I want Lewis Carroll to transform my ordinary life into a fantasy.
Growing up, I was afraid of my basement. Most kids are, or so I learned from watching Home Alone. But in my very particularized fears, the jabberwocky from the 1980s Alice in Wonderland movie lived down there and would come out to eat me in those few seconds after I turned out the light but before I made it all the way up the stairs.
Before law school, a lot of people spent their summers reading things like Common Sense or The Federalist Papers. But the advice I got told me to relax and enjoy the last summer in my life when I wouldn’t have to work my ass off. I did. I reread Lewis Carroll. And the thing is, I think he prepared me more for law school than 200 year old anonymous documents because the books were all about logic.Take the logic of the Cheshire Cat:
“To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?”
“I suppose so,” said Alice.
“Well, then,” the Cat went on, “you see, a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”
Or the Mad Tea Party, teaching the reader about the inverse, the converse, and the contrapositive:
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least–at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.”
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “You might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see!'”
“You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like!'”
“You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe!'”
“It IS the same thing with you,” said the Hatter
I’d hope that Carroll would bring the same levity and nonsense to my life as he did to the Alice books. But with my luck, he’d probably write my story more like a math book.