Bring your Imagination: Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I was reading "Rabbit Redux," the Ramin Setoodeh piece in this week's Newsweek.

He was talking about the imagination—those who use it splendidly well—and I was remembering my friend, Cuileann, who is one of the most imaginative people I know (we met in San Francisco, late last summer). Oh, what she does with words and photographs. What she does with heart.

So I was thinking about her, and then I kept reading, and I was thinking about my own book about the imagination (Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World) and then I thought, I wonder what my blogger friends would say about these thoughts Mr. Setoodeh is expressing? So I put them out there, for your comments:

"The only way to understand Alice is to use your imagination. Do you even remember how to do that? In our society of Web links, Wikipedia, Facebook, and reality TV, everything and everybody comes with a label and an exhaustive definition. There's scant room for ambiguity and interpretation. The genius of the 145-year-old Wonderland is that it forces you to bring your own creative juices to the tea party....

"Compare Wonderland with the great children's stories of our time: the Harry Potter series. As inventive as J.K. Rowling's seven books are, they're meticulously detailed (the intricate rules of Quidditch, the class rituals at Hogwarts, all the wizard paraphernalia) to the point of being encyclopedic, which is why the movies work as well as they do—they're road maps of the plot."


Kelly H-Y said...

I checked out her blog, and can tell she is imaginative! What a great picture. I have to agree with what he said about so much detail being at our fingertips ... I've found myself Googling a topic to come up with ideas for this or that, when I could probably just think something up on my own!

Anna Lefler said...

I had never thought about that - the utter open-endedness of the Alice story and the disregard of explanation throughout.

That may be why the story rattles me so.

Then again, I'm not great with fantasy. It's all I can do to keep a grip on the rules of the "real" world.

;-) A.

septembermom said...

I love the thought about how the Wonderland story can stir up those creative juices for the receptive reader or viewer. Usually, this story makes me uncomfortable. I think it's time for a revisit.

Love that picture. You both look so happy :)

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