Wetenschap Kunst Politiek

Alice in Wonderland/ tentoonstelling in Hamburg


Al bijna 150 jaar fascineert Lewis Carroll’s verhaal van Alice in Wonderland  kinderen en volwassenen. De show  Alice in Wonderland in de Hamburger Kunsthalle laat Alice en de vele artistieke reacties zien die zij heeft veroorzaakt.

De tentoonstelling begint met werken van Lewis Carroll, de wiskundeprofessor, schrijver, fotograaf en kunstverzamelaar.

De echte Alice, foto van 1858, zie ook Meet the Real Alice: How the Story of Alice in Wonderland Was Born 150 Years Ago Today

Daarna volgen illustraties, documenten en theaterproducties en films.

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Alice in Wonderland en de flamingo


Inas prachtige blog met magnolia-knoppen als flamingo-koppen brengt me weer terug bij een van mijn lievelingsthema’s: Alice in Wonderland; voor liefhebbers van het surrealisme en van droomwerelden DE basistekst.

Hier de tekst van Lewis Carroll met illustraties van Pat Andrea (gezien in het Gemeentemuseum 2008) over het croquetveld met levende flamingo’s als hamers en egels als ballen:

“Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes […]

The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a

blow with its head, it WOULD twist itself round and look up in her face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing: and when she had got its head down, and was going to begin again, it was very provoking to find that the hedgehog had unrolled itself, and was in the act of crawling away: besides all this, there was generally a ridge or furrow in the way wherever she wanted to send the

hedgehog to, and, as the doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and walking off to other parts of the ground, Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.


The hedgehog was engaged in a fight with another hedgehog, which seemed to Alice an excellent opportunity for croqueting one of them with the other: the only difficulty was, that her flamingo was gone across to the other side of the garden, where Alice could see it trying in a helpless sort of way to fly up into a tree.

By the time she had caught the flamingo and brought it back, the fight was over, and both the hedgehogs were out of sight: ‘but it doesn’t matter much,’ thought Alice, ‘as all the arches are gone from this side of the ground.’ So she tucked it away under her arm, that it might not escape again, and went back for a little more conversation with her



‘I dare say you’re wondering why I don’t put my arm round your waist,’ the Duchess said after a pause: ‘the reason is, that I’m doubtful about the temper of your flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?’

‘HE might bite,’ Alice cautiously replied, not feeling at all anxious to have the experiment tried.

‘Very true,’ said the Duchess: ‘flamingoes and mustard both bite. And the moral of that is–“Birds of a feather flock together.”‘

‘Only mustard isn’t a bird,’ Alice remarked.

‘Right, as usual,’ said the Duchess: ‘what a clear way you have of putting things!’

‘It’s a mineral, I THINK,’ said Alice.”


Illustratie Pat Andrea


Meer over Alice in Wonderland/Pat Andrea


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Het Hertje bij Lewis Carroll, Alice in Spiegelland


Ina Dijstelberge heeft vandaag een wondermooi blog met hertje en stilte.

Hier als aanvulling op Inas blog de episode tussen Alice en het hertje uit “Alice in Spiegelland”.

“Hoe noem jij jezelf?” zei het Hertje tenslotte.

Hij had zo’n lieve stem!

“Ik wou dat ik het wist”, dacht de arme Alice. Ze antwoordde bedroefd:

“Nou, niks.”

“Denk nog eens na”, zei het Hertje,”want dit kan zo niet.”



Pat Andrea heeft de ontmoeting tussen Hertje en Alice erg goed weergegeven, als versmelten tussen mens en beest: zonder taal kan men versmelten met de natuur.


De hele episode in het Engels:


“Alice reached the wood: it lookedvery cool and shady. ‘Well, at any rate it’s a great comfort,’ shesaid as she stepped under the trees, ‘after being so hot, to get into the–into WHAT?’ she went on, rather surprised at not being able to think of the word. ‘I mean to get under the–under the–under THIS, you

know!’ putting her hand on the trunk of the tree. ‘What DOES it call itself, I wonder? I do believe it’s got no name–why, to be sure it hasn’t!’

She stood silent for a minute, thinking: then she suddenly began again.

‘Then it really HAS happened, after all! And now, who am I? I WILLremember, if I can! I’m determined to do it!’ But being determined didn’t help much, and all she could say, after a great deal of puzzling, was, ‘L, I KNOW it begins with L!’

Just then a Fawn came wandering by: it looked at Alice with its large gentle eyes, but didn’t seem at all frightened. ‘Here then! Here then!’ Alice said, as she held out her hand and tried to stroke it; but it only started back a little, and then stood looking at her again.

‘What do you call yourself?’ the Fawn said at last. Such a soft sweet voice it had!

‘I wish I knew!’ thought poor Alice. She answered, rather sadly, ‘Nothing, just now.’

‘Think again,’ it said: ‘that won’t do.’

Alice thought, but nothing came of it. ‘Please, would you tell me what YOU call yourself?’ she said timidly. ‘I think that might help a little.’

‘I’ll tell you, if you’ll move a little further on,’ the Fawn said. ‘I

can’t remember here.’

So they walked on together though the wood, Alice with her arms clasped lovingly round the soft neck of the Fawn, till they came out into another open field, and here the Fawn gave a sudden bound into the air, and shook itself free from Alice’s arms. ‘I’m a Fawn!’ it cried out in a voice of delight, ‘and, dear me! you’re a human child!’ A sudden look of alarm came into its beautiful brown eyes, and in another moment it had darted away at full speed.

Alice stood looking after it, almost ready to cry with vexation at having lost her dear little fellow-traveller so suddenly. ‘However, I know my name now.’ she said, ‘that’s SOME comfort. Alice–Alice–I won’t forget it again.”


Klassieke afbeelding van Tenniel.

Hier mijn eerdere Lewis Carroll/Pat Andrea-blogs


Pat Andrea: Alice in Wonderland/Cheshire Cat





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De eenhoorn in kunst en literatuur


In de laatste tijd ben ik een paar keer het sympathieke fabeldier Eenhoorn



Stephan Balkenhol, Unicorn (2001), Olieverf en wa-wahout


  • Bij Rainer Maria Rilke:
… Sie nährten es mit keinem Korn
nur immer mit der Möglichkeit, es sei.
Und die gab solche Stärke an das Tier,
daß es aus sich ein Stirnhorn trieb. Ein Horn.
Zu einer Jungfrau kam es weiß herbei
– und war im Silber-Spiegel und in ihr.
  •  Bij Pat Andrea

  • …En dus bij Lewis Carroll, Through the looking-glass, waar de eenhoorn Alice als een fabeldier beschouwt:
CHAPTER VII. The Lion and the Unicorn
‘Who are at it again?’ she ventured to ask.
‘Why the Lion and the Unicorn, of course,’ said the King.
‘Fighting for the crown?’
‘Yes, to be sure,’ said the King: ‘and the best of the joke is, that it’s MY crown all the while! Let’s run and see them.’ And they trotted off, Alice repeating to herself, as she ran, the words of the old song:–
   ‘The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown:
The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town.
Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum-cake and drummed them out of town.’

‘Does–the one–that wins–get the crown?’ she asked, as well as she could, for the run was putting her quite out of breath.
‘Dear me, no!’ said the King. ‘What an idea!’
‘Would you–be good enough,’ Alice panted out, after running a little further, ‘to stop a minute–just to get–one’s breath again?’
‘I’m GOOD enough,’ the King said, ‘only I’m not strong enough. You see, a minute goes by so fearfully quick. You might as well try to stop a Bandersnatch!’
Alice had no more breath for talking, so they trotted on in silence, till they came in sight of a great crowd, in the middle of which the Lion and Unicorn were fighting. They were in such a cloud of dust, that at first Alice could not make out which was which: but she soon managed to distinguish the Unicorn by his horn.
There was a pause in the fight just then, and the Lion and the Unicorn sat down, panting, while the King called out ‘Ten minutes allowed for refreshments!’ […]
At this moment the Unicorn sauntered by them, with his hands in his pockets. ‘I had the best of it this time?’ he said to the King, just glancing at him as he passed.
‘A little–a little,’ the King replied, rather nervously. ‘You shouldn’t have run him through with your horn, you know.’
‘It didn’t hurt him,’ the Unicorn said carelessly, and he was going on, when his eye happened to fall upon Alice: he turned round rather instantly, and stood for some time looking at her with an air of the deepest disgust.
‘What–is–this?’ he said at last.
‘This is a child!’ Haigha replied eagerly, coming in front of Alice to introduce her, and spreading out both his hands towards her in an Anglo-Saxon attitude. ‘We only found it to-day. It’s as large as life, and twice as natural!’
‘I always thought they were fabulous monsters!’ said the Unicorn. ‘Is it alive?’
‘It can talk,’ said Haigha, solemnly.
The Unicorn looked dreamily at Alice, and said ‘Talk, child.’
Alice could not help her lips curling up into a smile as she began: ‘Do you know, I always thought Unicorns were fabulous monsters, too! I never saw one alive before!’
‘Well, now that we HAVE seen each other,’ said the Unicorn, ‘if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you. Is that a bargain?’
‘Yes, if you like,’ said Alice.
[…] The Lion looked at Alice wearily. ‘Are you animal–vegetable–or mineral?’ he said, yawning at every other word.
‘It’s a fabulous monster!’ the Unicorn cried out, before Alice could reply.
[…] “

… Geen graankorrel gaven zij het te eten
maar bleven het voor mogelijk houden dat het bestond.
En dat gaf het dier zo’n kracht
dat het uit zijn voorhoofd een hoorn deed groeien. Eén hoorn.
Wit liep het naar een maagd toe –
en was in de zilveren spiegel en in haar.
(vertaling W. Leenders)


Unicorn einhorn eenhoorn licorne

Unicorn einhorn eenhoorn licorne


Unicorn einhorn eenhoorn licorne

Unicorn einhorn eenhoorn licorne


Unicorn einhorn eenhoorn licorne  MilleFleurTapestry

Unicorn einhorn eenhoorn licorne MilleFleurTapestry


Unicorn einhorn eenhoorn licorne

Unicorn Einhorn eenhoorn licorne


Unicorn Einhorn eenhoorn licorne   modern

Unicorn Einhorn eenhoorn licorne modern







Unicorn einhorn eenhoorn licorne

Unicorn einhorn eenhoorn licorne



Academische vrijheid in het geding

Vorm en ontbinding: Démasqué der Schoonheid/ Pat Andrea


Paddestolen schieten omhoog in dit warm-vochtige weer, en vergaan net zo snel als zij zijn verschenen. 


“Een schijnsolide compromis van vorm en ontbinding”, wat ontzettend goed gezegd.

De paddestoel speelt ook in Alice in Wonderland een belangrijke rol, als magisch middel voor snelle groei en krimp:
There was a large mushroom growing near her, about the same height as herself; and when she had looked under it, and on both sides of it, and behind it, it occurred to her that she might as well look and see what was on the top of it.
She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.[…]

In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went,
‘One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.’
‘One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?’ thought Alice to herself.
‘Of the mushroom,’ said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.
Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand.
‘And now which is which?’ she said to herself, and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect: the next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck her foot!
She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as she was shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel of the lefthand bit. […] ”

Bij Menno ter Braak, in Démasqué der Schoonheid, vond ik een schitterende formulering:

“[…] De paddestoel […] staat even te figureren als een schijnsolide compromis van vorm en ontbinding en zinkt weer weg in de oerpap, waaruit hij voortkwam; hij heeft zijn rol volmaakt en magistraal gespeeld, ook als hij de mens niet diende in de champignonsoep; men kan hem niets verwijten.”


Pat Andrea heft ook hiervan een mooie illustratie gemaakt, waar Alice zelf samenvalt met de paddestoel.

Alice in Wonderland is absoluut geen sentimenteel boek, en wie goed leest zal zien dat de dood dus ook vaak om de hoek komt kijken.

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Alice zelf…. een schijnsolide compromis van vorm en ontbinding, zoals wij allemaal.



Alice in Wonderland: Jabberwocky/Pat Andrea


In het eerste hoofdstuk van “Through the looking glass” (Alice in Spiegelland) van Lewis Carroll slaat Alice een boek open met een nonsensgedicht.

“…..There was a book lying near Alice on the table, and while she sat watching the White King (for she was still a little anxious about him, and had the ink all ready to throw over him, in case he fainted again), she turned over the leaves, to find some part that she could read, ‘–for it’s all in some language I don’t know,’ she said to herself.
It was like this.

sevot yhtils eht dna,gillirb sawT’
ebaw eht ni elbmig dna eryg diD
,sevogorob eht erew ysmim llA
.ebargtuo shtar emom eht dnA

She puzzled over this for some time, but at last a bright thought struck her. ‘Why, it’s a Looking-glass book, of course! And if I hold it up to a glass, the words will all go the right way again.’
This was the poem that Alice read.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!’

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought–
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

‘And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘It seems very pretty,’ she said when she had finished it, ‘but it’s RATHER hard to understand!’ (You see she didn’t like to confess, ever to herself, that she couldn’t make it out at all.) ‘Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas–only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, SOMEBODY killed SOMETHING: that’s clear, at any rate–‘ “

Hier de fantastische illustratie die Pat Andrea erbij heeft gemaakt, nu te zien in het Haagse Gemeentemuseum ( zie ook mijn blog van gisteren)

“Jabberwocky” is in heel veel talen vertaald.

De website met de vertalingen geeft drie Nederlandse vertalingen aan:
De Krakelwok (Ab Westervaarder & René Kurpershoek)
Wauwelwok (Alfred Kossmann & C. Reedijk)
Koeterwaal ( Nicolaas Matsier)

Welke vinden jullie de leukste?

De slang, androgyn en ambivalent/ cobra slang/ Pat Andrea


De slangen van Meret Oppenheim zijn bijna altijd samengezette wezens.

Hier een foto van een zeer mooi Oppenheim-beeld dat ik ook in het Kunsthaus zag.

Maskierte Blume (1958)

Deze bloem lijkt óók op een slang (de achterkant van een cobra)

De slang is in de cultuurgeschiedenis zowel een symbool voor het Kwaad als ook voor het Goed ( zie bijvoorbeeld bij Asclepios en de natuurreligies) , en is zowel gekoppeld aan de mannelijke alsook aan de vrouwelijke seksualiteit; zij is zowel fallus-symbool alsook de Eva-slang.
In Lewis Carrolls “Alice in Wonderland” wordt Alice “een slang”genoemd door de duif (hoofdstuk: “Raad van een rups”) .
Pat Andrea heeft hier een schitterende illustratie bij gemaakt:

In de cultuurgeschiedenis staat de slang in positieve zin voor de vernieuwing (de oude huid afleggen).

Een bijzondere “goede” slang is de Ouroboros (Uroboros) die een cirkel vormt door zichzelf in de staart te bijten. Deze slang staat afgebeeld op het graf van Oppenheim.

De slang onttrekt zich aan de simplificaties die sommigen aan haar/hem willen opleggen.

Zoals ik zelf in een slangengedicht heb geschreven:
Is een slang
lijk een man?
een slang
is een
aan land […] ”

En hier een slangengedicht van Oppenheim:

Schlangengedicht (1978)

Slang en water komen samen in het slangenfontein van Oppenheim:

De tegengestelde ronde en de vierkante vorm heeft Oppenheim hier samengevoegd in een spiraal:

Spirale- Schlange in Rechteck ( 1973)

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