Forget the fall down the rabbit hole, the Cheshire Cat or the constantly tardy bunny.
They’re not Karin Youngberg’s favorite parts of “Alice in Wonderland.”
“That tea party is really the most interesting part of the whole book,” said Youngberg, who will celebrate her 45th anniversary in the Augustana College English department later this year.
Youngberg will explain the different video visions of the scene in a “Mad Hatter Tea,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Bettendorf Public Library. Wednesday is the date by which reservations are requested.
Hat wearing is encouraged for the free tea and tarts event, which also celebrates the 180th anniversary of author Lewis Carroll’s birth.
The scene varies greatly in the seven versions that Youngberg has studied, at least five of which will be shown this week.
“There’s Disney’s for children and some others are satiric of Victorian and modern life,” she said, “and then there’s others that are dark and strange.”
Besides being an author, Carroll was a mathematician, Youngberg said.
“Everybody thinks of him as this sweet, kind, jolly fellow,” she said, “and apparently he was a very kind person.
“But look at ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as kind of an escape from order and the scariness that’s involved in that fantasy as an escape from order.”
Youngberg and those attending Thursday will compare and contrast different versions while enjoying a tea party of their own.
“I’ll let people there try to see what the differences are and extrapolate from there what Lewis Carroll is up to,” she said.