Jett Jackson: Stuck in Wonderland
Welcome to the LCSNA’s blog, where you can read regular updates about Lewis Carroll’s influence on all aspects of life. Please keep in mind that these posts are informational only; we do not endorse any link, statement or product cited below unless we specifically state that within the post. Also, the bloggers do not speak for the LCSNA as a whole. We hope you’ll visit often to review the posts and add comments.
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Pop singer and pop culture icon Boy George (formerly of Culture Club) credits a passage from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as the inspiration for the song “Any Road” from his new album, This is What I Do. There is alas no video yet for this track, but apparently George uses a Wonderland theme to address the various paths one can choose in life, and his own choice to step away from the various forms of addiction that have dogged him in the past.
To read more of the article from web site The Quietus, and see promo clips from some of the album’s other tracks, click me.
If you’re looking for that perfect gift for a jewelry-loving Carroll fan, you might want to check out the Jezebel Charms shop on Etsy.com. The shop’s “charming literary creations” include a full line of Alice-themed jewelry pieces, all handmade to order in the UK.
Please note: the web site states that UK readers can order up until December 15th if shopping for Christmas; outside the UK, the site says to expect your order to arrive the holidays.
To visit the Jezebel Charms shop on Etsy.com, click me.
Author Tim Manley has written a witty new book that reimagines Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and other popular fairy tales for today’s social media-obsessed world. Manley’s take on the tales and their characters tends to be brief, with tongue firmly in cheek.
If the concept tickles your funny bone, click me to find out more.
Also: we often include book links to Amazon because it’s such a popular book-buying site; we aren’t subliminally trying to endorse one book site over another. But if you do shop on Amazon, you might want to check out their new Amazon Smile program, in which Amazon makes a tiny donation to a charitable cause of your choosing for each eligible item you buy. And yes, if you’re a Prime user, Prime privileges still apply. If you shop on Amazon, why not check out this painless way to donate to a good cause at the same time?
You can check out the smile.amazon.com site to learn more.
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will present Leonard Slatkin conducting the world premiere of the complete version of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici’s opera Dum Dee Tweedle, based on Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, this afternoon, Sunday, December 1st, at Detroit Orchestra Hall. The performance will also be webcast free to a global audience via the DSO’s “Live From Orchestra Hall” series of HD webcasts. Hosted by WDET 101.9 FM’s Alex Trajano, the broadcast will begin at 3 p.m. (EST) and will include pre-concert and intermission interviews. Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2 is also on the program, with soloist Yoonshin Song.
For full details on Yaddo and a link to join the webcast, click me.
THIS IS A REPOST TO REMIND YOU HOLIDAY SHOPPERS (AND ALL-YEAR LITERATURE LOVERS) THAT OUR EXCLUSIVE 15% DISCOUNT FOR THE LITOGRAPHS SITE ENDS THIS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30TH! THE SITE FEATURES GREAT GIFTS INSPIRED BY MANY DIFFERENT GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE, NOT JUST THE ALICE BOOKS. BE SURE TO USE OUR “CARROLLBLOG” DISCOUNT AT CHECKOUT. AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL!
Attention all Mimsy Minions and especially literary art lovers! To help celebrate the release of their second gorgeous “Alice” image, the good folks at Litographs.com have graciously extended to you, our Blog readers, an exclusive offer of 15% off your purchases at their site for the month of November. This discount actually applies to all their merchandise for November only, and will not be made available in our magazine or anywhere else (which is pretty much the definition of exclusive, after all). Right now, they are also offering free US domestic shipping on orders of $48 or more.
If you’re not already familiar with Litographs, they create wonderful literary-themed images composed of the texts of famous books. If you visit their site, and view either of the Alice images full size, you’ll see all the words of Wonderland! Their first Alice image (still available) is one of Alice falling down the rabbit hole. For each image, they offer posters, tote bags, and T-shirts (be sure to read the “What to Expect” section on the T-shirts; they are hand-printed).
Litographs also shares the LCSNA’s goal of promoting literacy and enjoyment of great literature. They partner with International Book Bank, and send a high-quality book to schools and libraries in developing countries for each product sold. Since 2011, they have helped send over 20,000 books! So, you’re shopping for yourself, and for a good cause.
How do you take advantage of this lovely offer from these lovely people? Simply enter the code CARROLLBLOG at checkout anytime during the month of November, and 15% will be deducted from your product total. It sounds like a brillig gift idea for the upcoming holiday season.
Our thanks to Corey Fein at Litographs.com for extending this delightful exclusive offer. Remember that it is good only for the month of November!
All questions of quality aside, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland film grossed shocking amounts of money at the box office globally. We have noted previously that Disney was already planning the inevitable sequel, and Johnny Depp was rumored to be returning as the Mad Hatter. Rolling Stone magazine has now confirmed that both Depp and Mia Wasikowska (Alice) will reprise their roles in Alice in Wonderland 2. Burton, however, will not be directing this time around. That job will fall to James Bobbin (The Muppets, Flight of the Conchords).
The exact details of the plot for the sequel have not been divulged by Disney, but given the mischmasch screenwriter Linda Woolverton made of the two Alice books in the first film, it’s anyone’s guess what the storyline will be for the second film. A prequel? One long tangent off the first movie? One can only wonder what Lewis Carroll would have thought of Alice as a sword-wielding superhero. I suspect he would have strongly questioned (as do I) whether putting a sword in a young woman’s hand and making her a slayer was really the best way to “empower” her. Let’s hope the sequel is truer to at least the spirit of the original works. Otherwise, why use Carroll’s characters at all, why not write an original story? (Oh, right–the sheer convenience of instant character recognition and endless marketing potential of all things Alice.)
Still, Depp and Wasikowka are both always well worth watching (if you haven’t seen the latter’s version of Jane Eyre, she’s wonderful in it). So here’s hoping Disney somehow comes up with a frabjous script the second time around. And if Disney is really smart, they will find a way to persuade Helena Bonham Carter to reprise her scene-stealing turn as the Red Queen, too. That was the performance in the first film that really made people lose their heads.
If you attended our fall meeting in Los Angeles, you may have already seen a sample of this new tool in action: a company called Plotagon has created an Alice in Wonderland pack for their animated movie creation software. All you need to do is write your own story, add it to Plotagon’s software, and the Wonderland avatars then perform your script. The tool is currently in Beta (final testing) stage, and at the moment it’s completely free to download and use.
Please read their FAQs and Terms of Service carefully before you start. If you want to share your little featurettes, you would need to upload your finished project to Plotagon’s web site, and share a link from there. And while you retain rights to any original story you create, Plotagon retains rights to all aspects of their software, so you are creating projects with joint ownership. There is of course also the likelihood that Plotagon will charge for use of the software and/or hosting down the road. For now, however, we have been assured it’s free to download and use.
To learn more and download the software, click me.
If you check it out, let us know what you think!
If you’ve been following this blog, then you are already aware that talented LCSNA member Daniel Singer has written a crowd-pleasing play about a fictional meeting between two literary lions, Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens.
The play A Perfect Likeness has just opened in L.A. for a run through December 22nd.
To read the rave review on Broadway World, click me.
If you are reading this post, you are likely a Carrollian, and as such, if you know the name Mavis Batey, it is probably because of her books Alice’s Adventures in Oxford (1980), and The World of Alice, published in 1998, the year of the Carroll Centenary at Christ Church College, Oxford.
We regret to report that Mrs. Batey passed away on November 12th at the age of 92. She was a brilliant and gracious person, and will be missed by many. But her publications about Alice, and English gardens, are not her only legacy. In her youth, she was a key part of the British government’s secret Bletchley Park code breaking team during World War II, and made a number of significant contributions to crucial code breaking efforts (including deciphering the first message from one of the infamous German “Enigma” machines) that helped turn the tide in the war.
To read more about Mrs. Batey’s contributions while at Bletchley Park in the Washington Post, click me.
To read an obituary in The Telegraph with more details about her work at Bletchley, click me.