17. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Here we are at novel 17 of the year and the 11th novel I am crossing off my Reading Challenge list. Rapidly starting to become a little behind with these posts but to avoid flooding you with all my thoughts all at once I am going to stagger this post and Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates this week.

I have never read Alice in Wonderland before but it has been on my list for a while. As you can see from the photograph my copy is a slightly older copy. Unfortunately it had been loved a little too roughly before it came to be in my possession hence the bruise. I actually have a small horde of old novels in this binding and similar thanks to a little luck and searching. It is a mission of mine to collect these Collins Clear-type Press and I have quite a few. Very much my secret treasure. I am certain that if I was a dragon I would not horde gold, but old books.

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.

As such a well known novel I feel a little silly saying that this novel is about Alice, who falls through a rabbit hole into a nonsensical world full of anthropomorphic creatures. And that from the onset, it is a little like a dream and can be a little uncomfortable to navigate if you are expecting elaborate scene changes. Events can happen quite abruptly and can feel a little chaotic and disorientating. But it is simple and enjoyable if you’re in a light mood. This also isn’t a profound novel, but it is richly constructed with playful silliness, poetry, and an eccentric cast.

I have had a little contact with a few film adaptations so I knew the staple iconography associated with Alice’s Adventures. There were things about the novel that were very familiar to me, but others that reminded me of the utter confusion of encountering these things before in film adaptations. For me personally I also think I probably wouldn’t have persevered to finish it when I was younger as I would’ve found it very difficult for me to follow.

But the general idea of the novel is it’s supposed to be a little silly, a little dream-like, and just a bit of fun. I’m still not sure if I’ve decided if I entirely like it or not, but I think in some way I’ve always felt that way. Disney’s version of Alice’s adventures always unsettled me for some reason and I feel unsettled after completing the novel. Perhaps I am trying too hard to find my way through the rabbit hole, when really I should just let go and accept Wonderland as it is.



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