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  • Writer's picture Gary Bills

Lorina and the White Rabbit.

THIS is the second of Heather's "Dingle Darwin" diorama pictures, and it is a

re-imagining of the world of Lewis Carroll.

It is also representative of ideas from my new novel, "A Letter For Alice" (available on Amazon, and published by The Little French).

The White Rabbit is central to proceedings - a figure which, in my novel, is emblematic of Lorina's father, The Dean. He's obsessed with the time, but he is less interested in his own daughters, Alice, Lorina and Edith. They get a second rate education at the hands of the Governess, Miss Prickett, who is a self-satisfied rainbow sun in the top left corner. Heather has used herself as the model, which is unfair on herself, of course. 

In my novel, Miss Prickett is a person of limited achievements and, if she is generally satisfied with herself, it is a condition based on ignorance and a lack of self-knowledge. The adults are problems in my novel - that is to say, they cause problems for the three girls. On the left, dressed in a dark Victorian dress, we see Lorina's mother, otherwise known as "The Kingfisher". She's looking for likely catches for her brood, and even Royalty might do. Sometimes Lorina would like to see her mother threatened by tigers, but Lorina herself feels threatened by tigers, which are the circumstances of an often difficult life.

Heather portrays Lorina not how she is actually dressed in my novel, but perhaps how she might appear, when viewed as a manifestation of her inner life. This is Lorina in psychic and emotional retreat - a would-be, anachronistic flower child, who cannot really remain in her imagination for very long. The Tulip Marmoset - a character invented by Dodgson in my novel as a distracting story, to cover up his duplicity, is standing right behind Lorina; and close to her feet is a sinister fairy - it's more of a medieval devil than a fairy - and perhaps a reminder that the world of the imagination, and of the spirit, is not always a reassuring place to be. The archetypes of the subconscious, telling us truths and unpleasant truths on occasions, are never very far away.

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