Monday, April 12, 2010

Review: Alice In Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser edited by Richard Brian Davis

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as blue caterpillars who smoke hookahs, cats whose grins remain after their heads have faded away, and a White Queen who lives backwards and remembers forwards? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence? This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books, and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life's ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature.

  • Looks at compelling issues such as perception and reality as well as how logic fares in a world of lunacy, the Mad Hatter, clocks, and temporal passage
  • Offers new insights into favorite Alice in Wonderland characters and scenes, including the Mad Hatter and his tea party, the violent Queen of Hearts, and the grinning Cheshire Cat
Accessible and entertaining, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy will enrich your experience of Alice's timeless adventures with new meaning and fun.

Received from the publicist for review.

I groaned at chapter one and wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into with "Unruly Alice: A Feminist View of Some Adventures in Wonderland" which bashes Alice's sister who sat reading a book. It was teeth grindingly bad. The only chapter I found enlightening, actually the only one tolerable enough to make it through in its entirety was "How Deep Does the Rabbit Hole Go?", which was a discussion of Alice as a hallucinogenic drug story.

This one gets three stars. It is for people who thoroughly enjoy debating the meaning of books ad infinitum while wearing all black and drinking wine. If felt like it was a college course and I'd be subjected to an oral exam at the end. As it did when I discovered that C.S. Lewis's Narnia books were a coded religious manifesto this literary beating of Alice took away much of the joy of just enjoying it as a story and not some commentary to decipher. Overall this was interesting and, at times, enlightening, but not a joyful read.

★★☆☆ = Liked It


Bella said...

There's definitely a plethora of Alice books recently. With the movie coming out, i assume it's a publicity bonus.

Other than this one, there is another New Release Alice book about how she handles being a grown-up Alice, the girl who created the Alice in Wonderland craze.

If you're interested, the 'Looking Glass Wars' series, with the 'true' story of alice and the battle for wonderland is a different take on the story :)

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