Thursday, 6 March 2014

The raven and the writing desk

The raven and the writing desk, an illustration by JVL in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Artists' Choice Editions, 2009.

The text:

The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he
SAID was, 'Why is a raven like a writing-desk?'

 'Come, we shall have some fun now!' thought Alice. 'I'm glad
they've begun asking riddles. -- I believe I can guess that,' she
added aloud.

 'Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?' said
the March Hare.

'Exactly so,' said Alice.

'Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on.

 'I do,' Alice hastily replied; 'at least -- at least I mean what I say --
that's the same thing, you know.'

'Not the same thing a bit!' said the Hatter. 'You might just as well
say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!'

 'You might just as well say,' added the March Hare, 'that "I like
what I get" is the same thing as "I get what I like"!'

 'You might just as well say,' added the Dormouse, who seemed to be
talking in his sleep, 'that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing
 as "I sleep when I breathe"!'

'It IS the same thing with you,' said the Hatter, and here the
conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while
Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and
writing-desks, which wasn't much.

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