Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

“In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw round, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

Somehow I never read this as a kid. I saw the movie, enough times to have its songs playing in my head as I read this (“We’re painting the roses red / painting the roses redddddd”), but I never went near the book, for some reason. But…now I have done, because I didn’t realize how short it is. I probably should have checked before adding it to the Classics Club list! Per the rules, I have to have a review of sorts for it, though I don’t know what there is to say given that most everyone knows the story. We open on a little girl named Alice who’s bored of her sister reading a book without any pictures or conversation, who ‘wonders’ away and spots a rabbit with a pocketwatch and gives chase to it, leading to her falling down a hole into a place filled with argumentative animals who absolutely adore talking nonsense. I’m told that there are many allusions in the text that a modern audience misses completely, Victorian references that we’re blind to; one allusion that I’ve heard over the years is that the scene of roses being painted was a reference to the War of the Roses, with the Queen of Hearts being one of those wicked Lancastrians instead of a Tudor. The entire story is a stream of absurdities, between the enigmatic dialogue and the actual goings-on. No wonder it inspired a song about drug trips. I suspect that the story made its way into the Classics Club Strikes Back list because of this pioneering (and trippy) music video made by Pogo:

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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6 Responses to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    Definitely on my ‘To Read’ list as I missed out on it in my youth too…

  2. Mudpuddle says:

    i remember seeing this when i was a kid. don’t know about the “Pogo” reference. the Pogo i knew lived in Okeefenokee swamp and had lots of friends like Albert the Alligator. i bought every book of his i could find and they were a major factor in me surviving my childhood… i wept when Walt Kelly passed. I identified so strongly with Pogo that i started acting like him which didn’t work out too well, sometimes…

    • I’d never heard of that Pogo, to be honest! This Pogo is a youtube musician who remixes sound clips and video images into….fascinating music. It’s hard to describe.

  3. I’ve read this a number of times and hopefully will a number more. I do love absurdities! I wasn’t that fond of Through the Looking Glass though, although it had its moments.

  4. Sharon Barrow Wilfong says:

    I’ve read AiW many times, but it wasn’t until my son was little that I saw the movie. About a bajillion times.

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