A handful of new Alice books, in particular, and the revival of Alice in general, was written about by Craig Wilson in today’s USA Today. They even made an online quiz (pop-culture heavy), How well do you know ‘Alice in Wonderland’? – although I disagreed with a couple of the answers. Here’s the books they plug, ending with a quote by Mark Richards:
•Alice I Have Been: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin (Delacorte, $25), out today. “I saw a photo of Alice Liddell (the model for the Alice character) taken by Charles Dodgson, and it made me realize that this was a lot more than just a children’s story,” says Benjamin, who built her novel around Alice’s life after her childhood fame. “She was unflappable, not a typical Victorian. And she survived it all, just like Alice survived it all in the books. She was never beaten down.”
•The Mystery of Lewis Carroll by Jenny Woolf (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99), out Feb. 2. Woolf sheds more light on the mysterious Dodgson in this new biography, examining everything from his relationship with Alice and her older sister to his controversial photographing of nude young girls. “The more closely Lewis Carroll is studied, the more he seems to slide quietly away,” Woolf writes.
•A new single-volume paperback edition of Carroll’s two classic Alice stories ($8.95). Oxford World’s Classics has reissued Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1872) with a new introduction by Peter Hunt, an expert in children’s literature. Oxford Children’s Classics released a new hardcover of Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland in April ($9.95).
•The Disney movie Alice in Wonderland, combining live action and animation. Alice is now 19, fleeing a proposed marriage and, yes, she follows a white rabbit into a hole, entering Wonderland once again. Depp is the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter plays the Queen of Hearts, and Mia Wasikowska is Alice. Release date: March 5.
Why is it Alice’s time again?
“The timeless appeal of the Alice books lies not only in their wonderfully imaginative qualities but, perhaps more important, in the way they touch our emotions,” says Mark Richards, chairman of the Lewis Carroll Society in London.
That answer seemed to be to a slightly different question. Thank you, Jenny Woolf, for sending us this article.
Blogger Elizabeth Snead reports at The Dishrag that “Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ press kit is a trip in itself.”
The lucky recipients got “a very large box” containing “a large faux antiquarian book of Alice in Wonderland.”
Inside the first book with drawings/photos of Tim Burton and the Lewis Carroll is another a delightfully smaller book with illustrations of locations and sets.
Inside that book is another smaller book with illustrations of the characters, Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), etc.
Inside that book is another smaller book containing a heavy metal key. And there’s a note that needed a magnifying glass to read it that says: The USB key will take you beyond the gates of Wonderland and unveil the many secrets that await you.”
We were kinda hoping for one pill that would make us larger, but whatever.
Anyway, breathlessly, we stuck the key in my computer and….
On the USB key is a cool new trailer and three photos from the film.
Leave it to Disney to make their “Alice in Wonderland” press kit as exciting an adventure as Burton’s adaptation of the classic tale promises to be.
The rabbit hole has never been like this.
Thank you Ms. Snead for the images and description. Now, how do we get one!?
The Rev. Charles L. Dodgson made important contributions to both Logic and Language. He died around a century before Lojban, a logical language, was developed–, so we’ll never know what he might have thought of (as the wikipedia defines it) “a constructed, syntactically unambiguous human language based on predicate logic.” Is language inherently logical, or can words mean what we choose them to mean? Does organic language have a sort of nonsense logic to it? How would Rev. Dodgson feel about a made-up language based on logic?
This website lojban.org
describes its “effort to translate Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland
into lojban” as “ongoing.” They’ve placed it in the public domain, and it is downloadable in a number of formats
. We are told by Michael Everson of Evertype
that it will be published in the near future. I would love to hear from one of the contributers how they approached the translation of the puns and wordplay.
It’s an elegant-looking language, if it does have that certain made-up look to it. Here’s the “Lobster Quadrille”:
e’o sutra doi cakcurnu i ko ti’a zgana ua pa
xajyfi’e noi jbitrixe gi’e me mi rebla stapa
i ui a’a ro le jukni e le respa ca se ganse
gi’e denpa mi le canre i pei do ba kansa dansu
i aipei naipei aipei naipei aipei do ba dansu
i aipei naipei aipei naipei naipei do ba dansu
i do ka’enai se xanri le nu pluka co mokau
ca le nu mi’o se renro fi le xamsi i’a au
i dardukse i dardukse sei cy spuda tolselmansa
doi merlanu ki’e ku’i i mi na ba kansa dansu
i ainai einai ainai einai ainai mi ba dansu
i ainai einai ainai einai einai mi ba dansu
i na selvai le ni darno sei le pendo ze’i frati
i iasai lo drata korbi ca’a drata mlana zvati
i le ni darno le glico cu ni jibni be la frans
i ko carna doi cakcurnu i ei do ba kansa dansu
i aipei naipei aipei naipei aipei do ba dansu
i aipei naipei aipei naipei naipei do ba dansu
UPDATE: I just discovered a recording of the Lobster Quadrille in Esperanto, for comparison:
Here’s a strange one…
Imagine opening Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and starting to read. Except instead of Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt and Benvolio, the names you see are yours and those of your family or friends. Each Personalised Classic is custom-printed with the names you choose for the main characters (up to 6 names) and your own dedication.
This is the slightly unsettling service offered by Acorn Gifts. In addition to Romeo and Juliet, you and your loved ones could also star in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Pride and Prejudice. It’s interesting that two out of three of these options contain explicit discussions about the relationship between names and things. Even stranger, there does not seem to be a way for the buyer to specify which character gets which name. What a thought-provoking gift.
WANDA [Coming forward.]:
But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Steve is the sun!
“Must a name mean something” Nevaeh asked doubtfully?”
“Of course is must,” Peaches Geldof said with a short laugh: “my name means the shape I am—and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours you might be any shape, almost.”
Red Rose Publishing is an online Romance fiction site, where you can buy digital books and escape into amorous fantasy. One of these, by A.P. Miller, is a collection of fairy tale-themed shorts called Beyond the Looking Glass by A.P. Miller, downloadable in pdf and other formats for $2.99. (I don’t see how “beyond” the Looking Glass is a fundamentally different preposition from going “through” it – if you’re already through it, how much more additionally beyond can you go? But it’s a title that has been used elsewhere by eating disorder specialist Remunda Ranch in her 1992 Beyond the Looking Glass: Daily Devotions for Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia; for Alan Downs’ 1997 Beyond the Looking Glass: Overcoming the Seductive Culture of Corporate Narcissism; for the DVD Beyond The Looking Glass- A Behind The Scenes Tour Of The Tennessee Aquarium; and on dozens of other books.)
Alongside Rhed Riding Hood and Snow White, the titular titillation of Miller’s Beyond
“finds Alice set in an underground world she would never expect through the very nature of it, which forces her to find her way back through Wonderland with the help of the Cheshire cat.” Missy Brown’s review of this at ParaNormalRomance.com
says: “Each story is told with well thought out plots and twists, I kept looking forward to what came next. The love scenes are so naughty, they will have you running to find your own Big Bad Wolf, or not so Prince Charming.”
has published a book of new Alice stories called Wonderland Revisited and the Games Alice Played There
by author Keith Sheppard, with illustrations by Cynthia Brownell
. At Sheppard’s website, www.writerman.org.uk
, you can read the first chapter of the book & also some of his other nonsense verse.
Here is the blurb from the back cover:
“Excuse me,” said Alice to a small white Mouse in red shorts. “What precisely is a custard race?”
Did Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass leave you yearning for more? Join Alice on her new journey and meet the extraordinary inhabitants of Wonderland, both familiar and new.
If your bed turned into a boat and you found yourself “drifting off” in an entirely unexpected manner how would you find your way home? The Jack of Diamonds says it’s Alice’s own fault for being fast asleep—had she slept more slowly she wouldn’t be so far from home.
The Red Queen, the Mah-jong Dragons, even the Red King’s Gamekeeper, all seem helpful enough at first—but things never quite turn out the way Alice hopes!
Brimming with wordplay, nonsense verse, and a cast of eccentric characters each with their own peculiar logic, this adventure is faithful to the style of the originals, picking up the pen where Lewis Carroll put it down. Be swept away on a torrent of humour and madness. Alice is back!
It can be purchased from Amazon.com for $12.95 or Amazon.co.uk for £8.50.
Evertype has published a handsome new edition of Alice’s Adventure’s under Ground, Lewis Carroll’s earlier version of Alice’s adventures. Michael Everson, who has previously translated AAIW into Irish, is the editor, creating a book design inspired by Martin Gardner’s Annotated Alice and original elements from the facsimile. He has typeset the text, making it easier to read than the facsimiles. And this edition uses Lewis Carroll’s own original illustrations (which Carroll would not have thought were professional enough to be published widely in the 1860s, but, by our modern standards, are very cool.) It is now available from amazon.com for $10.95 or amazon.co.uk for £7.95. More about this edition at Evertype.
Each week DoverPublications.com emails subscribers with a list of publication samples aimed at teachers. Last month’s offering included both the seasonal and the fashionable: at the bottom of the list was a selection of Christmas and Hanukkah origami projects, at the top were extracts from the Dover Thrift Edition of AAIW with Tenniel’s illustrations, two Alice coloring books, and a newly-released soft-cover edition of AAIW as illustrated by Willy Pogány in 1929. The latter is now available for purchase on their website.
Reading extracts of a coloring book is probably worse than reading a book with no pictures at all, but it could supply some rather nice clip art files for this year’s Christmas letter.
I believe this is the first time Lewis Carroll’s Sylvie & Bruno has appeared in Bulgarian, in a new translation by Rosa Grigorova. Here’s the blurb from knigagb.com:
Очарователната приказка – последното голямо произведение на Луис Карол, е триумф на човешкото въображение, каквото само човек с неговата рядка чувствителност може да създаде.
За „Силви и Бруно” литературните критици казват, че това е трудът на живота му, а книгите за Алиса са само генералната му репетиция.
Разказ за странните приключения на малки сестричка и братче в три различни места: Англия, Фейландия и Вънландия – прелестна пародия на реалния свят на Карол в Оксфорд с веселата си йерархия от ректори, заместник-ректори и ерудирани, макар и много разсеяни професори, и още десетки други, всички изобилно поръсени с типичната за Карол игра на думи, до един въвлечени в заплетени и изпълнени с напрежение приключения, пътуване във времето, несподелена любов… и гения на един от най-очарователните и изобретателни виртуози на английския език.
Or, according to Google Translate
: “For Sylvie and Bruno
literary critics say it is difficult of his life, and Alice books are just his general rehearsal.” This goes for €10 where all fine Bulgarian books are sold.
At the LCSNA Spring Meeting in 2008, Oleg Lipchenko, artist, illustrator and LCSNA member, described the challenges of illustrating Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland anew. “It’s like illustrating “IT.” You know what “IT” means, right?”
Several of you were lucky enough to be able to get hold of pre-publication editions and your reviews were delighted. Now the Oleg’s rich and intricate illustrations are available to all:
I’m glad to inform you all that a new edition of Alice with my illustrations published by Tundra Books is available in bookstores:
I am grateful to all of you who purchased a copy of the Limited Edition and helped me to move ahead with my illustrations. My next my book will be published by Tundra Books in 2010. It is Humpty Dumpty And Friends. Still several copies of the Limited Edition of Alice (Studio Treasure) are available at: www.surrealice.com
Oleg Lipchenko, artist, illustrator