Friday, August 30, 2013

Thrice-Told Tales: We’re All Mad Here

The story of  Alice in Wonderland is one of the early examples of Victorian literature directed at children. I didn't read it too many times when I was younger, but the crazy logic (or lack thereof) has given rise to all sorts of theories about the sanity of its author and audience. People also confuse the first book with events from the sequel, Through the Looking Glass.  I can't really testify one way or the other, but I will say that the Disney animated version crept me out  when I watched it.

The 2010 Tim Burton adaptation is even tripper. I mean, I don't exactly know what's going on, beside that 19-yr-old Alice is having a seriously weird day after refusing to marry some minor dignitary or royalty.  Depp always creeps me out anyway (his Willy Wonka was unsettling, and only part of that was the androgynous costume).

My personal favorite adaptation is The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. In this version, Alyss Heart barely escapes her aunt's invasion and ends up in our world.  There is also the companion Hatter M. graphic novels, beautifully illustrated stories of Hatter Milligan searching our world for Alyss. The Lewis Carroll novels, in this au, are garbled versions of the stories Alyss told a friend of her adopted family.

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