Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise

If I were to choreograph a horse race (I have no idea how one would do that) in which the horses represented the books I’m reading it’d be something sort of like this.

The first horse out the gate would run very fast for about 10 yards and then stop and lay down. Every so often it’ll stand up and run for a little bit.

The second horse out of the gate would do the same.

The third horse would step out and return to the gate.

The fourth horse would run out of the gate backwards and run around the track (backwards!) in record time.

Instead of waiting for the first 3 horses to finish, another horse usually bolts from the gate. Some of these lay down, others run off the track, others return to the gate, and others run around a few times before they decide they’re done.

Okay, so what all that means is that I’ve always got several books in my “currently reading” list, but the speed at which I read them varies greatly. There always seems to be one book that I pick up on a whim and finish before the all the others.

The horse running backwards is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s running backwards because it’s such a weird book. It seemed natural.

Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise. - The Duchess in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter IX

“What?”

Yeah. The book is full of stuff like that. It’s incredibly weird, but quite entertaining.

Books, Reading

Comments

  1. Jeanne I memorized this quote when I was in 7th grade, just because I thought it sounded cool. I’ve never forgotten it, even though 7th grade was nearly 40 years ago… “ and the moral of that is, be what you would seem, or to put it more simply…” something like that anyway. I don’t have a copy of the book anymore. I agree that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a great book, though.

    Did you know that “‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe” actually makes sense if you speak Old English? I don’t, so it doesn’t, so don’t ask me to translate.

  2. Ryan Wow. I’ve seen some Old English and it’s crazy difficult. I’m not surprised that that line makes sense in Old English.