Monday, February 21, 2011

Delighting in Alice's Adventures

I've had this collector's edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for many, many years.  I'm quite sure I've never once read it or any edition of the book.  Crazy, huh?

Hearing about the recently released movie starring Johnny Depp, which is based on this classic adventure story written by Lewis Carroll, prompted me to pull my copy down from the shelf.  

A couple of nights ago, I began to read of Alice and her nonsensical adventure.  I'm totally thrilled with the story.  Right now, it's exactly the silly change I need from the books I normally read.

I'm impressed that the author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who used the pen-name Lewis Carroll, was an English mathematician.  Other books to his credit included A Syllabus of Plane Algebraic Geometry and The Formulae of Plane Trigonometry.  I'm amazed that Dodgson could go to such opposite extremes in his writing genres.    

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland began as a story told by the author to three little girls he had taken for a ride on the river Cherwell in 1862.  In 1865 he expanded the story into the book we all know.

I'm in love with the nonsense that fills page after page and I want it to last forever.  I'm taking my time and cherishing all the narrative, conversations and accompanying illustrations in the book. 

In the Publisher's Preface, The Easton Press writes, "But virtually all commentators have concluded that however absurd Alice's Adventures in Wonderland appears on the surface, what keeps the comedy alive for us today is the devastating sense lurking behind the nonsense."

If you need a break from your daily troubles, I highly recommend this book.  It would be such fun to write a story that goes along with little concern for the logical and countless unexpected surprises.  It must have been a delight for a mathematician to frolic in such silliness for a while.


Anonymous said...

I've never read it! Oh boy, it hurts to admit that. It sounds like a great escape! I could go for a round of silliness, that's for sure.

Your book is beautiful Shaddy, I love the look of it.

Gullible said...

Therapeutic perhaps?

Shaddy aka Cheryl said...

SARIE: I didn't like admitting it either!!! I'm feeling less hurt knowing you missed reading it too.

Let me know if you like it. I may be a bit nuts to be raving about it but I'm totally compelled too. At another time, I may not be so thrilled. Presently, I'm almost tempted to collect as many different editions of this book as I can. It'd be cool to have a special shelf for them. Do you think so too?

I love my Easton Press classics. I have quite a few that I acquired years ago when I had a membership to the 100 Greatest Stories Ever Told.

GULLY: Therapeutic indeed.

Gullible said...

The book's a metaphor, is it not? I know Oz is a metaphor about a fear of growing up and taking responsibility, but what is Alice?

Shaddy aka Cheryl said...

GULLY: I don't know. When I'm finished with the book I plan to do some research and perhaps I'll find out.

Gullible said...

Maybe it's just a story....

"It is considered to be one of the most characteristic examples of the genre of literary nonsense, and its narrative course and structure have been enormously influential, especially in the fantasy genre." --Wikipedia

Anonymous said...

Collecting different editions of the book is a great idea, Shaddy! I'll keep that in mind during my travels. :-) In the meantime, see if you can find the perfect shelf. I love the idea.

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

What a gorgeous book!
The leather bound & gold details~ LUV it.
Happy Friday to you!!

xo as always*

Shaddy aka Cheryl said...

SARIE: I have three editions presently ordered from You're right--I need just the right shelf for them. Finding one will be my own wonderful adventure. Have a great weekend, Sarie!!

LENORE: It's great to hear from you, so very, very wonderful. All of my Easton Press books are right up there on my list of most cherished possessions.

Happy Friday back to you and when it's over, have a happier weekend!!

Natasha said...

I think this is one of those examples of great books because it works on lots of different levels - adults, kids.

Me, I might root around some old Jefferson Airplane now. Remember Go Ask Alice?