Ask me thrice and ask me again, but I will always answer “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to the question “What is your favorite book?“.
But don’t ask me why, because I don’t suppose I have an actual answer.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgsonunder the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. Its narrative course and structure,characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.
Alice is nonsensical and whimsical. It has neither rhyme nor reason; in fact, it is perhaps the only book in TBL that I gleaned no ideological insight from. A lot of people dislike Alice because it is unrooted: it makes references to Math or to French or some other unrelatable thing, it features a protagonist windswept away from a coherent plot by her own dreams, it makes no sense from white rabbits to Jabberwockies (okay, so maybe I love Alice’s sequel as well). And these criticisms are all true. Alice won’t win any awards based on storytelling or merit to children. And yet.
For me, Alice has always been more of an idea. It’s chaotic. It’s baseless wonder. It’s a collection of sound quotes and good humor, word play and exaggeration, some poetry, some self reflection. I suppose it provides some insight to this little thing called love: we don’t really know why we love something, we just do. And so Wonderland is enjoyable, even though taken apart it is the furthest thing from wonderful.
Overall, it’s not just a little bit mad.