Adam Gopnik Reviews New Annotated Alice

The 150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Martin Gardner’s The Annotated Alice was the subject of a long, thoughtful review by Adam Gopnik in the “Page-Turner” column on The New Yorker’s website. Click here.


The 150th Anniversary Deluxe ANNOTATED ALICE!!

Today is the official release date of the long-awaited 150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Martin Gardner’s The Annotated Alice, the first update in 15 years. Edited and art-directed by Mark Burstein, it features more than a hundred new or updated annotations, many by Gardner himself (some, but not all, from the Knight Letter). The “deluxe” part refers to this being the first edition in full, glorious color: more than a hundred new illustrations and images have been added (new to the book, not necessarily to the world): Salvador Dalí, Beatrix Potter, Barry  Moser, Ralph Steadman, and Sir Peter Blake among the truly global set of artists. (Yes, the Tenniels have been retained.) Not to mention a color portrait of Carroll’s mother, his handwritten corrections to the Looking-Glass table of contents, Alice Liddell’s carving on the door of a church, the page from The Train with the first published occurrence of the pseudonym “Lewis Carroll,” and the like. Also all of Carroll’s writings on Wonderland (“Easter Greeting” etc.) and all of Gardner’s. The Filmography and Reference sections have been updated, and a new section on Illustrators added.

Put simply, this anniversary edition of The Annotated Alice is the most comprehensive collection of Alice materials ever published in a single volume, and is indispensable to all lovers of Carroll.

“It is a wonderful tribute … and will enter the short list of classic works on ALICE. It would have been a shame not to gather together Martin’s last thoughts, notes, even scribbles, and I for one am delighted. The addition of all the supporting material makes for a superb book of reference as well.” – Morton Cohen

Wonderland of Whimsy: Poetry in Celebration of Lewis Carroll

Carrollian April Lynn James (aka Madison Hatta) will be presenting Wonderland of Whimsy: Poetry in Celebration of Lewis Carroll at The Swerve at the Mt. Airy Garage on October 3rd at 7pm, admission $5.  This is one of many events in celebration of Alice150, if you are in the Philadelphia area don’t miss it as April is exceptionally entertaining.  From the Swerve page:

Bring your most whimsical, Tea-lightful (and G-rated) poems inspired by Alice and her adventures (in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass), childhood, Lewis Carroll, Snarks, Fairies or life in general to our Open Mic. Your hosts for the evening will be April Lynn James, PhD and her alter ego, Madison Hatta, Sonneteer. They will share selections from their new chapbook, Madison Hatta’s Book of Unreasonable Rhymes (forthcoming from Philly’s own Moonstone Press). Jazz backbeats to the spoken words provided by Tank & Co.

11 West Mt. Airy Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19119

Hello, Dalí!

At long last!!! It is no longer necessary to pay five figures for a copy of the super deluxe edition of Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dalí in 1969. A trade edition has just been published by Princeton University Press, along with the National Museum of Mathematics (aka MoMath; no “outgrabing” jokes, please) – and it lists for just $24.95! Featuring an introduction by our president emeritus, Mark Burstein, and mathematics professor Thomas Banchoff, a friend of Dalí’s, which discusses surrealism, Dalí, and mathematics rather than the usual recap of Carroll’s life and works, it is a take on Alice no lover of the book should be without.

“How appropriate for this volume to appear as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary. … Burstein and Banchoff give us insights into the genius of both Carroll and Dalí, and then we have Dalí’s illustrations, which are far distant from any suggestion of realism. Altogether, it is a remarkable voyage through Wonderland on a new plane—an enlightening and pleasurable adventure.” – Morton N. Cohen, author of Lewis Carroll: A Biography

“To those of us brought up on John Tenniel’s iconic illustrations, it seems unbelievable that anyone else would dare to attempt the task. Yet hundreds have done so, though none is as distinguished and few as imaginative as Salvador Dalí. This attractive 150th anniversary edition, which describes Dalí’s mathematical interests and presents his illustrations (previously published only in a rare limited edition), is greatly to be welcomed.” – Robin Wilson, author of Lewis Carroll in Numberland

“Engaging the text side by side with the artwork yields a myriad of interesting tonal effects in both the words and the pictures. It’s an entirely different approach to the notion of illustration. … This book succeeds in scratching the itch many admirers of Carroll and Dalí have felt for too long.” – Megan Volpert, PopMatters

SesquicenTenniel Book List Doubles!

Even more publishers are getting in on the Alice150 celebrations! Here is an updated list of books that have or are about to come out this year. Since the original post, the list has more than doubled: 16 have been published in English, 13 in other languages or orthographies, and 11 more are forthcoming.

Please feel free to email Mark if you know of others or have suggestions or corrections.

Alice in a World of Wonderlands Is Here!

The mind-blowingly informative Alice in a World of Wonderlands: The Translations of Lewis Carroll’s Masterpiece (Oak Knoll in cooperation with the LCSNA) is here! Read about the magnificent three-volume set (Essays, Back Translations, and Checklists), which discusses translations into 174 languages and dialects, on its website. Oak Knoll is offering a 10% discount to our members here. Our sincerest congratulations to general editor Jon Lindseth, technical editor Alan Tannenbaum, and the 260 writers and editors who contributed to this extraordinary scholarly yet readable work, a successor to Warren Weaver’s Alice in Many Tongues (1964). It will be celebrated at a two-day conference at Alice150 this October, and an exhibition at the Grolier Club in New York, September 16 – November 21, 2015. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Two Swell New Comic Reprints

Red Dragon #4 (August 1948) is a comic so rare that it only rated a note (p. 71), not a listing, in the definitive Pictures and Conversations: Lewis Carroll in the Comics, as none of the authors had ever seen a copy, which sells for $200-$500 these days. Fortunately, we all can have a b&w reproduction of the story, along with an article about its creator, Edd Cartier, as they now appear in The Shadow , Volume 86, by Sanctum Books (2014), obtainable at Bud Plant for $15. Cartier also illustrated the story “Jabberwocky Thrust” in Shadow Mystery magazine (Oct. – Nov. 1947).

The wonderfully printed and thrillingly oversized (21.6 x 16.9 inches; 55 x 43 cm.) Society is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy of the Dawn of the American Comic Strip 1895-1915 ($125 list) reproduces both the teaser page for the first instance of Alice in the “funny pages” (“Alice’s Adventures in Funnyland,” Chicago Sunday Tribune, November 10, 1901 — yes, the “Alfred E. Neuman” lookalike) and a page from Buddy Tucker Meets Alice in Wonderland (1906). (The “Funnyland” page and a similar page from Buddy Tucker are in Alice in Comicland [$30 list] although at a smaller size.) The rest of the book is wonderful as well; Chris Ware calls it, “a mind-blowing portable museum retrospective of the raw, tangled ferocity and frustration that went into the making of America.”


New Horizons, NASA’s mission to Pluto, has been “geeking out” labeling all interesting features on the dwarf planet Pluto and its supersized moon Charon with unofficial names, many of which were submitted to the IAU (International Astronomical Union), as they are currently meeting in Honolulu and who can make them official. Not surprisingly, many geek idols from Dr. Who to our own Alice (in the Western Region of Charon, on the right of the image at left) have been proposed. Click here for a fun article on the subject!

Always a local angle. When the (now dwarf) planet was discovered by  Clyde Tombaugh, Venetia Burney (1918-2009, right), who was then 11, suggested the name “Pluto” to her grandfather Falconer Madan, who passed the name along to Herbert Hall Turner, an astronomer with the Royal Astronomical Society. Clyde Tombaugh liked the name because it started with the initials of Percival Lowell, who had predicted the existence of Planet X.

Falconer Madan of Oxford, Librarian of the Bodleian among many other titles, was, of course, a devoted Carrollian. He helped Sidney Herbert Williams revise his A Bibliography of Lewis Carroll (London: The Bookman’s Journal, 1924), the first such, into A Handbook of the Literature of the Rev. C. L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) (London: Oxford University Press, 1931), receiving co-author credit, and published a supplement thereto in 1935.

We do hope the name “Alice Crater” will be duly authorized. “Twinkle, twinkle…”

Alice’s Right Foot, Esq.

How can one resist? Well, it only comes in smaller adult sizes, for one. Its full name is “Vans Authentic Liberty Wonderland Skate Shoe.”  You may have to look around online or visit your local Vans dealer; Amazon lists it here.

Adriana Peliano’s Illustrated Wonderland and Looking-Glass

As many of us know, in addition to being the founder of the Sociedade Lewis Carroll do Brasil, Adriana Peliano is a genuinely talented artist. Her dreamy, “alicedelic” illustrations are collages based on colored Tenniels and the work of other creatives, often made kaleidoscopic, and full of puzzles and paradoxes. The two books are combined and have just been published in a handsome, colorful, luminous volume by Zahar in Brazil (the text is in Portuguese, of course).

The easiest thing to do is to order it by emailing Adriana. The book is US$29 and postage to the U.S. is about $11. She can do it through PayPal.*

Most highly recommended!

P.S. Yes, the cover just says Wonderland; if you flip the book over, Looking-glass is the back cover.

* Or you can order from the Livraria Cultura bookshop or the publisher, Zahar, if your Portuguese is up to it. Costs are roughly the same.