Lots of fantasy fans are in a swivet over today’s release of Tim Burton’s new interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. I’m not one of them.
Photographed at left is the real Alice, in one of Lewis Carroll’s sometimes disturbing photographs, quite a few of which depicted eroticized little girls. The photos are simultaneously wonderful and creepy, and just a bit quease-inducing — sort of like a Victorian “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
Carroll liked the company of children, especially little girls, and supposedly wrote Wonderland for the real Alice Liddell, a friend’s daughter. Was he a pedophile, or just a frustrated child stuck in a man’s body? Only Michael Jackson knows for sure.
Part of the problem, I guess, is that I didn’t read AiW as a child. I was all about Heidi and The Secret Garden and Little Women. My first introduction to Alice was actually through Jefferson Airplane’s “Go Ask Alice.”
That could explain a lot.
If you are an Alice fan, check out my critter’s pro-Alice blog over at Wastepaper Prose.