Go Ask Alice

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There? No, no movies, drug-soaked songs, revisionist adaptations - just the original books. Yes, The Hunting of the Snark doesn’t feature Alice at all, but there were four options and I hit the enter button without changing it so I had a slot to fill, and well, I had a cat named Boojum…

All praise to Tenniel’s illustrations (even if he drew the line at a Wasp in a Wig), but if you have a favorite Alice illustrator you want to mention, by all means!

“Curiouser and Curiouser”

And maybe favorite quote/line - the Alice books are probably just behind the Bible and Shakespeare as the most quotable sources in the English language.

I like Looking Glass best, but really I let the Alice books run together into one. They are different — the first is much more of a randomized set of scenes, and the second has the whole chessboard thing uniting it — but most readers probably couldn’t reliably tell you which has which episodes.

I think that’s because every film there is that deals with them usually fuses parts of the two together, creating the confusion in the first place. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is based on cards, and Looking-Glass is a chess game. I prefer the latter - and in fact the first book kind of languished until the second book was released. Looking-Glass seems to have a more coherent narrative and tone.

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
-Red Queen

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

  • Humpty Dumpty

I should reread Through the Looking Glass, it’s been a very, very long time. Since I can’t remember its details, I’d have to say Wonderland.

Bryan Talbot’s Alice in Sunderland is a great discursive graphic book thing about Alice, Carroll and Sunderland. Well worth a look.