From one of our mimsiest minions comes word of this unique item. Celebriducks is a company that produces “rubber duck” toy versions of famous figures and characters. I don’t know why. They just do. And the range of their line is quite extensive, so it was perhaps inevitable that our Alice would eventually be “duckified”! Interestingly, she seems to be wearing a pink dress, which is refreshing. In a nice touch, they’ve included the White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat, as well.
For more information, or to purchase this unusual item, click me.
We’ve just received this frabjous news from author and exhibit curator Leonard Marcus:
“The New York Public Library exhibition “THE ABC OF IT: Why Children’s Books Matter” has just had its run extended. Originally scheduled to closed on March 23rd, the exhibition is now slated to remain on view through September 7th.”
To read more about this excellent free exhibit, click me.
Our Secretary, Clare Imholtz, reports that in January, Foyles Bookstore on Charing Cross Road in London underwent renovations. Rather than just boarding up their windows while the changes were made, Foyles covered the windows with a creative history of the venerable bookstore–much of which was Alice-themed.
If you see something fun and Alice-themed in your own travels, send us a photo and a brief description so that we can share it with all our blog readers!
Our thanks to one of our mimsiest minions for this link to a very favorable review of another Manga (a graphic/comic novel with highly stylized art, typically not intended for children) with an Alice theme. This one is called Are You Alice? and the first of many plot twists is that Alice is in fact a streetsmart young man! It is written and illustrated, respectively, by Ai Ninomiya and Ikumi Katagiri, and sounds very intriguing.
To read the review, click me.
Happily, Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in real life!) was a prolific letter writer. Even now, so many years after his death, some of his private correspondence can still surface–even if only long enough to pass from one private collection to another at public auction. But at least we obtain a new glimpse at the man in his own words.
On March 19th, Bonham’s is auctioning off a letter from November 9, 1891, in which Mr. Dodgson explains his dislike of being recognized as “Lewis Carroll” and even expresses, momentarily, the half-wish that he had never written any books because of all the attention their success brought:
“All that sort of publicity leads to strangers hearing of my real name in connection with the books, and to my being pointed out to, and stared at by, strangers, and treated as a ‘lion’. And I hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish I had never written any books at all….”
Of course, those of us who have studied Mr. Dodgson in any depth know that he was more than willing to use the name Lewis Carroll to secure a social introduction when he wanted to! While he may have disliked being “lionized” there is no question that he went “lion hunting” himself with his camera and then his books on many occasions. So his statement here should be taken with more than a grain of salt. And we must also consider that he was writing to the woman who occasionally housed his child friends on visits to Eastbourne, where he went for summer vacations of peace and quiet. But the fact that he emphasizes the negative impact of the publicity on his private life does at least speak to the intensity with which he guarded his right to make a distinction between his private self and his literary persona–something well-known artists and figures struggle with to this day.
I am hopeful that this letter will pass into the collection of a library that will make it available to those who wish to see it for their own research, or if it passes again into private hands, that the new owner will be liberal in sharing this new letter with libraries for exhibits. Who knows what other Lewis Carroll correspondence still lies out there in private hands, waiting to be shared with the public?
To see the auction listing, click me.
To read an article about the auction, click me.
Here’s another tidbit from a mimsy minion:
The Alice books have been translated into Hawaiian by a University of Hawaii professor in honor of the upcoming 150th anniversary of the publication of Wonderland, which is in 2015 as you likely know. He notes that as in other foreign language translations of the book, he had to apply some localization in order for the stories to make sense to Hawaiian readers. For instance, there are no crocodiles in Hawaii!
Translator R. Keao NeSmith notes that the publisher first tested his skills by asking him to translate the Mad Tea Party scene–which he likened to solving a Sudoku because of all the unique humor and references in it. The edition is printed by Michael Everson’s Evertype publishing house.
To read more about these new Hawaiian Alice translations, click me.
Our thanks to a mimsy minion for this link to an article in the UK’s Daily Mail about another person who has been diagnosed with the rare disorder known as “Alice in Wonderland Syndrome,” in which the person experiences episodes where body parts and objects in the room appear to shrink and grow.
For the article, which includes many photos of the young woman in Alice costumes and a video of her purportedly experiencing the syndrome, click me.
Are you looking for someplace special to take your Valentine this year? Well, if you happen to live in or near London, the Sanderson Hotel now offers a not inexpensive but very festive-sounding “Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea” including creative baked treats, a “Jelly Wonderland,’ and even custom crockery (which is also available for purchase separately, for you teapot lovers–and you know who you are).
To see a description, menu, and make reservations, click me.
Here’s a tidbit from one of our mimsy minions:
In the current Feb 10 issue of The New Yorker, within a long article on Robert Frost, there is a quote from his letter from England, July 4, 1913: “…Now it is possible to have sense without the sounds of sense (as in much prose that is supposed to pass muster but makes very dull reading) and the sound of sense without sense (as is Alice in Wonderland which makes anything but dull reading.)…”
If you’d like to read the article on The New Yorker’s web site, click me.
One of our mimsy minions reports the citing of another burlesque performance inspired by the Alice books. This one is called Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland, presented by performer/producers Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann. The show runs April 16-19th at the Triple Door Theatre in Seattle, WA.
For more information and tickets, click me.