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Friday, February 02, 2007

Alice in Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll
This is my second classics read. I was reminded of Dr. Seuss as I read this nonsensical work of genius. I didn't understand very much even though I read the Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner. It did help to know that most of the poems mentioned were based on songs or poems familiar at the time of Carroll. I suspect the Liddell children were entertained by Carroll's silliness much the same as modern-day children enjoy Dr. Seuss.

I have read some of the introductory materials in the book, but I want to do more research on this man and his works. I feel like I would gain more from this book if I was taking a college class on Carroll.

13 comments:

Framed said...

Isn't this book supposed to be highly symbolic? I can never figure that stuff out.

Lotus Reads said...

This book has many different levels of interpretation or so the experts say and just the thought that everything is so symbolic kept me from enjoying the tale for what it was (lots of delicious nonsense). I was finding instead, that everytime I read something, I wanted to know what its "other" meaning was. I'd like to get a children's version of "Alice in Wonderland" and re-read it.

booklogged said...

Lots of symbolism and stories that had meaning to Carroll and the Liddel children. I had heard Alice was a political spoof, but Gardner didn't mention anything about that. He did identify some of the major characters as family friends.

Carrie K said...

I loved the book as a kid, I'll have to check out the annotated version. The backstory is usually just as, if not more entertaining.

Alyson said...

I don't know if I'll read this one. Maybe someday.

ben said...

This (combined with Through the Looking Glass) is one of my absolute favorite books. I don't bother with all the symbolism and just enjoy the story and the nonsense. I think a lot of the time we miss out on the good stuff while looking for something 'more'.

Over the years, I've collected (mainly through gifts from Cyndi) about 20 copies of Alice. I've got old copies, fancy copies, copies that were given away as gifts if you bought a certain number of cans of coffee, pop-up copies, etc.. They take up a couple squares of our bookshelf.

I've read this Lewis Carrol biography that was really interesting. Highly recommended since you want to find out more about him:
Lewis Carroll: A Biography

He was a pretty amazing man. Besides being a writer, he was also a good-to-great mathematician and a pioneering photographer.

booklogged said...

I am going to read Through the Looking Glass. I hope I enjoy it more. Lotus, Carrie and Ben all loved it so there must be something. I read Carroll's preface to the 1896 publishing. I didn't even realize that the Looking Glass was like a chess game. I have so much to learn.

Joy said...

I didn't know where to respond to you...hope this is okay.

I deleted your link on the NFF challenge per your request, so whenever you're ready you can re-do it. No apology necessary...it was no big deal. :)

I look forward to seeing your list of possibilities.

Nyssaneala said...

I always enjoy the silliness of Alice in Wonderland. Once, I tried to delve into the hidden meanings, but I felt it was destroying the story for me. So I stopped.

Melissa said...

I just finished both Alice and Through the Looking Glass. My reaction was similar to yours: I didn't understand it, was aware that there were supposedly some other meaning, but just enjoyed the nonsense anyway.

Ex Libris said...

It has been years since I've read both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, but I remember loving them both. At the time I read them I was not into reading a lot of hidden meaning into the stories, but just enjoyed them for what they appeared to be. I have several editions of both stories, but I have yet to buy the annotated Alice. Must put it on my list!

Carl V. said...

I really like this particular presentation of the Alice books. It is a beautiful book and I really enjoy all the annotations. Alice is definitely one that is thought provoking and would probably grow even more fascinating with research.

sage said...

I read Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass to my daughter when she was six (she's now eight). We had fun--especially as she told her teacher the meaning of Lessons (the emphasis on the less)

I like your site. I occassionally post book review.