Review of Alice In Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser And Curiouser Edited by William Irwin

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review of Alice In Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser And Curiouser Edited by William IrwinAlice In Wonderland And Philosophy by William Irwin
Published by John Wiley & Sons on 2009-12-21
Genres: Philosophy
Pages: 240
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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The perfect companion to Lewis Carroll's classic book and director Tim Burton's March 2010 remake of Alice in WonderlandAlice?s Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as blue caterpillars who smoke hookahs, cats whose grins remain after their heads have faded away, and a White Queen who lives backwards and remembers forwards? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence? This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books, and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived?Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche?Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life?s ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature. Looks at compelling issues such as perception and reality as well as how logic fares in a world of lunacy, the Mad Hatter, clocks, and temporal passageOffers new insights into favorite Alice in Wonderland characters and scenes, including the Mad Hatter and his tea party, the violent Queen of Hearts, and the grinning Cheshire CatAccessible and entertaining, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy will enrich your experience of Alice's timeless adventures with new meaning and fun.

Reading philosophy and literary theory related to books I’ve already read is like being given a key. I feel like I’ve unlocked some secrets within the text and have been given a better view of what deeper meanings Alice In Wonderland may contain.

Alice In Wonderland And Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser is comprised of four subject sections. Each section is divided into chapters/essays, all written by different authors, typically a professor. Despite each essay being written by academics, it was easy to read and I did not struggle through this.

My favorite essay in Alice In Wonderland And Philosophy: Curiouser And Curiouser was Unruly Alice: A Feminist View of Some Adventures in Wonderland by Megan S. Lloyd which, obviously was a feminist reading of Alice In Wonderland. My inner-feminist loved the portrayal of Alice as a strong girl who knows what she wants, thinks for herself, is inquistive and who is often not well-behaved.

The topics discussed in Alice In Wonderland And Philosophy run the gamut from procrastination to definitions of reality to time perception to Spice World. This was such a cool and smart way to look at a book. I definitely want to pick up the Harry Potter book of the Blackwell series now as well as the The Simpsons book, since I would love to see these takes on pop culture.

Here’s a few quotes that spoke to me:

“Indeed, Alice eats and drinks what she sees, intrudes, barges in, takes her seat at the tea party uninvited, hears a squeaking pencil from one juror and takes it from him, uses her intellect to solve problems, and frequently speaks her mind–everything young women should do.” pg. 9

Preach it, sista.

“Alice’s sister longs for a similar experience, and muses about how these strange tales relieve us from the boredom and dullness of our everyday existence. They brighten the ordinary with excitement and allow us to transcend the commonplace, at least for a while.”

And isn’t that why we all read books? To transcend the commonplace? I think that will be my new excuse when my nose is in a book.


Other reviews of Alice In Wonderland And Philosophy: Curiouser And Curiouser:

Maria’s Space

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Love the quotes you picked! I'm very interested in reading this book. I didn't realize that each section was written by a different author.
    I studied (mathematical) philosophy (and math) as an undergrad, and I love Alice in Wonderland, so I think this book might be one for me!

  2. Sarah (Book Reviews from Inside an Igloo) says

    hmmm very interesting insight into this book. I think this is interesting because I've heard that the author was on acid, or some type of hallucinogenic when the book was written, I'm sure there's a lot of interesting results because of this too!

  3. I love those quotes! I can't believe I hadn't even heard of this before. To the wishlist it goes.

  4. Interesting. I have not read Alice in Wonderland. :0

    thanks for the insights into this book

  5. ....Petty Witter says

    Saw you mentioned on Alexia's blog (well done on your award) and thought I'd stop by to say hello. I've read such a lot about this book on various blogs and am still undecided on whether to read it or not, opinions seem so divided. Thank you for your thoughts on the matter, I've enjoyed visiting.

  6. This is going on my TBR list! Thanks for the review!

  7. Cool review. I'm actually interested in reading this…it sounds like I'll learn something from this book.

  8. Good stuff. This one sounds interesting, definitely want to get around to it someday.

  9. This sounds really great. I have learned to really appreciate theoretical looks at literature. It just opens your mind up to new possibilities within a seemingly simple story. Although with Alice I never ever thought that it was simple. This sounds like a delightfully interesting read. Great review. I loved the quotes you shared.

    -Jennifer @


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