Alice in the Land of Letters

Typographic Poster Design from the book Alice aux pays des lettres (Alice in the Land of Letters), Roland Topor


It’s raining and Alice (Lewis Carroll’s famous heroine) lies on a couch attempting to read. She closes her eyes and falls asleep. When she wakes up, they are Roland Topor’s eyes that open instead of her own. Then begins a plot twist which transforms into a universe made up of dreamed images, like a theater of paper inhabited by disturbing, bizarre, ridiculous or cruel characters. This is just his surrealist version of Carroll’s fable, but Topor was telling a story as a metaphor of the student riot from May, 1968. It’s a little protest song against every kind of tyranny.


Grammar and syntax are defeating and their slogan is: Power to the imagination! Actual imagination, free and impudent, is the land where creative work of Topor belongs, not only as a satiric designer and pacesetter illustrator but also as a novelist, scriptwriter (he is the author of The Tenant, a book that Roman Polanski adapted to the big screen), painter, filmmaker, set designer, and above all, actor. Topor lived in Wonderland. Is Alice who get through his looking-glass.