Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


There is a small handful of books that have so insinuated themselves into our cultural subconscious that we somehow know them even if we haven’t read them. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of these books.

How is it that a book of nonsense can help to make such good sense of the world? The Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Diamonds, the White Rabbit, Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum — they have become topsy-turvy reference points in a topsy-turvy world. G. K. Chesterton once said that the best position from which to view the world is by standing on one’s head. Lewis Carroll saved us the trouble of trying to see the world upside down by standing the world itself on its head. He shows us what a world of pure logic bereft of common sense would be like so that when we see our own reality behaving this way, we might not fear it. Carroll knew that only truly serious things are funny.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is, in a sense, a mathematician’s nightmare, but one which invites us to dispel the nonsense with laughter.

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