Archive for the ‘Lewis Carroll’ Category

Alice In Wonderland

December 4, 2013

Alice In Wonderland performed by Proteus Theatre Company.

I’ve seen some weird shit

October 23, 2013
I've seen some weird shit

I’ve seen some weird shit

Alice discusses her strange adventures.

Many thanks to Annie, Elaine, Keelan and H.

Top Story in Adriene’s Literary List (Thursday 24 October 2013),

Top Story in The Ana Valdés ‏Daily (Thursday 24 October 2013).

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?

August 8, 2013
The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?

Alice: I’m afraid so. Your’e entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

From the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Candle lit

May 24, 2013
a single candle lit ...

a single candle lit …

... in St Mary's

… in St Mary’s

A single candle lit in St Mary’s, the church associated with Lewis Carroll.

Alice in Wonderland

May 3, 2013
Alice and her sister

Alice and her sister



Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do. Once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”

— Lewis Carroll

Probably the most famous opening lines in English literature, the opening lines from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written for Alice Liddell. She and her two sisters, Lorina Liddell and Edith Liddell, were on a boat trip on the river near Oxford, with Reverend Robinson Duckworth and the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. To keep the girls from getting bored, Charles Dodgson told them a story about a little girl called Alice who followed a White Rabbit down a rabbit hole.

For Annie, with love.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

April 23, 2013
Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Today, St George’s Day, search for Alice.

First the farmers market, then I got waylaid at Milk & Honey, a lovely little deli cum café on the left hand side of the main entrance into the Castle Grounds in Guildford, then on to find Alice.

I will not say where Alice is located as she is well hidden, but she is there.

The statue of Alice passing through the looking glass was made by Jean Argent in 1990. The statue stands in a very secluded spot, what once was the garden of Castle Gate, the house beyond. If you know where to look, can also be seen Chestnuts, the home of Lewis Carroll and his sisters. In 1871, Lewis Carroll completed Alice Through the Looking Glass whilst at Chestnuts.

Lewis Carroll used to take long walks in the local area. It was whilst on one such long walk came the inspirtaion for The Hunting of the Snark.

Earlier in the day, I had hoped to visit St Mary’s, the church associated with Lewis Carroll, where as an ordained minister he would occasionally preach. It is rarely open, farmers market is one of those rare days when it is open, but they must have forgot today was a special market for St George’s Day, as it was closed.

For my lovely friend Annie.

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

April 9, 2013

White Rabbit, classic Jefferson Airplane, performed at Woodstock.

The lyrics refer to Alice, of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

Paulo Coelho: I honestly don’t know why The Alchemist did so well

April 19, 2012
Paulo Coelho IWC

Paulo Coelho IWC

Author Paulo Coelho talks to Metro about the success of his novel The Alchemist, being the second most influential person on Twitter behind Justin Bieber and his new book Aleph.

What’s Aleph about?

My experience on the Trans-Siberian Railway. I was thinking: ‘I’m already a very successful author, I don’t need to do anything,’ and was feeling something was wrong. I travelled for three months. I started in London in 2006 and ended up in Vladivostok – just to get in contact with my soul.

Did you learn anything about yourself?

You’re always learning. The problem is, sometimes you stop and think you understand the world. This is not correct. The world is always moving. You never reach the point you can stop making an effort.

Were there any revelations along the way?

Of course. Just from meeting people – a taxi driver, for example – or finding a book. I’m open to life and during this period I was open to new experiences. When you don’t follow the rule your parents impose – ‘don’t talk to strangers’ – you learn.

Do any experiences stand out?

I met a reader, 21 years old, who insisted she had many things to talk to me about. We met on the train and there was this connection between her, me and my books. I was old enough to be her grandfather but there is no age limit for people to act as a catalyst in your life.

People seem to experience spiritual revelations in exotic locations – can you have one on the way to work?

Of course. I don’t take the Trans-Siberian every day but I try to give every day the opportunity for these experiences. If you’re open to people on your way to work, it can happen. Or you can choose to be totally inwards and think only of yourself. You have to live in the moment.

What do your readers expect from your books?

I don’t know. I never write books with this question in mind. I only write to understand myself better. I talk to my readers on social networking sites but I never tell them what the book is about. Writing is lonely, so from time to time I talk to them on the internet. It’s like chatting at a bar without leaving your office. I talk with them about a lot of things other than my books.

Do you have any writing habits?

It’s as Lewis Carroll said: start at the beginning, go to the end, then stop. That’s how I write. I write quickly. I don’t try to show how intelligent or how cultivated I am, I just try to share my soul. Sharing is part of life.

You came to writing later in life – why did it take you so long?

I wanted to write when I was young but people said it was impossible. Then my parents locked me in a mental institution – they said I was crazy and would never make a living from writing. I learned you need to cross some bridges and destroy others. I was never going to live up to my parents’ dream that I’d be an engineer. My turning point was a pilgrimage in 1986 to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. I was 40 and had a dream of becoming a writer but I was postponing it, thinking I’d be defeated. I walked for 56 days, then thought: ‘Now is the time to start writing.’ Success didn’t come overnight. It took years for my books to be translated and The Alchemist was rejected by publishers. You need to fight for what you believe.

Why has The Alchemist done so well?

That’s the one-million-dollar question. I honestly don’t know. It’s a metaphor for my own life and by writing about it I touched a nerve with other people. It’s the most translated book by a living author. I could never dream it would be that widely read. I don’t know why and I don’t care to know – it would break the magic.

You’ve been called the second most influential person on Twitter after Justin Bieber – are you tempted to use your power for evil?

Everyone is responsible for what he or she writes. You can have destructive trolls but, if you are convinced about what you do, you don’t care what they say. This is important for a writer.

Do people send abusive tweets?

I don’t have many trolls. When you write an article about anything, trolls use the comments to attack. They feel frustrated – but haters are losers. It’s not good to feed this aspect. It’s more intelligent to be constructive.

Do you read reviews?

I read and save them. I have more than 40GB of reviews – good and bad. I’m never bothered by a bad review or I’d have stopped writing 15 years ago. Praise or criticism only lasts three or four days.

Why do you save them?

Eventually, after I die, people will still read my books and maybe someone will want to write about the times of my work so they’ll need to read what I’ve experienced. It’s not a rose garden.

What’s been your most extravagant purchase?

When I was a hippy, I spent all my money on an air ticket to Europe. I bought an aeroplane in 2006 and travelled like a fool that year just to use it. Recently I’ve stopped travelling – but still have the plane, just in case.

The Alchemist is one of 25 titles that form World Book Night on Monday.

Published in the Metro, a London free paper that litters the streets.

I wonder why these hacks always ask such brain-dead puerile questions? I guess because they are used to interviewing brain-dead celebrities about their worthless lives and they would not have anything interesting to say. It would help if the hack read the books, did a little background research, actually knew something about the subject. But on the plus side not as bad as many of these dumb interviews.

Who is Justin Bieber? Does anyone care?

Last month Montegrappa celebrated their centenary, 1912-2012, with the launch of the Alchemist pen, a collaboration between Montegrappa and Paulo Coelho. A limited edition of 1,987 pens to mark the year The Alchemist was published.

The Alchemist is one of the Top Ten most read books in the world.

Aleph was published in hardback last September in the UK. It is now available in paperback.

On World Book Night a million books will be given away. Twenty-five titles. The Alchemist is one of the titles that will be given away. Other titles include: Pride and Prejudice, The Player of Games, A Tale of Two Cities, Rebecca, Small Island, The Book Thief.

Spring Solstice 2012

March 24, 2012
recently dug vegetable patch

recently dug vegetable patch

bluebells coming into flower

bluebells coming into flower

my garden

my garden

Alice and her sister reading by the riverside

Alice and her sister reading by the riverside

I awoke to a lovely spring day, warm and sunny.

I mowed the grass, finished off digging one of my vegetable patches which I started a couple of weeks ago. Sowed broad beans var Bunyard’s Exhibition (scattered some compost over the row from old compost heap).

Daffodils which were in flower two weeks ago, were still in flower. Bluebells were just starting to come into flower.

Strictly speaking not Spring Solstice, as it was 22 March 2012, but near enough.

The next day it was hot. I went to Guildford and took a photo of Alice and her sister reading by the side of a river as a rabbit ran by and leapt down a hole. The picture was for my lovely Japanese friend Mio who loves Alice in Wonderland.

Lewis Carroll used to live in Guildford with his sisters. He sometimes read the lesson at St Mary’s Church.

Today it looks like another hot day. I think it will be a lazy day in my garden, once the washing is out to dry.

As I write it already 22 C in Wales and expected to hit 23 C!

The Aleph Video

May 4, 2011

O Aleph (or Elif in Turkey) is the story of a journey undertaken by Paulo Coelho on the trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Vladivostok.

I am reminded of a Mandelbrot Set. There is also an allusion to Alice. But please do not let this be the book cover. Of the three possible book covers in English, the middle cover is by far the best, the disappearing into the mist in the distance gives a hint of mysticism. [see Which one is the best?]

Aleph is a point in time and space.

Released in Brazil in August 2010, it will not be available in English until September 2011.


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