Through a Looking Glass Darkly is a deeply layered hypnotic journey to the dark side of Carroll's original text.
If Through the Looking Glass is Carroll’s mirror image of Wonderland, then Fior’s new novel, ‘Through A Looking Glass Darkly’ , is the mirror crack’d.
Here we encounter Alice not as a Victorian schoolgirl but a confident and conflicted teenager immersed in a landscape of impending danger and bewildering beauty.
Crucially, the titular Looking Glass of Fior’s novel is not that of a domestic living room mirror atop a mantelpiece, but a sorcerous magic mirror salvaged from a junk shop.
This reimagining is complemented through the use of references to actual historical events including W.B.Yeats’ membership of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the battle to save it from the malign influence of a young Aleister Crowley.
Carroll saw the chess structure of Through the Looking Glass as a formal exercise and a method of narrative organization. Re-contextualised in Fior’s specialized range of citations, this system becomes indicative of a much wider structure of allusion. His Alice doesn’t move through a landscape of play and nonsense but an occult landscape of conspiracy and accumulative paranoia.
The final chapter documents the authors own journey of discovery where during the writing of this book, he weirdly finds new facts, historical objects and conspiracies that seem to signpost the arrival of this book.
After all, mirrors reflect and also distort. They offer a glimpse of the self but also open a portal into the world of the double, the doppelganger and the daimon.