Do you remember, as a child, the first time you encountered Lewis Carroll’s book? We may have all had a few embarrassing thoughts, comparing it to more famous later adaptations. Or perhaps you fudged a few facts in a grade school book report after having half-read a book. This young Singaporean girl puts her heart on her sleeve, and presents an innocent first impression to anyone out there watching on the internet:
Extracted from her review, here are a few reasons to read the classic version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
“Pretty cheap, I just grabbed it and go,” because it looks “really classic.” The book is “really, really cheap.”
The book cover has Alice, The Mad Hatter, the Bunny, and perhaps a Lion? According to her, this book is one exception to the rule that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
The way it’s written is “way different” from the way “the movie is based.”
“The book is similar to the movies, actually though like the same, but the author wrote it in such a brilliant way, it makes everything different than the movie, and I know I’m doing like a lot of like hand gestures.”
“At first I was like, oh, this is another Alice in Wonderland book, and the Mad Hatter looks weird … I flipped through it, and I don’t even see a single dragon. … But maybe it’s a Caucus [cactus?] race. No.” (Perhaps she’s wondering where the movie’s Jabberwock is?)
“I really like this book a lot, you should get this. It was actually on sale. … I’m not sure you can get this anywhere else.”
In conclusion: pending its availability, it comes highly recommended due to its economical pricing, attractive cover, and the clever ways it departs from the film. One caveat: no dragon. She’s very charming though, and I hope she finishes reading it.
Here’s a nice YouTube video of Max Ernst’s illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Wunderhorn (“Miracle Horn,”) 1970, and “Die Jagd nach dem Schnark” (“The Hunting of the Snark,”) 1969. The music is “Oiseaux Exotiques” by Olivier Messiaen.
While not impossible (Dodgson didn’t die till after the advent of sound recording), I was skeptical when this blog 22 Words claimed to have a recording of “Lewis Carroll reading ‘Jabberwocky.’” But I see they updated it with the comment “Oops! Sorry…This isn’t Lewis Carroll reading. Not sure how I made that mistake…” I can guess how they made the mistake: they had embedded the sound only from this strange YouTube animation. Its creator, Jim Clark, explains himself thusly: “Here is a virtual movie of Lewis Carroll reading his much loved poem Jabberwocky. The poem is read superbly by Justin Brett.”
There’s no known voice recordings of Carroll are there?
Eight classical tales evoked by a double page with ingenious mechanism, in a magnificent book which associates technical exploit and artistic talent. Find the characters of the most famous tales: Alice, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty , Blue Beard, Peter Pan, The Little Red Riding Hood, Mrs butterfly , Poucette staged by Benjamin Lacombe and in volume by José Pons. At the end of the book, Jean Perrot’s point of view, an expert of the tales and the youth image, will come to light the work.
I think the creepiest clip from an Alice movie I’ve seen recently was unintentionally scary, which Jenny Woolf linked to at her blog, brought to light in re Will Brooker’s book Alice’s Adventure: Lewis Carroll in Popular Culture (2005). “He suggested looking into the Alice in Wonderland phenomenon in Japan, (where she is known as Arisu).” That’s where this animated Lego version comes in:
And what Hallowe’en could be complete without a bit of Jan Švankmajer: