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Gino



Joined: 20 Dec 2008
Posts: 127


Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 5:46 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote


I would love to boat with ratty and co but would especaily enjoy driving with Toad, I append an ilustration of what I believe may have been his favourite car



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Kirtaniya



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 25



PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going boating with Ratty and Mole sounds heavenly - as long as obnoxious Toad fell overboard at the earliest moment.  Nothing to do but lie back and enjoy the pleasant rocking motion of the boat, look up at blue sky through overarching willows and let dreamy thoughts come and go.  But like Himadri, I'd also love to visit Badger, my favourite character in the book and listen to yarns around his fire-place.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I almost chose boating with Ratty and Mole, but I'm not sure I would enjoy their company.  Though I could ignore them!

Good to see you, Kirtaniya!


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Kirtaniya



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're probably right - they were an odd couple!

Good to see you to Evie, I often wonder if you still come to teach in Oxford?


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2932


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, yes, it's boating with Ratty, Mole and Toad for me.  I do like cruising and lolling round on boats - I could join up with Toad and let everyone else do the work.  The lasting memory of Wind in the Willows is idyllic though the individual parts of it have darker elements.  

I wouldn't want to make a surprise party for Laurie, but I could have been Amy rowing with him.  (Evie, when you said you wanted to be like Anne, I thought that it wasn't so much that I wanted to be Anne as that I thought I was Anne.  It came as a demoralising shock in my 20s to realise I was nothing like her.)

Certainly don't want to go adventuring with Huckleberry Finn or Long John Silver, though I had a hankering to be part of the Swallows and Amazons.

Cheers, Caro.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
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Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's funny, Caro - about Anne!  I just wanted to be more like her - and still do!

Chibiabos - no Jabberwocky - ah, that's that then, what a shame.  I love Jabberwocky!


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Evie
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Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kirtaniya - I do still teach in Oxford, for three weeks in September - will be there again this year.  Can't wait!


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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3338


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a lovely lot of responses!  
I think my own choice would be the Neverland with Peter and the rest, although you'd have to watch out for the Crocodile and Hook.  I think very highly of the play 'Peter Pan' which Peter Llewellyn-Davies, the original of Peter, called 'that terrible masterpiece'.  Barrie created a real original in Peter. But the idea of a child who never grows up while everyone else does is quite disturbing if you think about it.  The play says such a lot about childhood and growing up. And the epilogue where Peter returns to Wendy after many years, having forgotten her in the interim, is very moving.  Especially the moment when Peter asks Wendy to come back to the Neverland and she says 'I've forgotten how to fly', a line that seems to me to sum up the sadness of leaving childhood behind.  The film adaptations and - God help us - the pantomime versions miss the play's strangeness and its dark corners - 'To die will be an awfully big adventure'.
Himadri - I won't hear a word against 'The Secret Garden'.  And I meant Tom Sawyer not Jim.  Just a lazy afternoon on the river.
Gareth - Your antipathy towards Alice and Jabberwocky is just mysterious.


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find the boundless adoration of everyone else for it just as mysterious, I assure you. I do like some of Tenniel's illustrations, but that's about it. Here's what I wrote about it when I read it in 2008, in case it helps clarify anything. I'm fully aware I'm the freak here...


***

I wanted to like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, I genuinely did, and the excerpt posted by the Baron in his recent literary challenge gave me reason to hope for the best, but I regret that I found it intensely irritating. The problem is mine - it just contains too much that is not to my taste. Some not-always-true generalisations follow here, but I don't like fantasy worlds (Wonderland seems a ghastly place populated by eminently dislikeable people and animals, that I would never wish to visit in a million years), I don't like silliness for its own sake (Alice's growing and shrinking for no reason was just the tip of the iceberg), and I don't like whimsy or nonsense (always a bad starting point for reading this author).

Lewis Carroll was clearly blessed with a prodigious imagination, but there was far too much of it for me - from the very start of the book each idea comes fast on the heels of the previous one, as a result of which I felt like I was tripping over myself and unable to get into the book until several chapters in when things had got more settled. The episodes I enjoyed most tended to be the calmer ones, particularly the Mock Turtle and Gryphon's reminiscences of their schooldays. The tea party also amused me, though I found Carroll's wordplay, here and elsewhere, while clever and often bordering on funny, eventually came across as flippant through its sheer persistence. On top of this all, a stumbling block I found insurmountable was the character of Alice - annoying, opinionated and deeply boring. I wouldn't relish spending more than five minutes in her company in real life. Oh dear, I think I've located one of my blind spots, haven't I? In the book's defence, Tenniel's illustrations are charming, particularly those of Alice, who looks a bit gothy around the eyes at times (nice). I'm sure there are people who come to Alice as adults and love it and appreciate it for what it is, and I have asked myself whether it would mean something to me now if I had read it as a child, but there was something even at an early age that told me I wouldn't like it and that it wasn't my cup of tea, which instinct has been proved right.

I searched in vain on Amazon for an amateur review that might express some of these feelings, but it seems I am more or less alone in the world - others see the Alice books as "profoundly penetrating statements, or summaries, of the human condition" with a "unique ability to transport even the most cynical reader into an extraordinary realm of nonsense". I'm sorry, though not unbearably so, that none of this was conveyed to me. I simply find that, as with his poetry, a little Lewis Carroll goes a long way, and even a very little is too much for me.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikeharvey wrote:
Himadri - I won't hear a word against 'The Secret Garden'. †And I meant Tom Sawyer not Jim. †Just a lazy afternoon on the river.


Oh I see Ė well, if itís just an afternoon with Tom and Huck on a raft, thatís a different proposition altogether from what Iíd imagined, and I do find myself tempted!

And if you wonít hear another word against The Secret Garden, Iíd better shut up about it! But can I at least say how much I enjoyed Gary Cooper in Beau Geste when I was supposed to be reading the last few chapters of The Secret Garden?

Thanks for your comments on Peter Pan. I really am not acquainted with this work at all.

I am the sort of person who gets far too nostalgic over all sorts of things, and while I am, naturally, nostalgic about childhood, I really do not think I would want to be a child again: Iíve forgotten how to fly, and in a way, Iím rather glad I have. For while innocence is certainly an aspect of childhood Ė and a very attractive aspect, I admit Ė the flip side of it is ignorance: a child says and does all sorts of things out of innocence (or ignorance) without realising their significance. And I remember also all those very real fears and anxieties I had over matters that seem trivial now, but certainly didnít seem trivial then.

What I find interesting about these posts on childhood reading is the question of the extent to which our childhood reading experiences have shaped our adult tastes. The child is father of the man, as Willie Wordsworth used to say. I sometimes wonder whether we have any strong likes or dislikes at all that didnít have their seeds somewhere in our childhood.  The influence of our childhoods in our adult lives is one of the major themes of the novels Pather Panchali and Aparajito, and it is something I find fascinating.



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