Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Raven Call

Twitter. Is it the future? Is it the present? I'll admit (somewhat sheepishly): I've never really felt like I "get" twitter. Part of it, I suppose, is that it's hard enough for me to convince myself that my blog-writing could be meaningful in some way, either to others or to future-me, so keeping up a twitter account seems even more of a stretch. (What can you really say in 140 characters?) But maybe I'm wrong.


is live and ready to tweet.

I don't know how much I will wind up using it to do actual writing, but I'll admit, it was fun to do some searching and "follow" various people and organizations. Maybe it will at least be beneficial for keeping up with things in that regard.

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It started with the Mad Hatter:
"...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."

~Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

If you hadn't guessed yet, I love Alice in Wonderland. I think it's particularly interesting that this riddle from the novel is never actually answered. Over the years, humorous conclusions to the Mad Hatter's question have been invented: "because Poe wrote on both," is one. Another is, "because there is a 'b' in both and an 'n' in neither," or, "because they both have inky quills." But Carroll himself originally intended for the riddle to be left unanswered. Unanswerable questions are all around us in life, but sometimes it is in the act of trying to answer them that the impossible things of the world are conquered, and the incomprehensible on the other side of the looking glass starts to look a lot more like home.

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