I wasn't disappointed by Alice Adventures in Wonderland
, because disappointed
isn't the right word. Perhaps puzzled
or Emperor's New Clothes
-ed. It's not that Lewis Carroll is a bad author (because he isn't); it's that he's a clever author. I can only stand cleverness in small doses before it becomes altogether sickening.I suspect this is why nobody wants to read
Gravity's Rainbow. Actually, I liked
Gravity's Rainbow. Kinda sorta. But anyway.
So back to the cleverness. Leave it to a mathematician to write a story involving food labelled 'eat me' and 'drink me'. Doesn't that just reek of those half-finished logic puzzles you'd find in an old magazine in your grandmother's basement? And if Carroll's not playing logic, he's attempting heavyhanded political allusion, which is only fun if you've never heard of sarcasm before. Carroll must have been betting that his audience hadn't read The Guardian
's op ed section (or the entire publication, for that matter).Are anachronisms still funny?Alice
didn't have much of a sense of gravity. Neither did Alice, really (har har). I pictured Alice as a dull girl who sort of stumbled her way through life, maybe catching the odd lucky break. At least she got out of Wonderland eventually; I've been stuck there since December 2009. It really sucks: every time I try to leave, Tim Burton throws a Blu-Ray at me and yells "MY MOVIE MADE A BILLION DOLLARS. DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE WONDERLAND NOW!"
But do whatever you want! Read Alice
! Enjoy it! Spend the rest of your afternoon talking to a mushroom! See if it'll talk back! Maybe it'll respond if you sing selections from The Marriage of Figaro
Personally, I've always preferred Jonathan Swift to Lewis Carroll. Maybe his fiction is genuinely better; maybe it isn't. Maybe he masterfully abstracts away his satire to the nth degree; maybe I'm just a crazy Carroll-ian mathematician who takes far too much pride in his clever reviews.I am, in fact, a mathematician who quite enjoys his own reviews. Whether I'm actually crazy is up to you. (Or whether I look anything like Lewis Carroll.)
All this to say that Alice
was not as much fun as ice cream. But it was significatly more fun than lice, so that's a good thing.lice < Alice < ice cream