“Alice In Wonderland”

Blogging From A To Z Challenge~Letter D~

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‘D’ is for Dormouse.  In cold, factual reality, a dormouse (plural, dormice) is a mere nocturnal rodent.  It’s native to Europe, Asia, and Africa.  It’s notoriously inclined toward hibernation.

We bookworms, especially we fans of nonsense literature, are quite familiar with the Dormouse in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’.   Alice’s friend was also quite nocturnal and sleepy.  I’ve been trying to find out as much as I can about dormice, and I’ve just noticed that the name comes from the French ‘dormeuse’, which may come from the Languedocien ‘radourmeire’.  Anyone who knows anything about romance languages, or Latin,  knows that the prefix ‘dorm~’ is always connected to sleeping.

Risultati immagini per dormouse alice

Contrary to what many may assume, the dormouse character to which Grace Slick refers in Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’ may not have been Carroll’s.  The dormouse in ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’ never said ‘feed your head’.  

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visiting works of fiction

If I could have my choice of three works of fiction in which I should be able to participate, I should most certainly have to pick the late 1960’s movie, “Hello Dolly”, with Walter Matthau, Barbra Streisand and Michael Crawford, as one of them.    Ever since I was a kid in St. Gabriel’s, where the De La Salle Christian Brothers, in the glee club, kept us singing show tunes, I’ve always enjoyed this classic musical.    It’s about the adventures of Dolly Levi, a middle aged matchmaking widow  in turn of the twentieth century New York CIty.     Besides Dolly’s romance with Horace Vandergelder, there are several other dalliances that transpire within the story.    The last time I watched it I was quite especially favorably impressed with all the costumes and music.    The distinctive suits,  hats, dresses and parasols, were perfect.    I’ve always really wanted to see what that kind of spectacle must be like in person.     The clothing, speech and customs of that era, as depicted in the movie, are enough to catch anyone’s attention.     Another story in which I should really like to partake is “Don Quijote (The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quijote of La Mancha)”, the picaresque novel by Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra.   It’s from Spain’s Golden Age in the early seventeenth century.     In the book, a middle aged hidalgo, Alonso Quijano, after having read too many chivalric novels, thereby distorting his perception of reality, sets out to reinstate the era of chivalry.     Throughout the story he and his sidekick Sancho Panza, a simple farmer, get into a series of misadventures stemming from the benighted Don’s inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality.     Aldonza Lorenzo, a local  homely farm girl, is his lady love.    She’s somewhat reminiscent of Petrarch’s Laura and Dante’s Beatrice.    The tale is filled with all sorts of insights into theology, philosophy, literature and history.    I should really like to get involved in it because of all the offbeat adventures of the Don and Sancho and because of all the things I could learn about life during one of mankind’s most interesting historical epochs.     I should get quite a kick out of watching our protagonist constantly confusing the most ordinary everyday people, places and occurrences with profoundly significant realities.    The story is a major lesson about reality and mankind’s relationship to his world and surroundings.     Another story I should like to visit would  be Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”.    I’ve always really enjoyed the tales of life in a distorted world where animals, plants and inanimate objects are personified, logic is incessantly convoluted and imagination reigns supreme at all times.      I could have a chance to meet the Mad Hatter, the Walrus, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Cheshire Cat and all the other characters that make Wonderland such a distinctive environment.    Life in Wonderland  shares with Don Quijote the fact that nothing ever matches up to what anyone would normally expect based on an even somewhat legitimate standard of logical consistency.

 

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/fictional-intruder/

http://abozdar.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/unicorn/

http://deanbowman.co/2014/07/15/alone/

http://guthonestfaith.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/the-great-daisy/

the music man

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Because I was born in September of 1959, the first decade of my lifetime was virtually precisely coeval with the 1960’s.    Musically and otherwise the 1960’s have made quite an indelible mark upon my lifetime.    My childhood was filled with all sorts of musical influences.    I was four and a half years old when the Beatles first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show”.    To this day they’re still undeniably my absolute favorites.     That era was known for musical variety shows like “Sing Along With Mitch”, “Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour “, and “The Dean Martin Show”, among several others.     As a kid I was always smitten with the sounds of  songs like Petula Clark’s “Downtown”,   Zager and Evans’ “In the Year 2525”, and  Mary Hopkin’s “Those Were the Days”.    Whenever I’d go to a doctor’s office I’d keep obsessing over songs like Percy Faith’s “Theme From ‘A Summer Place'” and Mason Williams’   “Classical Gas”,  among others that were played in waiting rooms.    The folk, jazz, country and other musical styles of that era have always been quite a major love of my life.    Although I’ve never been even the least bit willing to humor the liberals, I’ve even  always  thoroughly enjoyed the protest songs of that era.     Along with all that I made sure I joined the glee club at my grammar school, St. Gabriel’s in East Elmhurst, as soon as I was old enough.    Brother Edmond and Brother James, of the De la Salle Christian Brothers, taught us all the then-current popular songs as well as Christmas and Easter songs and show tunes.   Brother James played the guitar quite well and Brother Edmond, with his fine baritone voice, sang an exceptional version of “Edelweiss(Blossom of Snow)”  from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music”.     I even took guitar lessons for a while at one of the local public schools, P.S. 127.    My parents were always quite happy to humor my sister and me about our tastes in music.   They enjoyed country music, Edith Piaf and other standards they grew up with so that widened my horizons even more.     Eventually the 1960′ s became the 1970’s.   That era started out fairly well with  Carole King’s “Tapestry” as well as James Taylor, Led Zeppelin and a few other holdovers from the 1960’s.    Eventually, though, disco started to become popular.   My teenage years saw the rise of tacky styles in music and dress.    There were good singers and bands too, though, like the Doobie Brothers, Elton John, Grand Funk and a few others.    In my imagination, though, gone forever were the days when everything musical was perfect.    Even most of  the then-current music I listened to generally tended to be the latest album by someone like Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin (a variation of the Yardbirds).    I had become such a musical snob and purist.    I continuously picked fights with all the kids in school, as well as the public school kids, defending my claim that even in the best of 1970’s music, there was something missing compared to that of the previous decade.      Unfortunately I’ve never been terribly comptetent musically.   My strengths seem to lie more in writing and story telling.    Maybe that’s why I’ve always so thoroughly enjoyed the songs of the 1960’s.     It was an era that included songs like Joan Baez’s “So We’ll Go No More A-Roving”, based on a poem by Lord Byron, Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus” , based on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland”, and Yoko Ono’s “Who Has Seen the Wind”, based on a Christina Rossetti poem.       The music I grew up with has profoundly influenced both my adult musical tastes and even my entire life in general.    Although the singers and musicians of my early days could never possibly get me to agree with their liberal political and social agenda, they’ve most certainly shaped my imagination and given me ideas and interest which I may never have otherwise gotten.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/daily-prompt-papa-loves-mambo/