Who would have guessed that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland would be a source of inspiration to modern memoir writers? I can’t recall the last time I read this classic that I often enjoyed as a girl. A couple of days ago I snagged a free ebook copy and dug in. I noticed many things freshly.
Nobody will be surprised to hear me confirm that Lewis Carroll is a master of metaphor and brilliantly creative. And of course the illustrations delight me even more now than when I was ten.
But those are not the parts I’m referring to. I was struck by the candor and complexity of Alice’s conversations with herself. I didn’t even try to count all the various facets of herself she brought into play via internal dialogues. Note that I said dialogs. It’s not unusual to hear recommendations to include internal monolog in memoir, that is, self-talk. But Carroll takes it one step further and has Alice talking to her selves.
This technique especially fascinated me, because it seems so true to life. I suspect we all do this, that a “core self” interacts with peripheral “others”, but we do it so automatically that it largely escapes our notice. I’m working on tuning in to see how many inner channels I can find. Then I’ll practice writing some “Conversations With My Selves.” I expect that will be both entertaining and enlightening. I’ll keep you posted.
My hunch is that as we start writing these conversations, we’ll become more aware of facets of self we never realized existed. We’ll become more complex and fascinating to ourselves, and including snippets of this dialogue in stories will add both authenticity and sparkle.
Why don’t you pull a copy of Alice off your shelf, out of the library or off the web? Free eBook editions are easy to find, and you’ll surely relish it again yourself. You may get a fresh inspiration while you’re at it.
Write now: write some internal dialogue between two facets of yourself that you are aware of. Since two personas are involved, punctuate it as regular dialogue rather than internal monologue.