spunkylizard (spunkylizard) wrote in flying_lemmings,


Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll is a novel about nothing. Absolutely nothing. If it were written today, it would be tossed aside as a bunch of trash without getting much of a second glance. But it came up years ago before the modern age of children's books, so it is considered classic literature. I still don't like it.

The book had no plot. In that way, it reminded me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, except the latter book was funny. This was simply tedious. The stories were outlandish but generally dull. I still see the Cheshire Cat from the Disney movie floating in the trees with that freakish grin. It can scare small children. The book was nothing like that movie.

I read the version including the John Tenniel Illustrations, like the original publication. The pictures have become classics, and many of them are broadly recognized. I thought they were great pen and ink, until I read that they were actually wood cuts that have been preserved since the original publication. That shows how much I know about the history of illustration.

But back to the book. It was crap. Not interesting except after reading the historical perspective at the end of my version. That let some light into why it was important. It was one of the first children's books to tell a nonsensical story without trying to insert morals. There was no moral to the story. After discovering this, I thought the conversation with the Duchess was quite amusing. The Duchess tried to put a moral to everything, even if the moral had nothing to do with the conversation.

This opened the door to the onslaught of children's books that are full of nonsense and just funny stories. They are everywhere today. Senators write children's books. Actors and actresses write children's books. Anyone can now write a children's book, and that is why there are so many bad children's books in the world today. Curses upon Caroll! He brought about the decay of modern literature. Okay, that is probably overstating it a little. But I didn't like the book, probably because I am now grown up.

On a medical note, we learned about the Mad Hatter in our Neuroanatomy class. Before 1941, hatter use mercurous nitrates in processing the fur for many hats. The resulting mercury vapors led to most hatters going mad including tremors and hallucinations. These chemicals were banned in hat production, and the hatting industry was able to rise from the pall of this characterization.

Two lemmings. But only for its historical significance. And this review reminds me of the book: very disjointed and making very little sense.
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