Miscellaneous Alice > Sylvie and Bruno appreciation?

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aliceaficionado
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Sylvie and Bruno appreciation?

Postby aliceaficionado » Sat May 01, 2010 10:17 pm

I am reading Sylvie and Bruno. It is complex, but wonderful! I know it was considered a failure, but why? Honestly people! This a really good book!

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NeVaR aSk
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Postby NeVaR aSk » Sun May 02, 2010 1:29 pm

I read it but never manage to finish it... it was cool.

Like everything its a matter of taste. It is considered a failure if compared with Alice's. Dodgson as storyteller is brilliant (Alice's book)... as a writer he sometimes let a lot to be desired (S&B).

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Postby Lael » Sun May 02, 2010 3:14 pm

I'll go read it now. :)
I was planning to for some time already, but you really made me curious. How can anything by Lewis Carroll be a failure? I simply refuse to believe that. Maybe those people who think this way just don't see how brilliant Carroll is.
AIW(:-*

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Postby aliceaficionado » Sun May 02, 2010 4:36 pm

It is hard to find nowadays. I am reading it on the kindle.

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Postby NeVaR aSk » Sun May 02, 2010 4:42 pm

... How can anything by Lewis Carroll be a failure? I simply refuse to believe that.
Well my friend, we need to take him out of the clouds... he was not perfect you know...

S&B alone is a very good piece of work... but has been compared to Alice ever since.

In that sense it fails to reach the level of expectations... thats one problem authors reach if their first works are masterpieces.

To be honest S&B drags in some parts and doesn't follow a staright line of thinking (to much dreamyISH)... I'm fond of this style (hey I love Mervyn Peake!) but it can be slightly annoying.

Also there are some other works (poems/math papers) that are quite crappy...

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Postby The Queen of Hearts » Sun May 02, 2010 5:22 pm

To be honest S&B drags in some parts and doesn't follow a staright line of thinking (to much dreamyISH)... I'm fond of this style (hey I love Mervyn Peake!) but it can be slightly annoying.
That's because he didn't write it in a linear fashion. Two parts were short stories already published and the rest was stuff that occured to him over a period of time.

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Postby Treacle » Mon May 03, 2010 3:04 am

The Sylvie and Bruno books are a more typically Victorian novel form, the multivolume sort promoted by Mudey's Booksellers, whereas the Alice books are in a style universal today. When Lenny says that the Alice books are Victorian, that goes double or more for S&B.

There are times when I prefer S&B to Alice. LC says in the preface to S&B that he couldn't write another Alice book, and I believe that. There are different ways to look at the word "retreat". On a good Alice day, the S&B books seem a weaker, bad retreat. But a good retreat, like a good holiday from earlier excesses, can be a relief. The Alice books are not sentimental. The S&B books are. Is that bad? It depends. I know that the double-sided jewel that is "Sylvie will love all" and "All will love Sylvie" has no place in Alice.

The length of, and apparent lack of order in, the S&B books make them difficult to read all the way through, sort of like reading a long Russian novel. That doesn't make them bad, just different.

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Postby NeVaR aSk » Thu May 06, 2010 1:43 pm

^ Indeed I agree...

Its interesting to note that he didn't think much of Alice's... he once told to Gertrude Thonmson that he couldn't imagine what people saw in them and that he gave more thought/devotion to S&B.

Dream

Postby Dream » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:38 pm

He did indeed say he couldn't write another story like Alice, which is, indeed, very understandable.

So, I do think that it is just TOTALLY different. Though, when I started reading it, it was TOTALLY different, but it reminded me of Alice, somehow.

However, whether it's better or worse, I can't say yet.. For I, as well, never managed to finish the book..
It's really hard work for me. I just guess that my English isn't at that level yet.
And looking for a translation is NOT an option! AIW:-.
I'd rather stare a full day at one sentence!

(Luckily I understand Alice completely. : ) )

I'd better log on before posting. <_<

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Postby aliceaficionado » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:04 pm

I sort of left off reading it, but I do not think it is anywhere really close to Alice.

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Postby Treacle » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:00 am

Sylvie and Bruno is too big as a set of books, but perhaps a good scriptwriter could take it apart and successfully base a cable network series or manga series on it. S&B is almost cinematically written, proto-science fiction, as was pointed out somewhere earlier on this forum.

S&B is not that far off Narnia, and Narnia has been made into television. S&B is in the Public Domain. It has death, morality, riots, inane dialogue, bizarre bits, fantasy, and crossing between dimensions, as well as the Gardener's Song. Just think how much fun casting the roles would be! The same actress could play the parts of Lady Muriel and of Sylvie, in anticipation of the ending as written in the books.

Something would have to be done with Bruno's baby English. It could be changed into a distinctive Fairyland accent, or something. Bruno is my favorite character in S&B, but....

In any case, television and CGI seem to have caught up to the mass of "litterature", as LC called it in one of the prefaces.

(Or maybe I should have let the thought pass through uninterrupted :-) [/i]

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Re: Sylvie and Bruno appreciation?

Postby QueenJabberwocky » Sun Dec 13, 2020 12:24 pm

This year I finally read Sylvie and Bruno & Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (reading it for the first time ever).
It was a very curious experience.
I get why it wasn't so popular; the books are long, have more serious themes than Alice books (or maybe more 'down-to-earth' sounds better? After all, Alice can be serious too...). I guess most of the characters are not as memorable as these from AAIW or TTLG.

But anyway:

Despite some less entertaining moments, I'm so happy I got to read these! I felt like I could see a slightly different side of Carroll that people mostly forget about. The books contain a lot of his private views or references to some problems he saw around; or just things that interested him. Even reading the prefaces by the Author gives us some insight into this.
I'm fan of Arthur and Muriel. Sylvie was acceptable, Bruno amusing and I didn't even mind his weird English, I thought it was just fun and cute.
It's not like the Alice books but you can spot some similarities, mainly in the nonsense creation of the non-ordinary world... I wonder if all worlds created by Carroll are connected? As if it was one Carrollverse with many different places...

Some time ago I joked with friends it would work nicely as a video game plot, even VR one.


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