be – original. But now, I believe it just haunts us, it is now something by which people are measured. I doubt you could now create a magical and strange world without someone commenting on it thus – ‘Wow that is SO Alice in Wonderlandesque!’
When I began writing seriously at University I had dwelled on this idea. That nowadays nothing is really original, it’s all so recycled or reinvented and it made me insecure about my own work. I was terrified of drugs, so I knew I couldn’t get the kind of help Mr Carrol received. I had to somehow write with my sober imagination; scary stuff. I wanted to be the kind of writer that wrote unusual and eccentric things, but I mean it’s not something you can learn… I believe I lean towards the idea that Mr Carrols idea’s and perceptions were exacerbated by the drugs – that they were already there, only, muted.
I wondered what I would be like exacerbated. Imagine myself intensified…
That’s when I realised that I actually do have a knack for something. I believe I am an excellent reader and not just of books, but of people. I took inspiration from my friends and of our ‘in’ jokes and cranked up the volume.
I take the best and the worst qualities of my friends and exaggerate them – I turn them into crazy versions of themselves. I really do believe the ‘in’ joke is now the real meaning of original – usually it just excludes people who are not relevant to the specific group because it is that personal. BUT my intention as a writer is to utilise these ‘jokes’ and make them accessible to all – I hope at least. I therefore shall indulge the readers of this blog with some of my favourite character profiles and I hope that I am successful in making you not feel isolated. So look out for my examples and enjoy!
So I know I owe a lot to Lewis for helping me realise my writing style. If I could I would genuinely thank him for exposing my insecurities to scrutiny but I will always wonder whether he truly needed the aid of drugs. I wish I could know how he would’ve been like without them.
What do you think he would’ve been like?