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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass (Bantam Classics) Paperback – May 1, 1984
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"And what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
Taking to heart his charming, insatiably curious heroine's words, Lewis Carroll worked many long hours (days, months...) with illustrator Sir John Tenniel to create the most perfect pictures imaginable for what were to become instant classics: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. When thinking about Alice and her dreamy surrealistic adventures down the rabbit hole and behind the looking-glass, who can help picturing the golden-haired girl in her lilac dress and striped stockings, gazing up at the Cheshire Cat or arguing with Tweedledum and Tweedledee? Tenniel's drawings remained black and white for over 40 years until 1911, when eight prints in each book were hand colored. Now, for the first time, every remaining illustration has been colored, making these the first editions to feature all of the original art in full color. Traditionalists need not worry: colorist Diz Wallis colored proofs taken from Tenniel's carefully preserved woodblocks, remaining faithful to his original drawings. The beautiful tones of these new hardcover editions look as natural as can be; they could just as easily be from the 19th century. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Only Lewis Carroll has shown us the world upside down as a child sees it, and has made us laugh as children laugh.” —Virginia Woolf
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
My point is that this book contributed more to my understanding of logic and wordplay than several semesters of college philosophy classes. If you've read this far then I am probably preaching to the choir but 'Alice in Wonderland' can hardly be classified as a childrens' book, dispite Disney's attempts to do so. The concepts Lewis Carroll and Martin Gardner bring to this tale cover such areas as set theory, meta-language, Aristotelian logic, topography, game theory, several pre-Socratic logic paradoxes, and even quantum physics. Yet John Tenniel's original illustrations remain as an welcome tether to the original publication.
Gardner does a wonderful job of bringing all the various aspects of these two stories together as he illuminates layer upon layer of meaning that might not be evident to an American audience or, for that matter, a 21st century one. My favorite gems are the French and German translations of The Jabberwocky.
This book ranks in my top five favorite books of all time.
Martin Gardner provides annotations throughout the texts of both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. Gardner's annotations help explain the inside jokes and mathematical and linguistic puzzles that fill the stories.
Reading the Alice books as an adult is quite a different experience than it was as a child. The books' complexity really stands out on a careful reading. In fact, what are generally regarded as children's stories can be amazingly frustrating to read due to the complexity of the language and the almost constant stream of puns that are sometimes lost on modern audiences. One must remember that the stories are told purely for fun. Unlike other Victorian children's literature one gets no morals, plot development, or character development here. Alice is a yound child who stays a young child throughout her adventures. She neither matures or learns anything from her adventures.
This is a very nice volume in its own right. It contains complete authoritative texts of both books and includes the supressed episode "The Wasp in the Wig." The original Tenniel illustrations are crisp and clear. The only difficulty is that the annotations are placed on the same page as the text in a small column that sometimes supplies more information than the text itself. The annotations themselves range from the definitional to the clearly eccentric. One can read all of them or only the ones that he or she is interested in.
On the whole this is an excellent volume well worth the effort to read if one has any interest in the world of nonsense literature.