Alice in process…

Instead of the question “Who is Alice?” there are now paths leading to what Alice might come to be…

17 Jul 2010

Tell me why


collage Adriana Peliano

So why is a raven like a writing desk?

"Originally the riddle had no answer, but Carroll made one up later. Many readers have invented their own answers ever since, including the most famous "because Poe wrote on both", and my personal favorite "because there's a B in both and an N in neither".

In a new preface that Carroll wrote for the 1896 edition of Alice, he gave what he considered to be the best answer to the Mad Hatter's riddle. This is what he wrote:

Lenny answers

Some biographers of Lewis Carroll had another theory based on Carroll's keen interest in the occult. In fact, he was deeply interested in automatic writing. Combine that with the idea that the raven is associated with communication between the living and the dead and we have what may be the best answer of all to the question "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" 

 Answer: A raven is like a writing desk because one might communicate with the dead through either.

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