I confess to be somewhat underwhelmed by Alice in Wonderland. With all the pop culture boo-ra-ha-ha I had thought it might be exciting and entertaining, alas. Maybe the problem is not with the book at all, but with all the pop culture reference, maybe I knew too much to let myself be captivated? Or maybe it was that the ending – poof! it was all a dream! – remains my least favourite way to end a story, ever. Ever. Such lack of commitment to a fantasy world, to the reality of the fantasy, blah. Bleh. Meh.
I did like the cheshire cat. I could have done without Alice and the Queen. Also the King. A far better story if narrated by the cat? Someone has written that alternate version, I’m sure, and if you know where I could read it, let me know.
It’s a sad moment to realize I might not like the book because I know the story too well from movies, television, and *being* in the world. A sad realization because the appeal of a book – in particular a book of fantasy? – is that it promises the realization of another, different (however allegorically or metaphorically similar) world in which to consider the problems and questions of the world in which we live; yet as I read this book I spent much of my imaginative time comparing what I read with what I had seen, scattered in images and references, across my life. A lesson to myself to always read before I watch? Or to accept that the canonical and commercial become something other than simply books or stories, and must be considered as more expansive enterprises. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not what I had – in delusion, perhaps – expected when reading this classic.