“Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” “Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again. “No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?” “I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter”
– Lewis Carroll,
I love Alice in Wonderland. I loved it as a child. That sense of adventure, of wide-eyed wonder.
And the Hatter. Was there ever a character as mad and at the same time, as sane?
And then I grew up and I heard ‘White Rabbit’ by Grace Slick and I fell in love with the story all over again, only this time with older eyes, I understood more.
Perhaps more than Lewis Carroll ever intended but isn’t that the wonder of fiction. It is not what the writer intends that is vital, it is what the reader sees.
And so, W is for Wonderland and my homage to the Hatter.
Why so serious, you might ask. Almost stern. Because that is how the original illustrations depicted him. Not the dumb smiling Disney character or the Johnny Depp goon but a deep thinker and everyone knows that deep thought leaves one most serious of expression.
Interesting fact. Lewis Carroll grew up just a few miles from me in Stockport, Greater Manchester and the Hatter was so named because hat making was the main industry of Stockport in those days.
So now you know why I am mad.
Thank you for partaking in my madness.
When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head
– Grace Slick