Blogpost: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland book review

Posted by T • December 10, 2018

Posted by T • December 10, 2018

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Prince University Press

 

Toward the end of the nineteenth century, a Victorian algebraist wrote a fairy tale the influence and standing of which would only enhance in the years to come, which is partly due to the underpinning, subtle merging of philosophical, scientific and artistic components.

The result was the creation of a masterpiece based on an unheard of, not only genre pushing but forming unique melange.

As time and reissue after reissue went by, publishers looked at different avenues of making the book appealing to fans and the uninitiated alike: Commissioning the services of the spearhead of the surrealist movement, i.e. Salvador Dali, was a smart move of the publishers as Dali’s input helped not only to make the book contemporary but to elevate Carroll’s emission by adding yet another psychedelic dimension.

The resulting collaboration quickly became a much sought-after collector’s piece, which has been recently re-released a couple of years ago to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’s first release.

Scholarly introductions point out the similarities between Carroll’s and Dali’s approaches, which is well-intended, yet I find the juxtaposition and the contrasts between both more striking and enjoyable than commonly shared ground.

The book is, well, as you would expect - eye candy with its beautifully illustrated fantastic imaginations framing a story that needs no further introduction with its trademark clever humour, neologisms, psychedelic excursions, word play and at time non-sensical yet always eccentric characters.

A classic that is further enhanced by the talents of two maestros being fused and a beautiful addition to any bookshelf, which firmly grounds Victorian fantasy in a surreal world and could not have asked for a better collaboration.

T • December 10, 2018

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