Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Part 07

21 noiembrie 2007

 
 
CHAPTER 03 – A CAUCUS-RACE AND A LONG TALE (Part 02) :

"First
it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (`the exact shape
doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and then all the party were placed along the
course, here and there. There was no `One, two, three, and away,’ but
they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so
that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they
had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo
suddenly called out `The race is over!’ and they all crowded round it,
panting, and asking, `But who has won?’

This question the Dodo
could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long
time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which
you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest
waited in silence. At last the Dodo said, `everybody has won, and all must have prizes.’

`But who is to give the prizes?’ quite a chorus of voices asked.

`Why, she,
of course,’ said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the
whole party at once crowded round her, calling out in a confused way,
`Prizes! Prizes!’

Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair
she put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits,
(luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed them round as
prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all round.

`But she must have a prize herself, you know,’ said the Mouse .

`Of course,’ the Dodo replied very gravely. `What else have you got in your pocket?’ he went on, turning to Alice.

`Only a thimble,’ said Alice sadly.

`Hand it over here,’ said the Dodo.

Then
they all crowded round her once more, while the Dodo solemnly presented
the thimble, saying `We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble’;
and, when it had finished this short speech, they all cheered.

Alice
thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all looked so grave that
she did not dare to laugh; and, as she could not think of anything to
say, she simply bowed, and took the thimble, looking as solemn as she
could.

The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused some
noise and confusion, as the large birds complained that they could not
taste theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be patted on the
back. However, it was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring,
and begged the Mouse to tell them something more.

`You promised
to tell me your history, you know,’ said Alice, `and why it is you
hate–C and D,’ she added in a whisper, half afraid that it would be
offended again.

`Mine is a long and a sad tale!’ said the Mouse, turning to Alice, and sighing.

`It is
a long tail, certainly,’ said Alice, looking down with wonder at the
Mouse’s tail’ `but why do you call it sad?’ And she kept on puzzling
about it while the Mouse was speaking, so that her idea of the tale was
something like this:–

`Fury said to a mouse, 
That he met in the house,
"Let us both go to law: 
I will prosecute YOU. 
--Come,I 'll take no denial; 
We must have a trial: 
For really this morning 
I've nothing to do."
Said the mouse to the Fur, 
"Such a trial, dear Sir,
With no jury or judge,
would be wasting our breath."
"I'll be judge, I'll be jury,"
Said cunning old Fury:
"I'll try the whole cause,
and condemn you to death."


`You are not attending!' said the Mouse to Alice severely. `What are you thinking of?'
`I beg your pardon,' said Alice very humbly: `you had got to the fifth bend, I think?'

`I had not!’ cried the Mouse, sharply and very angrily.

`A knot!’ said Alice, always ready to make herself useful, and looking anxiously about her. `Oh, do let me help to undo it!’

`I shall do nothing of the sort,’ said the Mouse, getting up and walking away. `You insult me by talking such nonsense!’

`I didn’t mean it!’ pleaded poor Alice. `But you’re so easily offended, you know!’

The Mouse only growled in reply.

`Please
come back and finish your story!’ Alice called after it; and the others
all joined in chorus, `Yes, please do!’ but the Mouse only shook its
head impatiently, and walked a little quicker.

`What a pity it
wouldn’t stay!’ sighed the Lory, as soon as it was quite out of sight;
and an old Crab took the opportunity of saying to her daughter `Ah, my
dear! Let this be a lesson to you never to lose your temper!’ `Hold your tongue, Ma!’ said the young Crab, a little snappishly. `You’re enough to try the patience of an oyster!’

`I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!’ said Alice aloud, addressing nobody in particular. `She’d soon fetch it back!’

`And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?’ said the Lory.

Alice
replied eagerly, for she was always ready to talk about her pet:
`Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capital one for catching mice you
can’t think! And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why,
she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!’

This speech
caused a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds
hurried off at once: one the old Magpie began wrapping itself up very
carefully, remarking, `I really must be getting home; the night-air
doesn’t suit my throat!’ and a Canary called out in a trembling voice
to its children, `Come away, my dears! It’s high time you were all in
bed!’ On various pretexts they all moved off, and Alice was soon left
alone.

`I wish I hadn’t mentioned Dinah!’ she said to herself
in a melancholy tone. `Nobody seems to like her, down here, and I’m
sure she’s the best cat in the world! Oh, my dear Dinah! I wonder if I
shall ever see you any more!’ And here poor Alice began to cry again,
for she felt very lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however,
she again heard a little pattering of footsteps in the distance, and
she looked up eagerly, half hoping that the Mouse had changed his mind,
and was coming back to finish his story.


[END OF CHAPTER 03]


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Part 06

18 noiembrie 2007
 
 
CHAPTER 03 – A CAUCUS-RACE AND A LONG TALE :

"They
were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank–the birds
with draggled feathers, the animals with their furr clinging close to
them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.

The first
question of course was, how to get www .acasa.ro/dry” title=”dry”>dry again: they had a consultation
about this, and after a few minutes it seemed quite natural to Alice to
find herself talking familiarly with them, as if she had known them all
her life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument with the Lory, who at
last turned sulky, and would only say, `I am older than you, and must
know better’; and this Alice would not allow without knowing how old it
was, and, as the Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was no
more to be said.

At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them, called out, `Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I’ll
soon make you dry enough!’ They all sat down at once, in a large ring,
with the Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on
it, for she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry
very soon.

`Ahem!’ said the Mouse with an important air, `are
you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if
you please! "William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the
pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had
been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and
Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria- -"’

`Ugh!’ said the Lory, with a shiver.

`I beg your pardon!’ said the Mouse, frowning, but very politely: `Did you speak?’

`Not I!’ said the Lory hastily.

`I
thought you did,’ said the Mouse. `–I proceed. "Edwin and Morcar, the
earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him: and even Stigand,
the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury , found it advisable–"’

`Found what?‘ said the Duck.

`Found it,’ the Mouse replied rather crossly: `of course you know what "it" means.’

`I know what "it"
means well enough, when I find a thing,’ said the Duck: `it’s generally
a frog or a worm. The question is, what did the archbishop find?’

The
Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went on, `"–found it
advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the
crown. William’s conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of
his Normans–" How are you getting on now, my dear?’ it continued,
turning to Alice as it spoke.

`As wet as ever,’ said Alice in a melancholy tone: `it doesn’t seem to dry me at all.’

`In
that case,’ said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, `I move that
the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic
remedies–’

`Speak English!’ said the Eaglet. `I don’t know the
meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I don’t believe you
do either!’ And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of
the other birds tittered audibly.

`What I was going to say,’ said the Dodo in an offended tone, `was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.’

`What is a Caucus-race?’ said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that somebody ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

`Why,’
said the Dodo, `the best way to explain it is to do it.’ (And, as you
might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you
how the Dodo managed it.)

TO BE CONTINUED . . . . . . 


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Part 05

16 noiembrie 2007

 
 
CHAPTER 02 – The Pool OF TEARS (Part 03)

`Would
it be of any use, now,’ thought Alice, `to speak to this mouse ?
Everything is so out-of-the-way down here, that I should think very
likely it can talk: at any rate, there’s no harm in trying.’ So she
began: `O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tired
of swimming about here, O Mouse!’ (Alice thought this must be the right
way of speaking to a mouse: she had never done such a thing before, but
she remembered having seen in her brother’s Latin Grammar, `A mouse–of
a mouse–to a mouse–a mouse–O mouse!’ The Mouse looked at her rather
inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes,
but it said nothing.

`Perhaps it doesn’t understand English,’
thought Alice; `I daresay it’s a French mouse, come over with William
the Conqueror.’ (For, with all her knowledge of history, Alice had no
very clear notion how long ago anything had happened.) So she began
again: `Ou est ma chatte?’ which was the first sentence in her French
lesson-book. The Mouse gave a sudden leap out of the water, and seemed
to quiver all over with fright. `Oh, I beg your pardon!’ cried Alice
hastily, afraid that she had hurt the poor animal’s feelings. `I quite
forgot you didn’t like cats.’

`Not like cats!’ cried the Mouse, in a shrill, passionate voice. `Would you like cats if you were me?’

`Well,
perhaps not,’ said Alice in a soothing tone: `don’t be angry about it.
And yet I wish I could show you our cat Dinah: I think you’d take a
fancy to cats if you could only see her. She is such a dear quiet
thing,’ Alice went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about in the
pool, `and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her paws and
washing her face–and she is such a nice soft thing to nurse–and she’s
such a capital one for catching mice–oh, I beg your pardon!’ cried
Alice again, for this time the Mouse was bristling all over, and she
felt certain it must be really offended. `We won’t talk about her any
more if you’d rather not.’

`We indeed!’ cried the Mouse, who was
trembling down to the end of his tail. `As if I would talk on such a
subject! Our family always hated cats: nasty, low, vulgar things! Don’t let me hear the name again!’

I
won’t indeed!’ said Alice, in a great hurry to change the subject of
conversation. `Are you–are you fond–of–of dogs?’ The Mouse did not
answer, so Alice went on eagerly: `There is such a nice little dog near
our house I should like to show you! A little bright-eyed terrier, you
know, with oh, such long curly brown hair! And it’ll fetch things when
you throw them, and it’ll sit up and beg for its dinner, and all sorts
of things–I can’t remember half of them–and it belongs to a farmer,
you know, and he says it’s so useful, it’s worth a hundred pounds! He
says it kills all the rats and–oh dear!’ cried Alice in a sorrowful
tone, `I’m afraid I’ve offended it again!’ For the Mouse was swimming Away from Her as hard as it could go, and making quite a commotion in
the pool as it went.

So she called softly after it, `Mouse dear!
Do come back again, and we won’t talk about cats or dogs either, if you
don’t like them!’ When the Mouse heard this, it turned round and swam
slowly back to her: its face was quite pale (with passion, Alice
thought), and it said in a low trembling voice, `Let us get to the
shore, and then I’ll tell you my history, and you’ll understand why it
is I hate cats and dogs.’ It was high time to go, for the pool was
getting quite crowded with the birds and animals that had fallen into
it: there were a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several
other curious creatures. Alice led the way, and the whole party swam to
the shore.


[END OF CHAPTER 02]


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Part 04

13 noiembrie 2007

 
 
CHAPTER 02 – The Pool OF TEARS (Part 02)

`I’m
sure I’m not Ada,’ she said, `for her hair goes in such long ringlets,
and mine doesn’t go in ringlets at all; and I’m sure I can’t be Mabel,
for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a very
little! Besides, SHE’S she, and I’m I, and–oh dear, how
puzzling it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know.
Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen ,
and four times seven is–oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that
rate! However, the Multiplication Table doesn’t signify: let’s try
Geography. London is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of
Rome, and Rome–no, THAT’S all wrong, I’m certain! I must have been changed for Mabel! I’ll try and say "How doth the little
"’ and she crossed her hands on her lap as if she were saying lessons,
and began to repeat it, but her voice sounded hoarse and strange, and
the words did not come the same as they used to do:–

`
How doth the little crocodile

Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

`How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws !’

`I’m
sure those are not the right words,’ said poor Alice, and her eyes
filled with tears again as she went on, `I must be Mabel after all, and
I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and have next to
no toys to play with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn! No, I’ve
made up my mind about it; if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay down here! It’ll be
of no use, them putting their heads down and saying "Come up again,
dear!" I shall only look up and say "Who am I then? Tell me that first,
and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay
down here till I’m somebody else"–but, oh dear!’ cried Alice, with a
sudden burst of tears, `I do wish they WOULD put their heads down! I am so VERY tired of being all alone here!’

As
she said this she looked down at her hands, and was surprised to see
that she had put on one of the Rabbit’s little white kid gloves while
she was talking. `How CAN I have done that?’ she thought. `I
must be growing small again.’ She got up and went to the table to
measure herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess,
she was now about two feet high, and was going on shrinking rapidly:
she soon found out that the cause of this was the fan she was holding,
and she dropped it hastily, just in time to avoid shrinking away
altogether.

`That WAS a narrow escape!’ said Alice, a
good deal frightened at the sudden change, but very glad to find
herself still in existence; `and now for the garden!’ and she ran with
all speed back to the little door: but, alas! the little door was shut
again, and the little golden key was lying on the glass table as
before, `and things are worse than ever,’ thought the poor child, `for
I never was so small as this before, never! And I declare it’s too bad,
that it is!’

As she said these words her foot slipped, and in
another moment, splash! she was up to her chin in salt water. Her first
idea was that she had somehow fallen into the sea, `and in that case I
can go back by railway,’ she said to herself. (Alice had been to the
seaside once in her life, and had come to the general conclusion, that
wherever you go to on the English coast you find a number of bathing
machines in the sea, some children digging in the sand with wooden
spades, then a row of lodging houses, and behind them a railway
station.) However, she soon made out that she was in the pool of tears
which she had wept when she was nine feet high.

`I wish I
hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find
her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being
drowned in my own tears! That will be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.’

Just
then she heard something splashing about in the pool a little way off,
and she swam nearer to make out what it was: at first she thought it
must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small she
was now, and she soon made out that it was only a mouse that had
slipped in like herself.

`Would it be of any use, now,’ thought
Alice, `to speak to this mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way down
here, that I should think very likely it can talk: at any rate, there’s
no harm in trying.’ So she began: `O Mouse, do you know the way out of
this pool? I am very tired of swimming about here, O Mouse!’ (Alice
thought this must be the right way of speaking to a mouse: she had
never done such a thing before, but she remembered having seen in her
brother’s Latin Grammar, `A mouse–of a mouse–to a mouse–a mouse–O
mouse!’ The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her
to wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing.

TO BE CONTINUED . . . . . . .


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Part 03

9 noiembrie 2007
 
 
CHAPTER 02 – THE POOL OF TEARS (Part 01)


`Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that
for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); `now I’m
opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!’
(for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of
sight, they were getting so far off). `Oh, my poor little feet, I
wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I’m
sure I shan’t be able! I shall be a great deal too far off to trouble
myself about you: you must manage the best way you can; – but I must be
kind to them,’ thought Alice, `or perhaps they won’t walk the way I
want to go! Let me see: I’ll give them a new pair of boots every
Christmas.’

And she went on planning to herself how she would
manage it. `They must go by the carrier,’ she thought;` and how funny
it’ll seem, sending presents to one’s own feet! And how odd the
directions will look!

Alice’s Right Foot, Esq.
Hearthrug,
Near the Fender ,
(with Alice’s love).

Oh dear, what nonsense I’m talking!’

Just
then her head struck against the roof of the hall: in fact she was now
more than nine feet high, and she at once took up the little golden key
and hurried off to the garden door.

Poor Alice! It was as much as
she could do, lying down on one side, to look through into the garden
with one eye; but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat
down and began to cry again. ‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself’,
said Alice, ‘a great girl like you’, (she might well say this), ‘to go
on crying in this way! Stop this moment, I tell you!’ But she went on
all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool
all round her, about four inches deep and reaching half down the hall.

After
a time she heard a little pattering of feet in the distance, and she
hastily dried her eyes to see what was coming. It was the White Rabbit
returning, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid gloves in one
hand and a large fan in the other: he came trotting along in a great
hurry, muttering to himself as he came, `Oh! the Duchess , the Duchess!
Oh! won’t she be savage if I’ve kept her waiting!’ Alice felt so
desperate that she was ready to ask help of any one; so, when the
Rabbit came near her, she began, in a low, timid voice, `If you please,
sir–’ The Rabbit started violently, dropped the white kid gloves and
the fan, and skurried away into the darkness as hard as he could go.

Alice
took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she kept
fanning herself all the time she went on talking: `Dear, dear! How
queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual.
I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the
same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling
a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is, Who
in the world am I? Ah, THAT’S the great puzzle!’ And she
began thinking over all the children she knew that were of the same age
as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of them.

 

TO BE CONTINUED . . . . . . .


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Part 02

7 noiembrie 2007

 
 
CHAPTER 01 – DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE (Part 02)

Down,
down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began talking
again. "Dinah’ll miss me very much to-night, I should think!" (Dinah
was the cat.) "I hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time.
Dinah, my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are no mice in
the air, I’m afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that’s very like a
mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?" And here Alice began
to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort
of way, "Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?" and sometimes "Do bats
eat cats?" for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either question, it
didn’t much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozing
off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with
Dinah, and was saying to her, very earnestly, "Now, Dinah, tell me the
truth: did you ever eat a bat?" when suddenly, thump! thump! down she
came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.

Alice
was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she
looked up, but it was all dark overhead: before her was another long
passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it.
There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and
was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a comer, "Oh my ears and
whiskers, how late it’s getting!" She was close behind it when she
turned the comer, but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found
herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging
from the roof.

There were doors all round the hall, but they
were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and
up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle,
wondering how she was ever to get out again.

Suddenly she came
upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass: there was
nothing on it but a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first idea was that
this might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either
the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate it
would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, she came
upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a
little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key
in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!

Alice opened
the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger
than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the
loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark
hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those
cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the
doorway; "and even if my head would go through," thought poor Alice,
"it would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I
could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to
begin." For, you see, so many out-of-the- way things had happened
lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were
really impossible.

There seemed to be no use in waiting by the
little door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find
another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting people
up like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it, ("which
certainly was not here before," said Alice), and tied round the neck of
the bottle was a paper label , with the words "DRINK ME" beautifully
printed on it in large letters. It was all very well to say "Drink me",
but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry.

"No,
I’ll look first," she said, "and see whether it’s marked ‘ poison ‘ or
not"; for she had read several nice little stories about children who
had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts, and other unpleasant
things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their
friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if
you hold it too long; and that, if you cut your finger very deeply with
a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you
drink much from a bottle marked "poison," it is almost certain for
someone to disagree with you, sooner or later.However, this bottle was
not marked "poison," so Alice ventured to taste it, and, finding it
very nice (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavor of cherry-tart,
custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffu, and hot buttered toast ), she
very soon finished it off.

"What a curious feeling!" said Alice. "I must be shutting up like a telescope!"

And
so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her face
brightened up at the thought that she was now the right size for going
through the little door into that lovely garden. First, however, she
waited for a few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further:
she felt a little nervous about this; "for it might end, you know,"
said Alice to herself; "in my going out altogether, like a candle. I
wonder what I should be like then?" And she tried to fancy what the
flame of a candle looks like after the candle is blown out, for she
could not remember ever having seen such a thing.

After a
while, finding that nothing more happened, she decided on going into
the garden at once; but, alas for poor Alice! when she got to the door,
she found she had forgotten the little golden key, and when she went
back to the table for it, she found she could not possibly reach it:
she could see it quite plainly through the glass, and she tried her
best to climb up one of the legs of the table, but it was too slippery;
and when she had tired herself out with trying, the poor little thing
sat down and cried.

"Come, there’s no use in crying like that!"
said Alice to herself rather sharply. "I advise you to leave off this
minute!" She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very
seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as
to bring tears into her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her
own ears for having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was
playing against herself, for this curious child was very fond of
pretending to be two people. "But it’s no use now," thought poor Alice,
"to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to
make one respectable person!"

Soon her eye fell on a little
glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in
it a very small cake, on which the words "EAT ME" were beautifully
marked in currants. "Well, I’ll eat it," said Alice, "and if it makes
me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I
can creep under the door: so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I
don’t care which happens!"

She ate a little bit, and said
anxiously to herself "Which way? Which way?", holding her hand on the
top of her head to feel which way it was growing; and she was quite
surprised to find that she remained the same size. To be sure, this is
what generally happens when one eats cake; but Alice had got so much
into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen,
that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common
way.

So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.

[End of Chapter 01]

TO BE CONTINUED . . . . . . . 


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Part 02

7 noiembrie 2007

 
 
CHAPTER 01 – DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE (Part 02)

Down,
down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began talking
again. "Dinah’ll miss me very much to-night, I should think!" (Dinah
was the cat.) "I hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time.
Dinah, my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are no mice in
the air, I’m afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that’s very like a
mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?" And here Alice began
to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort
of way, "Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?" and sometimes "Do bats
eat cats?" for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either question, it
didn’t much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozing
off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with
Dinah, and was saying to her, very earnestly, "Now, Dinah, tell me the
truth: did you ever eat a bat?" when suddenly, thump! thump! down she
came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.

Alice
was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she
looked up, but it was all dark overhead: before her was another long
passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it.
There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and
was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a comer, "Oh my ears and
whiskers, how late it’s getting!" She was close behind it when she
turned the comer, but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found
herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging
from the roof.

There were doors all round the hall, but they
were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and
up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle,
wondering how she was ever to get out again.

Suddenly she came
upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass: there was
nothing on it but a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first idea was that
this might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either
the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate it
would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, she came
upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a
little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key
in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!

Alice opened
the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger
than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the
loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark
hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those
cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the
doorway; "and even if my head would go through," thought poor Alice,
"it would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I
could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to
begin." For, you see, so many out-of-the- way things had happened
lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were
really impossible.

There seemed to be no use in waiting by the
little door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find
another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting people
up like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it, ("which
certainly was not here before," said Alice), and tied round the neck of
the bottle was a paper label , with the words "DRINK ME" beautifully
printed on it in large letters. It was all very well to say "Drink me",
but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry.

"No,
I’ll look first," she said, "and see whether it’s marked ‘ poison ‘ or
not"; for she had read several nice little stories about children who
had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts, and other unpleasant
things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their
friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if
you hold it too long; and that, if you cut your finger very deeply with
a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you
drink much from a bottle marked "poison," it is almost certain for
someone to disagree with you, sooner or later.However, this bottle was
not marked "poison," so Alice ventured to taste it, and, finding it
very nice (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavor of cherry-tart,
custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffu, and hot buttered toast ), she
very soon finished it off.

"What a curious feeling!" said Alice. "I must be shutting up like a telescope!"

And
so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her face
brightened up at the thought that she was now the right size for going
through the little door into that lovely garden. First, however, she
waited for a few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further:
she felt a little nervous about this; "for it might end, you know,"
said Alice to herself; "in my going out altogether, like a candle. I
wonder what I should be like then?" And she tried to fancy what the
flame of a candle looks like after the candle is blown out, for she
could not remember ever having seen such a thing.

After a
while, finding that nothing more happened, she decided on going into
the garden at once; but, alas for poor Alice! when she got to the door,
she found she had forgotten the little golden key, and when she went
back to the table for it, she found she could not possibly reach it:
she could see it quite plainly through the glass, and she tried her
best to climb up one of the legs of the table, but it was too slippery;
and when she had tired herself out with trying, the poor little thing
sat down and cried.

"Come, there’s no use in crying like that!"
said Alice to herself rather sharply. "I advise you to leave off this
minute!" She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very
seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as
to bring tears into her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her
own ears for having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was
playing against herself, for this curious child was very fond of
pretending to be two people. "But it’s no use now," thought poor Alice,
"to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to
make one respectable person!"

Soon her eye fell on a little
glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in
it a very small cake, on which the words "EAT ME" were beautifully
marked in currants. "Well, I’ll eat it," said Alice, "and if it makes
me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I
can creep under the door: so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I
don’t care which happens!"

She ate a little bit, and said
anxiously to herself "Which way? Which way?", holding her hand on the
top of her head to feel which way it was growing; and she was quite
surprised to find that she remained the same size. To be sure, this is
what generally happens when one eats cake; but Alice had got so much
into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen,
that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common
way.

So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.

[End of Chapter 01]

TO BE CONTINUED . . . . . . . 


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Part 01

4 noiembrie 2007

 
CHAPTER 01 – DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE (Part 01)

ALICE
was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank
and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book
her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it,
"and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or
conversations?’

 
So she was considering, in her own mind (as well as
she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid),
whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble
of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit
with pink eyes ran close by her.
 
There was nothing so very
remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way
to hear the Rabbit say to itself "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too
late!" (when she thought it over afterwards it occurred to her that she
ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite
natural ); but, when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its
waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started
to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before
seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of
it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and
was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

The
rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then
dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think
about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what
seemed to be a very deep well.

Either the well was very
deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went
down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next.
First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but
it was too dark to see anything: then she looked at the sides of the
well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and
book-shelves: here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs.
She took down ajar from one of the shelves as she passed: it was
labeled "ORANGE MARMALADE" but to her great disappointment it was
empty: she did not like to drop the jar, for fear of killing somebody
underneath, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell
past it.

"Well!" thought Alice to herself "After such a fall as
this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down-stairs! How brave they’ll
all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, even if I
fell off the top of the house!" (which was very likely true.)

Down,
down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? "I wonder how many
miles I’ve fallen by this time?" she said aloud. "I must be getting
somewhere near the center of the earth. Let me see: that would be four
thousand miles down, I think-" (for, you see, Alice had learned several
things of this sort in her lessons in the school-room, and though this
was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there
was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over)
"– yes that’s about the right distance — but then I wonder what
Latitude or Longitude I’ve got to?" (Alice had not the slightest idea
what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but she thought they were nice
grand words to say.)

Presently she began again. "I wonder if I
shall fall right through the earth! How funny it’ll seem to come out
among the people that walk with their heads downwards! The antipathies,
I think-" (she was rather glad there was no one listening, this time,
as it didn’t sound at all the right word) "-but I shall have to ask
them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this
New Zealand? Or Australia?" (and she tried to courtesy as she spoke-
fancy, courtesying as you’re falling through the air! Do you think you
could manage it?) "And what an ignorant little girl she’ll think me for
asking! No, it’ll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up
somewhere."

TO BE CONTINUED . . . . . . 


Arta Fantasticului si a Imaginarului – Civilizatia Europeana a Sec. XX – Part 11 (Ultima)

1 noiembrie 2007
 
 
IV. ARTA

4.3 MUZICA

In sec XX, muzica se transforma sub influenta dodecafoniei lui Schonberg, dar si in cadrul "Grupului celor 6", din care Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc si Arthur Honegger sunt membrii cei mai reprezentativi. Acest grup, inspirat de Igor Stravinsky si Erik Satie, imprumuta muzicalitatea de la cea populara traditionala si foloseste experienta politonalitatii.
Nascuta inainte de al doilea razboi mondial, dodecafonia este prost primita de catre public, iar operele lui Schonberg si ale elevului sau, Alban Berg, deruteaza prin noutatea lor, intr-un moment in care progresul permite difuzarea in masa a muzicilor traditionale.
Din 1945, evolutia muzicala urmeaza doua curente : serialismul si muzica aleatorie. Serialismul,dezvoltat de A. Webern (1883-1945), este reluat dupa moartea acestuia de catre P. Boulez si K. Stockhausen. Scopul acestei muzici seriale este de a
inregistra printr-un prim timp in partitura intensitatea, inaltimea,
durata, timbrul fiecarui sunet emis, cu scopul de a le aplica un
tratament serial
. Cele mai reprezentative lucrari ale acestei epoci sunt primul caiet al Structurilor apartinand lui P. Boulez si Contrapunct de Stockhausen. Dupa o prima faza de serialism integral, autorii reintegreaza treptat traditia in modul lor de compozitie.
In scopul depasirii sistemului serial, anumiti compozitori, ca Iannis Xenakis, se indreapta spre stiintele exacte, matematicile, de unde isi iau modele direct aplicabile la compozitia muzicala.
Alti compozitori doresc sa-si regaseasca deplina libertate de creatie,
supunandu-se intamplarii, evitand uneori orice intentie – astfel se
naste muzica aleatorie. Totusi, hazardul in sistemul
de compozitie aleatorie nu poate interveni decat incidental, in general
permitand ordinea prevazuta pentru executarea anumitor secvente
muzicale. Cel mai important reprezentant al acestui tip de muzica este americanul John Cage, autorul unui Concert pentru Pian (1957-1958). Din anii ’60 muzica este influentata de teatrul muzical si de o intoarcere spre traditie, ilustrata prin muzicile repetitive. Teatrul muzical are drept finalitate depasirea
folosirii clasice a instrumentului, utilizat de artist ca sursa
muzicala, dar si ca obiect purtator de sens, de care trebuie sa se
foloseasca precum un actor de un accesoriu din teatru
; astfel, un contrabas poate ilustra in mainile sale formele voluptoase ale unui corp feminin. In 1970, Mauricio Kagel impinge experienta mai departe, ilustrata de opera sa Staatsteater.

4.4 ARTA CINEMATOGRAFICA

Nascuta la sfarsitul sec al XIX-lea prin inventia fratilor Louis si Auguste Lumiere (Louis : 1864-1948 ; Auguste : 1862-1954), folosita la inceput in scurte secvente pentru a filma iesirea din uzinele Renault de la Billancourt, cinematografia devine rapid purtatoare de actualitate, realizand primul mare reportaj in 1894, cu ocazia incoronarii tarului Nicolae II. Treptat, cinematografia devine a saptea arta, suferind si ea influentele principalelor curente, in special ale expresionismului german.
In Cabinetul doctorului Caligari (1919) de R. Wienne, spectatorul este invitat, prin insasi constructia filmului, sa urmareasca nebunia personajului principal, sa traiasca fantasmele acestuia. Filmul abstract este ilustrat de Baletul mecanic al lui Leger, in 1924. Suprarealismul patrunde in a saptea arta prin colaborarea lui Salvador Dali si Luis Bunuel, care creeaza Un caine andaluz in 1929.
Cinematograful este si un instrument de propaganda politica, iar realismul revolutionar al lui Serghei Eisenstein din Crucisatorul Potemkin (1925), care glorifica revolutia rusa, isi gaseste ecoul in filmele naziste ale lui Leni Riefenstahl, in care miscarile multimilor sunt amplificate prin jocurile camerei de filmat cu ocazia Adunarii de la Nurnberg din 1934
pentru sarbatorirea partidului. Dupa 1945, ameliorarea tehnicilor,
facilitatile de difuzare atrag un public numeros. In Franta, epoca "nouvelle vague" este ilustrata de Francois Truffaut, Cele 400 de lovituri (1959), si Jean-Luc Godard, La capatul puterilor (1960).
In 1961, Alain Resnais realizeaza pe un scenariu de A. Robbe-Grillet, Anul trecut la Marienbad. In Italia, realizatorii italieni de dupa razboi dau nastere neo-realismului, in care filmele de referinta sunt Roma oras deschis de Roberto Rosselini in 1945 si Hotii de biciclete de Vittorio de Sica in 1948. Amandoi
artistii aleg in mod deliberat sa isi turneze filmele intr-un mediu
natural si folosesc persoane adevarate de pe strada, in locul
decorurilor sau al actorilor profesionisti.

In anii ’50, cinematografia cunoaste o noua mutatie o data cu aparitia valului alegoric, ilustrat de A Saptea Pecete (1956) al lui Ingmar Bergmann, dar pierde teren in fata ascensiunii televiziunii. In anii ’70 existau in Franta 10 milioane de posturi receptoare. Incepand din 1968, cinematografia se scindeaza din ce in ce mai mult intre forma comerciala si filmul militant, caruia i se dedica, de ex, Jean-Luc Godard. SUA cunoaste o profunda mutatie, iar marii maestrii ai anilor ’60, Arthur Penn si John Cassavetes, lasa loc tinerilor autori. Bantuit de violenta din Little Big Man (1970), Arthur Penn exploreaza timpul, in timp ce John Cassavetes urmareste sa redescopere launtrul fiintei umane : Balul derbedeilor (1976). Succesorii
lor filmeaza angoasa si remuscarile unei societati cu idei gata facute.
Oroarea razboiului din Vietnam nu inceteaza sa constituie sursa de
inspiratie, de la excesele din
Apocalypse now (1979) de Francis Coppola, pana la satira violenta din Calatorie pana la capatul infernului (1978) de Michael Cimino.


Arta Fantasticului si a Imaginarului – Civilizatia Europeana a Sec. XX (Part 10)

29 octombrie 2007
 
 
IV. ARTA

4.2 ARHITECTURA

Progresele urbanizarii in secolul XX inspira direct scolile de arhitectura. Scoala de la Chicago, inca de la sfarsitul secolului al XIX-lea, este pasionata de realizarea de cladiri foarte inalte, tall buildings, cum este de pilda Auditorium Building de la Chicago, opera arhitectilor Adler si Sullivan intre 1887 si 1889.
In Europa, noua arta se exercita sub influenta arhitectului belgian V. Horta, care a recurs la metal si sticla, inspirandu-se din liniile sinuoase ale vegetalelor pentru construirea intre 1896 si 1899, la Bruxelles, a Casei Poporului (Maison du peuple).
Putem imparti evolutia arhitecturii in sec XX in trei perioade : prima,
din 1910 pana la sfarsitul anilor ’20, a doua din 1930 pana la
sfarsitul celui de-al doilea razboi mondial, si ultima incepand cu 1950.
Problema locuirii colective in oras este abordata din 1895 de casa lui Francisco Terrace, construita la Chicago de catre F. L. Wright (1869-1959). F. L. Wright deschide o cale noua, adaptand arhitectura nevoilor vietii cotidiene. Scoala Franceza studiaza si ea posibilitatile unei noi arhitecturi, bazata pe materiale noi, ca de exemplu betonul armat.
T. Garnier (1869-1948) concepe proiectul unui Oras Industrial, prevazut pentru o populatie de 35 000 de locuitori. Scoli, class =”xirtireh” href=”http://www.acasa.ro/uzine” title=”uzine”>uzine , centre de recreere, piete , toate acestea vor fi construite din beton armat, formele fiind reduse la cele mai simple, patratul sau dreptunghiul, iar acoperisurile realizate in terase acoperite de gradini. In acelasi moment, Germania cunoaste o era a marilor transformari prin crearea de catre H. Muthesius, in 1970, a Deutscher Werkbund, adica Asociatia Arhitectilor si Industriasilor. Scopul
era selectionarea celor mai bune proiecte pentru construirea de uzine,
dar si crearea unei anumite standardizari arhitecturale.

In aceasta epoca si dupa aceste principii, Behrens construieste uzinele A.E.G de la Berlin, in timp ce desenatorul sau, Walter Gropius (1883-1969) se pregateste sa fondeze la Weimar, in 1919, Bauhaus. Orientat spre o sinteza a artelor cu productia industriala, Walter Gropius transfera Bauhaus la Nassau, unde construieste un nou edificiu intre 1925 si 1926. Inchisa
de nazisti, Bauhaus este o Scoala de Arta, Arhitectura si Arte
Aplicate, ce are drept scop realizarea armoniei tuturor artelor.

La Bauhaus preda maghiarul L. Moholy-Nagy, care intreprinde o serie de experiente pe plexiglas , si pictorii Paul Klee si Vladimir Kandinsky. Acesta din urma redacteaza la Bauhaus tratatul sau  Punct si Linie in raport cu suprafata (1926), moment de varf al teoriei artei non-figurative. Ca si ceilalti membri ai Bauhaus-ului, Kandinsky este convins de impactul datorat ameliorarii mediului inconjurator.
Arhitectura ca rationalizare a nevoilor esentiale ale omului este in aceeasi masura grija primordiala a arhitectului elvetian Le Corbusier, a carui carte, Spre o arhitectura (1923), defineste casa drept "o masina de locuit". Constructia trebuie sa fie inainte de toate functionala, fiecare spatiu raspunzand unei nevoi bine determinate.

TO BE CONTINUED . . . . . . . .


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