Books · Movies

Wonderland of wonders

Alice in Wonderland has always been one of my favourite books when I was growing up. I picked this pocket edition one day when book shopping with mom. I remember picking it up from the shelf, so tiny and inviting.

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the font was tiny as well, unabridged, there were the original drawings, notes, the original songs and rhymes – basically, it wasn’t a kids’ book. it was a pocket version of the Alice an adult would’ve liked to read.

I was browsing it when taking these pictures, and guess what I spotted? one of the notes mentioned Gilles Deleuze’s Logic. can you believe it? I was 8 or 9, and I was reading about the same man I came across in my academic studies, 10 years later. sounds most serendipitous to me. 🙂

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many years later I studied Alice in Wonderland at the university, and that was the moment I had waited to pick up my scrumptious edition of the Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner.

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here is what the publisher says about it: «The culmination of a lifetime of scholarship, The Annotated Alice is a landmark event in the rich history of Lewis Carroll and cause to celebrate the remarkable career of Martin Gardner.

For over half a century, Martin Gardner has established himself as one of the world’s leading authorities on Lewis Carroll. His Annotated Alice, first published in 1959, has over half a million copies in print around the world and is beloved by both families and scholars—for it was Gardner who first decoded many of the mathematical riddles and wordplay that lay ingeniously embedded in Carroll’s two classic stories, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Forty years after this groundbreaking publication, Norton is proud to publish the Definitive Edition of The Annotated Alice, a work that combines the notes of Gardner’s 1959 edition with his 1990 volume, More Annotated Alice, as well as additional discoveries drawn from Gardner’s encyclopedic knowledge of the texts. Illustrated with John Tenniel’s classic, beloved art—along with many recently discovered Tenniel pencil sketches—The Annotated Alice will be Gardner’s most beautiful and enduring tribute to Carroll’s masterpieces yet. »

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this is the exact same point in the story that I’ve shown in the pocket book, but there are notes on every side of the text explaining riddles and wordplays, interpretations and hidden meanings, etc. – the outmost pleasure for a bookworm. 🐛📖📚

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in 1991, a few years before reading it, I watched Disney‘s Alice in Wonderland on TV. my parents taped it and I worn it out, so they purchased a new one that I watched over and over again throughout the years (my best friend and I quote lines from if as jokes, that’s how much we love it) like many other Disney animated films.

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of course later on I got the DVD and finally watched the original version. finally the audio matched with the animation! the oyster song especially! 😀

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the date on this is November 1984, it must have been around for a while before my parents bought it!

and then my Grandma found this version of Alice in Wonderland with Care Bears: The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland (1987).

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now I’m sure you’re familiar with the Disney version, but although this one is not a classic, it sure is funky and creative. the songs are modern and catchy, and there’s Grumpy Bear – do I need to say more? 😀

then while I was at it, I added another most treasured VHS in my family, both my mom and my sister E. LOVE The Chipmunk Adventure (again 1987)brilliant animations, drawings, songs, screenplay, locations, jokes, .. it has it all!

the Italian version has the chipmunks talking quite normally, not the squeaky tone the Chipmunks have, but since the songs (in both films) haven’t been translated – thank goodness! – I still got to listen to their funny little voices when they sung Wooly Bully [fun fact: some of the music provided for the Wooly Bully scene came from ELO, Electric Sound Orchestra, whose Last Train to London is one of my all time favourites].

these were straight to home video releases here, never shown on TV, nor distributed on DVD – let alone soundtracks! 😣

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I hope I didn’t bore you to death with my Alice mania. next time I’ll show you some stitching, finally! 😀

enjoy the weekend, chiara

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18 thoughts on “Wonderland of wonders

  1. I had no idea there was such a substantial world of Alice scholarship. How cool! I just finished reading an Italian and English version of Alice in Wonderland as I continue with my struggle to learn Italian. Fun, but I wish I could hear the words too. Working on Pinnochio now.

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  2. My mom has a really old copy of the Annotated Alice that I LOVED reading as a kid. I’ve always promised myself to pick up a copy at some point!

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  3. Absolutely love-love-love Alice in Wonderland. I adored it as a child and tried desperately to get through the bathroom mirror after reading Through the Looking Glass. But the Care Bears? Eh, I’ll take a pass on that one. 😉

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    1. that is so funny! why the bathroom mirror exactly? 😄❤️
      there’s a Mickey Mouse Silly Symphony where he goes through the looking glass, I just remembered. I’ll mention that in another post. 😀

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  4. Love your Alice mania! This was never my favorite cartoon, but I’ve been meaning to read the book as an adult (I’ve been slowly collecting the Penguin Classics Clothbound editions, and this was next on the list: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/lewis+carroll/sir+john+tenniel/alice27s+adventures+in+wonderland/6929855/) We were obsessed with the Chipmunks Adventure! I can still sing along to all those songs… 😀 Thanks for this trip down memory lane!

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    1. I knew it!! 🙌🙌🙌🙌 we’ve got to sing along the next time we FT! 😀
      oh, you started on the Clothbounds!! 😍 I meant to get my first during the holidays, then The Miniaturist happened. 😉 that edition looks scrumptious! ❤️❤️❤️

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  5. What a great post ! Love it ! Have you already visited the British Library link I talked about in my 09 may post. You must do it ! You makes me remember a disco vinile I use to listen in my youth (must found it back and send you a pic). Take a look too to my cosplaying daughter with her cards dress…. (17 and 24/04/14). Bisous xxx

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  6. Hi Chiara, I am going to run right out and get the annotated Alice, it will be a great edition to my library. When Barbara is talking about going through the mirror she is talking about the sequel “Alice through the looking glass” when she goes through a mirror and meets the Red Queen again. It is really good, too. hugs, Kaye

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