Monday, 21 May 2012

My mind's citizenship

Do you have a favourite book? Recently I was asked a similar question by one of my closest friends, with whom I share passion for language and literature. Some girl-friends sip coffee and share a cake, we sip languages and share books, screenplays and ideas. 
My first reaction on her question was - I don't have one favourite book. If I feel like reading a book after the first page, it makes it special by definition, and if I find it 'unputdownable', as some literary critics love to say lately, it automatically promotes it to the status of favourite. That was my first thought, but then I started to scratch under the surface of my mind, into my soul. 
I asked myself, which is the only book so important to me from the beginning of my literary adventure that it defined something fundamental in me? Which one was the first true adventure via written text? And it came to me. 'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll. It was one of my first books that weren't part of school book list thus I was free to choose to read it or not. Freedom of choice usually notably adds to the pleasure of reading. During my childhood in a totalitarian communist country with stiff censorship a book like that was almost a miracle. Now that I've come to think of it, I can't stop wondering how on earth did they approve of it, allowed it to be translated and published. Maybe they were hoping it would show the "true, ugly face of the rotting capitalism", as they loved to say back then. To me it was the door to the limitless fantasy world which has never closed since. As time goes by, I start to see more and more sense in seemingly absurd and purely entertaining parts of the story. Sometimes I can't help feeling like Alice who has to quench her thirst with a dry biscuit or run as fast as she can just to stay put. Not to mention that "the jam is always tomorrow" and never today. I'm in love with the Wonderland, I am a citizen of that mad, surprising, amazing world where you can think of six impossible things before breakfast and no one will roll their eyes on you, as a matter of fact, they will expect you to. Which book do you belong to?


  1. loved it!!! sweet and funny. clapped at the sipping language part!!! My first literature shock was Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog!

    1. Thanks!
      The Three Men is also one of my favourites! Refined sense of humour.