Elie’s Adventures in Buchenland
By Carolyn Yeager
“How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Introduction: In Elie Wiesel’s book Night, we find the scenario and characters changing often, and in many cases, with little rhyme or reason that is apparent to the reader. One easily concludes that, like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it is a work of absurdity.
In Lewis Carroll’s classic, nothing makes sense because nothing has to make sense – the intention was to be a “childish” type of foolishness or make-believe from the start. It is an example of literary nonsense (1) genre. Interestingly, we find similar examples of nonsense and absurdity in many of the stories and writings of self-proclaimed “holocaust survivors” – and we put Elie Wiesel into this category. This is why Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is such a good fit for a parody of Elie Wiesel’s Night.
Cast of Characters:
Elie = Elie Wiesel
White Rabbit = Ken Waltzer
Father = no such person has been found
The King and Queen of Hearts = SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV)
The Duchess = Hilda Wiesel
The Cheshire Cat =Carolyn Yeager
The March Hare = Antonin Kalina, Czech communist block leader
The (Mad) Hatter = Gustav Schiller, Polish Jew block leader
Elie is quite bored one warm afternoon at the Jewish orphan’s mansion in France where he lives. This is not unusual for Elie, who has absolutely nothing to do all day but play chess or study the Talmud and other holy texts of which he is known to be almost fanatically fond. Today, though, no one was around the chess table that had been set up outdoors under a large tree, and Elie becomes a bit dreamy, maybe even sleepy. His is suddenly brought wide-awake again when he sees a White Rabbit run by, looking at his pocket watch and muttering “Oh dear, oh dear, I’m going to be late!”