“I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!” the Queen said. “Two pence a week, and jam every other day.”
Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire ME – and I don’t care for jam.”
“It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.
“Well, I don’t want any TO-DAY, at any rate.”
“You couldn’t have it if you DID want it,” the Queen said. “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It MUST come sometimes to “jam to-day,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every OTHER day: to-day isn’t any OTHER day, you know.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”
The White Queen: Can you do addition? What’s one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?
Alice: I don’t know. I lost count. (Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass)
The following chunks of factoids on Alice, chess, and conspiracy theories all come courtesy of that there ol’ wiki: let it take you for a spin today!
Most main characters met in the story are represented by a chess piece, with Alice herself being a pawn. However, the moves described in the ‘chess problem’ cannot be carried out legally due to a move where white does not move out of check (a list of moves is included – note that a young child might make this error due to inexperience).
Although the chess problem is generally regarded as a nonsense composition because of the story’s ‘faulty link with chess’, the French researchers Christophe LeRoy and Sylvain Ravot have argued that it actually contains a ‘hidden code’ by Carroll to the reader.
The code is supposed to be related to Carroll’s relationship with Alice Liddell, and apparently contains several references to Carroll’s favorite number, 42.
The theory and its implications have been criticized for lack of solid evidence, misrepresenting historical facts about Carroll and Alice, and flirting with numerology and esotericism.
Oh, no, not esotericism. I simply cannot brook such a thing.
Previous Alice anticipation posts can be found here.