And now, to something completely different: a classic. I had read this book a long time ago, and in Spanish, and now I wanted to read the original in English, to see if there was any difference, or at least to be able to see the author’s literary quality. I remembered almost nothing of the story. Thanks to the Disney movies, the old ones in cartoons and the most current ones with Johnny Depp, we all have scenes of Alice’s story that we will never forget, but from the book itself, it did not remember much. And it’s basically because the book is made of chapter after chapter of pure nonsense. Take it or leave it.
The fact that Alice in Wonderland lacks sense or logic, and that the characters are a constant nonsense themselves, in their dialogues and in their ways of being, as well as the transitions of scenes, is all done purposely by the author. This book is from 1865, which leads me to wonder what people may have thought at the time.
The memorable characters of Alice in Wonderland have remained in the collective imagination: if I mentioned the rabbit with the clock, everyone would know what I am talking about, as well as the Caterpillar or the Chesire Cat, the mad hatter, or the Queen of Hearts. However, there are more characters in the book than what people know of, like the Gryphon or the Mock Turtle, among many many others.
Something that has caught my attention is that this book has had endless adaptations, here is the link for you to see how many of those adaptations exist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice%27s_Adventures_in_Wonderland . I think I have only seen the Disney movies I mentioned at the beginning and nothing else, but there is much more material for whoever wants to and has the time to watch them.
There is also a very interesting topic to investigate, if you want to continue investigating the author’s life, once you finish reading the book, which refers to the origin of the character of Alice. I don’t want to deal with the subject directly, because they are all speculations and more than 120 years after the author’s death, but if you want to have a look all the same, have a look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Liddell
Returning to Alice in Wonderland, it is a self-conclusive book, that is, the story ends there, so that in principle, there would be no need to read the sequel, which is Alice through the looking glass. I will read it and tell you about its sequel in another post.
Finally, like I always point out, and as I said before, this book is from 1865, therefore, its copyrights are what’s called of “public domain”. Feel free to download the book for free and legally in Gutenberg.org : https://www.gutenberg.org/files/11/11-h/11-h.htm
Final comment: I think that Alice in Wonderland is very strange, and I wondered many times in what state of psychedelia the author would be at the time of writing it. I think Jefferson Airplane’s song Alice is very in tune with this book. But seeing the amount of cultural material that was generated from such a strange source (even Batman has allusions to Alice in its comics!), it is a book that must be read, and that is why it is considered a classic. A little madness is necessary in this world, I guess.
Book quote: “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Keep on reading,
Questions to answer in the comments:
Have you read “Alice in Wonderland”? Did you like it? Do you agree with my final comments? Have you read any similar books you would recommend, for someone who would like to read more of the same genre? Please answer all these questions in the comments!