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The Complete Alice (1901)

The Complete Alice (1901)
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Rating
4.05 of 5 Votes: 1
ISBN
1406319694 (ISBN13: 9781406319699)
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English
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Walker Books
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The Complete Alice (1901)
The Complete Alice (1901)

About book: Lewis Carroll's 1871 novella, Through the Looking Glass, contains numerous allusions to Cervantes' 1605 novel, Don Quixote. Lewis Carroll uses elements from the comic masterpiece as shorthand for a certain kind of absurdist humor. Like Cervantes, Carroll creates a main character, Alice, who is baffled by the world around her.The Lewis Carroll characters who most clearly recall Cervantes are the two knights, who joust with each other as ineptly as the aspiring knight, Don Quixote. The White Knight, like Quixote, is ridiculously dressed and clumsy, but solemn and gentle. The Red Knight and Tweedledum both wear absurd helmets, and Tweedledum's helmet consists of a saucepan, similar to the barber's bowl worn by Quixote. Even the illustration of the White Knight (on page 75 of the ebook) looks like popular images of Don Quixote.The most famous passages in Through the Looking Glass are the nonsensical poems, specifically Jabberwocky and The Walrus and the Carpenter. Quixote's sidekick Sancho Panza repeatedly recites absurdly long and nonsensical accumulations of Spanish proverbs. The two works are also similar in their conclusions. Quixote's servant Sancho Panza briefly becomes the ruler of his own "insula", while Through the Looking Glass concludes with Alice briefly becoming a queen.Through the Looking Glass derives its humor from the fact that the world is not as Alice expects it to be. The reader sympathizes with Alice as she suffers various indignities as a result of this disconnect. Similarly, Quixote derives its humor from the fact that Quixote expects the world to be as it is described in chivalric literature. The difference between the two works is that Alice expects an upside-down world to be normal, while Quixote expects a contemporary and debased world to conform with his outdated idealism. In the Cervantes novel, it is Quixote who is crazy, while in the Lewis Carroll novella, it is the world that is crazy. I recall this book being rather frightening to me when I read it as a child. I re-read it for a children's literature class many years later. Love it or hate it, it is one of the works of English literature that is so often referenced that everyone should have some familiarity with it; of course, it is possible to acquire that familiarity through one of the many film versions, but I think the book is still worth reading, along with its sequel.
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Reviews
Leiaacidera
This would be in my top 10 books list, if I had one. I love Alice!
shine
If I read this when I was younger, I'd probably love it more.
jahoppes
A delight for children and adults. Loved reading this again.
aey
Felt like an acid flashback. Hoowee!
mason
Cute and yet profound.
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