Great Books of the World – Part 32

“If something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open,
but if it isn’t there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed.
That is why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.”
Norton Juster

“Rêverie”, L. 68 (Arr. for Orchestra) (Instrumental) by Claude Debussy, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra (courtesy of Habichiwoowoo):


“One of the deep secrets of life is that all, that is really
worth the doing, is what we do for others.”
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson

“Préludes Book 1: No. 8, La fille aux cheveux de lin” by Claude Debussy, performed by Yuri Serov (courtesy of Naxos Music):


Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
1832  –  1898

When Oxford mathematics lecturer Charles Lutwidge Dodgson went picnicking one summer day with his Dean’s three children, he spun a little tale that he added to on subsequent occasions. The girls liked it so much that the middle child, Alice, who was Dodgson’s favourite, asked him to write it down, and so he did, calling it “Alice Adventures in Underground.” It is the wildly inventive story of a young girl who, feeling bored one afternoon in a meadow, follows a talking rabbit (dressed in a waistcoat and consulting a pocket watch) into a rabbit hole. Down she falls to a very strange place, where she is entangled in a string of “curiouser and curiouser” adventures none of which make any sense at all, yet it was described at the time as “the most enchanting nonsense in the English language.”

Courtesy of The Cogito:


“The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.”

Taking pills and drinking potions, she shrinks and grows, swims across a pool of her own tears, and meets one of the most fascinating and unforgettable casts of characters ever concocted: the Caterpillar and the Dodo, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts.

Courtesy of Life Is A Story:


The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

The Queen of Hearts: “Off with her head!”

Free of any moralising or didacticism of any kind, Dodgson’s narrative floats freely on the intoxicating air of his whimsy and wordplay.

“Reverie” by John Williams:


The real Alice who inspired Lewis Carroll’s book.

Three years after Alice Liddell asked him to write it down, Dodgson’s book was published with the title changed to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the author’s name disguised as Lewis Carroll. The year was 1865. In the sequel Through the Looking Glass, Alice joins a game on a giant chessboard, discovers the poem “Jabberwocky,” and encounters Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and other characters appeared in 1872.

Carroll’s characters have taken root in our collective imagination like few other literary creations. Perhaps of its nonsensical pedigree, it has proved to be an addictive pleasure for readers attracted by the rich mix of frivolities, hallucinatory happenings, logical puzzles, and keen adult observations. Carroll’s imagery, phrases, and characters have not only been attached to myriad toys and games but continue to enliven the language in everything from rock and roll lyrics to ordinary conversation. Most remarkably, although the Alice books date from the nineteenth century and are as engrained in our culture as any stories ever told, they remain as fresh as the day they were written, delighting new readers every day of every year. There have been many film adaptations made of Alice’s adventures and many more will be made.

Courtesy of kingedmundpevensie:


“Only A Dream” by Danny Elfman (from Alice in Wonderland score):


Here is an extract from Alice in Wonderland:

“Oh, I’ve had such a curious dream,” said Alice, and she told her sister, as well as she could remember them, all these strange Adventures of hers that you have just been reading about; and when she had finished, her sister kissed her, and said, ‘It was a curious dream, certainly; but now run in to your tea: it’s getting late.’ So Alice got up and ran off thinking while she ran, as well she might, what a wonderful dream it had been.

But her sister sat still just as she left her, leaning her head on her hand, watching the setting sun, and thinking of little Alice and all her wonderful Adventures, till she too began dreaming after a fashion, and this was her dream –

First, she dreamed of little Alice herself, and once again the tiny hands were clasped upon her knee, and the bright eager eyes were looking up into hers – she could hear the very tones of her voice and see that queer little toss of her head to keep back the wandering hair that would always get into her eyes – and still as she listened, or seem to listen, the whole place around her became alive with the strange creatures of her little sister’s dream.

The Duchess and the Pig-Baby

The long grass rustled at her feet as the White Rabbit hurried by – the frightened Mouse splashed his way through the neighbouring pool – she could hear the rattle of the teacups as the March Hare and his friends shared their never-ending meal, and the shrill voice of the Queen ordering off her unfortunate guests to execution – once more the pig-baby was sneezing on the Duchess’s knee, while plates and dishes crashed around it – once more the shriek of the Gryphon, the squeaking of the Lizard’s slate-pencil, and the choking of the suppressed guinea-pigs, filled the air, mixed up with the distant sobs of the miserable Mock Turtle.

So she sat on with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again and all would change to dull reality – the grass would only be rustling in the wind, and the pool rippling to the waving of the reeds – the rattling teacups would change to the tinkling sheep bells, and the Queen’s shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd boy – and the sneeze of the baby, the shriek of the Gryphon, and all the other queer noises, would change (she knew) to the confused clamour of the busy farmyard – while the lowing cattle in the distance would take place of the Mock Turtle’s heavy sobs.

Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown-up woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.”

Courtesy of Pogo:


To assist in exploring Wonderland (courtesy of David Day Books):










68 thoughts on “Great Books of the World – Part 32

  1. Are you using the jetpack version of wordpress? Hope wordpress now got updated.


  2. I think it has.

    Thank you, Athira, for your kid comment! Greatly appreciated.



  3. Because I can’t do likes for fellow bloggers post. Still the issue not recovered.


  4. You have to use your computer or your laptop, not your mobal.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can like the comments but not the posts, that’s what I’am not understanding.


  6. Even with your computer or your laptop?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Through mobile phone.


  8. WordPress doesn’t allow liking om mobile!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yeah might be because of that, but before I was able to do the likes


  10. I know, but they do “improvements” that make thing worse!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah, it’s really frustrating right.


  12. What to do..anyhow thank you for your time 🙂


  13. You could use your laptop, if you have one!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes but it’s not that much friendly like mobile phones.


  15. I agree but you can use only for the posts you like.

    Liked by 1 person

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