Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Week 2

Autism

Over 1 in 100 people in the UK live with autism and the number is growing worldwide, sadly there are no statistics about the number of people with the condition in Costa Rica but according to organisations such as ‘Fundación Autismo Feliz’ there are also new cases every day.

Here are some facts about the disease:

  • They find it difficult to tell people what they need, and how they feel.
  • They find it difficult to meet other people and to make new friends.
  • They find it difficult to understand what other people think, and how they feel.
  • Not everyone with autism will find these things difficult. This is because everyone with autism is different.

source

On the other hand, people with autism can become extremely good at concentrating in one activity and eventually becoming very good at it, particularly in areas related to music and arts. In fact many great minds from history are thought to have lived with the disease, including the likes of Albert Einstein and Mozart.

But what is the connection between autism and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

None other than its author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, also known as Lewis Carroll, who according to his behaviour, may have also been autistic.

Last week in the Book Club we discussed the context in which Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written and the sometimes ‘strange’ behaviour of its author, ranging from his inability to carry on discussions in public, due to his heavy stuttering, to his fixation with photographing little girls.

What was then seen as an adroit behavior on his part, could have well been characteristics of Autism. After watching this video, what do you think?

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Week 1

Is this scene familiar to you?

Alice and the Rabbit
Illustration by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939)

 

Most likely, you’re now thinking about a white rabbit who’s running late, a mad hatter, a queen of hearts and a peculiar little girl. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! is the story of a little girl who falls into a world of fantasy where everything constantly gets “curiouser and curiouser. For more than a century and a half this story has been a favourite of new and older generations. It has been the inspiration for for several films, dating from the early stages of cinema to the latest Tim Burton version, showing no sign of loosing its charm. In March 2011, The Royal Ballet opened their adaptation of the story at the Royal Opera House in London.

In the original story, written by Lewis Carroll in 1865, Alice falls into a rabbit’s hole that takes her to a place where nothing stays the same too long, not even herself (specially not herself) and where she’s faced by the ever enduring question “Who are you?” posed by a rather ambivalent caterpillar.

Today we hold Alice’s hand and jump with her into the rabbit’s hole to discover a world of contradictions and symbols as seen through the eyes of a child from victorian England.

Join us at the bookclub every Friday at 5pm and find your way across Wonderland!

“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”
 Lewis Carroll,Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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