"Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser"

"Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser"

Series Editor: William Irwin
Edited by Richard Brian Davis

Source: received from the publisher for review, thanks to Julie at FSB Associates

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:

This collection of essays is a fantastic addition to any "Alice in Wonderland" fan's collection. These are scholarly essays, and even though they are easy to read, don't expect fluff stories that were thrown together to feed off of the recent Tim Burton movie release. These are highly researched and well thought out studies of the original book.

Some of the essays, I loved and would give 5+ stars to, but my rating is for the book as a whole, which did sometimes seem repetitive. The book is separated into four parts, each with essays that related to each other in topic. There are 14 essays in all, and reading all the essays back to back made the content seem repetitive to me. I think I would have enjoyed this book much more if I had only read a few at a time.

My favorite essay was "Unruly Alice: A Feminist View of Some Adventures in Wonderland" by Megan S. Lloyd. Lloyd gives strong examples of how Alice can be seen as a feminist icon. Some of her examples I had noticed before, but some were new to me and fascinating.

Another essay that stood out was "Jam Yesterday, Jam Tomorrow, but Never Jam Today: On Procrastination, Hiking, and...the Spice Girls?" by Mark D. White. Not only was the content of this essay strong, but the way that it was written was so appealing! I feel like White really embraced the nonsense that is Wonderland and he wrote the entire essay in that style.

I also enjoyed the comparisons of Carroll's work to Socrates. The authors point out that Carroll did study Socrates so these nods to his philosophy were no accident. I learned another biographical fact of Carroll that I hadn't known, that he suffered from migraines and that contributed to his writing about distorted reality (from the Scott F. Parker essay).

Bottom Line:
I would definitely recommend this book to a fan of Alice in Wonderland. The book helped me understand the book in ways that I never did before. I only would have preferred to read the essays over a longer period of time so that the content wouldn't overlap so much. I'm eager to read some of the other titles in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series.


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Fab review! :)

Whitney said...

Second! Fab review

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks so much, Juju and Whitney!

Charleybrown said...

Sounds interesting! I hadn't heard of that book at all. Carroll compared to Socrates - now there's something I wouldn't have expected and didn't know that he had studied Socrates. Thanks for the review!!

Karen said...

Always love your reviews! They are usually about books I would have never read without your recommendation!! Another good one :-)

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks, Charleybrown! I didn't know that Carroll had studied Socrates either! Many of the essays in the book discuss Socrates philosophy and Carroll's nods to him.

Thanks so much, Karen!! I really appreciate it!

reader said...

I really enjoyed your insightful review of this book

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thank you, Reader!! It helped me understand the books and how he wrote them a lot better!

Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

This sounds really intriguing...fantastic review Carrie! Wow, who would have thought that a great story could come in part from migraines? ;)

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Sounds intriguing. When I was doing the Alice in Wonderland Challenge, I read a book "inspired" by Alice in Wonderland, called Alice in Thunderland (a satire).

Precious said...

Great review! I love the essay that said Alice could be seen as a feminist icon. Yay for that! Go females! :)

dArLyN said...

i think i should get my heands on this too.i like alice in wonderland by lewis caroll but i think if read this one soon, i'll get something even more.nice review!

Precious said...

Hello! I'm back. I'm dropping by to inform you that I have a blog award for you: http://shusky20.blogspot.com/2010/03/blog-awards.html

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