Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to read

"Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end; then stop"

These simple instructions are given by  the King of Hearts to the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll's Aleice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) when the rabbit is called up to testify against the Knave of Hearts (who has been accused of stealing tarts). The King's advice is less nonsenical than it first seems; the rabbit is reading from a piece of paper containing verses with no beginning, no end - and no meaning.

Book cover, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, written by Lewis Carroll and illustrated by Charles Robinson, 1907

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