A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite children's books.
Staggering, isn't it? Yesterday, I came across a quote from its author, Madeline L'Engel, that made me instantly wish I'd known her in real life. When asked if she'd seen the Disney movie version of her classic tale, she replied, "I've glimpsed it." When pressed with the question, "Did it meet expectations?" she said, "Oh, yes. I expected it to be bad, and it is."
The quote comes from a 2004 Newsweek article in which she discusses faith and the themes certain religious groups deemed offensive in A Wrinkle in Time. She was a plucky woman with controversial ideas and the age and courage to speak her mind. Her take on both Harry Potter and The DaVinci Code is worth the click alone.
I used to imagine Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Which were the Golden Girls of the Tesseract and how great it would be to score passage through the fifth dimension and a plate of warm cookies all at once. Now, I have my own version of these ladies:
Mrs. Who, who finds original expression difficult and often spouted foreign languages and Shakespeare, is the bespectacled portion of my fractured muse who is captivated by the blinking cursor. From her, I also hear my grandmother's voice in my head saying, "Das ist scheisse!"
Not only is Mrs. Which a nebulous entity during most of the novel, but she trips over herself in double letters. Ffamiliar? Mmost ddefinately, Mrs. Auto-Correct-Dependent-Muse.
Mrs. Whatsit is the most relatable of the three. She wraps herself in many layers, sacrifices a portion of herself to defeat The Black Thing, and transforms into a winged, centurion-type figure. Aside from the two billion year old thing-and the wings-she's the greatest portion of my muse trinity.
Madeline L'Engle was on a cross-country trek at the time she conceived A Wrinkle in Time. Not surprisingly, she was also reading a book on quantum physics. The manuscript was rejected twenty-six times because, in her words, "it was different."
The Golden Girls and I couldn't have asked for better inspiration.
What were your favorite childhood novels?