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.
One of our mimsy minions reports that the UK publication The Guardian includes Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as one of the 100 best novels.
I would, however, readily dispute the author’s description of Alice as “a story about a quite bad-tempered child that is not really for children.” The minute a writer claims the Alice books aren’t for children, I know that he or she has never actually put one of the books in front of a child of the right age to appreciate it! Just because adults can appreciate the writing doesn’t mean that children can’t. In fact, if he were really to look at why the two books have become timeless, it’s due in large part to the fact that they speak to all ages.
And I’m not sure where he gets the idea that Alice is “bad-tempered.” Is it a sign of ill temper to let other people know when they’re behaving badly? I’ve always admired Alice for being strong-minded enough to set her own limits with the denizens of Wonderland. The average Victorian heroine wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes in Wonderland! And I’m quite sure her behavior delighted the Liddell girls, as it continues to delight many of us today.
I will also note that in the comments below the article, the author rightly praises The Hunting of the Snark but makes the misguided statement that “It’s not really a book, but a long poem….” Hmmm….last time I checked my first edition, it looked like a book. It really did.
To read the article, click me.
One of our mimsy minions reports that BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio, will be remounting their 2006 production of Alice in Wonderland, choreographed by current Artistic Director Gerard Charles. The show runs from February 7-15, 2014.
For more information and tickets, click me.
Attention puzzle lovers! We recently received this note that may be of interest to you:
I’m part of a team of puzzlers who spent most of last year writing LOTS of puzzles for the annual MIT Mystery Hunt (http://web.mit.edu/puzzle/www/history.html
), which was this year Alice In Wonderland
themed (with other Carrollian and non-Carrollian touches).
We had also noticed the call for puzzles
here last June, but we were unable to participate as our writing process is very (almost comically) secretive, and the puzzles and theme were not to be revealed until the weekend of the recent Hunt.
A number of the puzzles we wrote require specific knowledge about MIT, and some aren’t strongly integrated into the theme, though they may still be of interest to you. The entire hunt, including all puzzles and solutions, can be found at the following address: http://web.mit.edu/puzzle/www/2014
If you have any further questions about specific puzzles or would like to contact the author(s) directly, please feel free to email the team leadership at firstname.lastname@example.org
For fans of Alice and classical music, here’s news via LCSNA member C.M. Rubin about a new full-length Alice opera. Composer (and opera singer) Dr. Gary Bachlund has created two one act operas, one for Wonderland and one for Looking-Glass, that can be performed separately or together. Wouldn’t it be nice to see someone produce this during the upcoming Alice150 festivities in NYC in 2015?
To read the interview, click me.
And here’s a bit of the score. (If the video doesn’t load, try refreshing this page in your browser.)
If you’re a fan of the various forms of puppetry, here’s a version of the Caterpillar scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as performed by a trio of puppeteers who also work at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Manhattan’s Central Park. For this clip, they use both marionettes and shadow puppets. If the video doesn’t appear below, try reloading this page. Enjoy!
As noted in a previous blog post, artist David Delamare is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of his private, deluxe edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. We received the following note to remind us that today is the LAST chance to support his campaign and take advantage of supporter perks. While you can show your support at a number of levels, for a $60 pledge you can still secure a standard deluxe copy of this book chock full of David’s amazing illustrations, and have it signed by him, as well. And now they have added more incentives for book purchasers:
“The Kickstarter campaign to create a deluxe “Alice in Wonderland” book, illustrated by David Delamare is ending Sunday at midnight Pacific Standard Time. There are only a few hours left in which to take advantage of the many stretch rewards that will only be available to campaign backers.
Each book package pre-ordered during the campaign will now include (at no extra charge) four 9″x12″ artist-signed posters plus four new Carroll-inspired greeting cards and, if we reach 800 backers we’ll add a fifth poster. Finally, if we reach $75,000 in pledges, we’ll add a slip case to every book.
These will be gorgeous, clothbound, Smythsewn, artist-signed, heavily illustrated books with ribbon bookmarks. They will dramatically enhance any Alice collection. Backers (even at the one dollar level) will have access to the entire book creation process as well as first look at original artwork releases. Sign up today at <http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1954507197/alice-in-wonderland-book-illustrated-by-david-dela>.
If you’re already a campaign backer, please share this link so that we can reach those final goals! Thanks so much for your support! —Wendy Ice (Publisher) & David Delamare (Illustrator)”
Alice and Cheshire Cats by Isabelle Melançon
If you’re a fan of web comics and graphic novels, and you’re not already aware of the web comic Namesake, then this post is for you!
Created by Isabelle Melançon and Megan Lavey-Heaton, Namesake is a clever, serialized riff on popular tales including The Wizard of Oz, and the Alice books. We posted when the project went live back in October of 2010, but as Namesake has recently passed its third anniversary (congratulations!), it seemed like a good time to mention it again. The storytelling makes free with many characters you know and love, along with introducing a boatload of memorable original characters. I will note that there is occasionally some web comic violence, so it is not for the very young. (What happens to Edith Liddell is even more unpleasant than what happened to her in real life, as just one example.)
While elements of our favorite tales are everywhere, the storytelling and images are entirely new. Megan and Isabelle make a formidable (and entertaining) storytelling team. The first couple of years focused primarily on an Oz-themed storyline, with only the occasional teasing reference to the world of Lewis Carroll. But now we are seeing more of a certain Alice character, and starting to hear about her unique background in this alternate universe. And yes, there is more than one Cheshire Cat. To find out why, you’ll need to read Namesake.
Since the story is serialized and somewhat complex over time, I would strongly suggest that if you’re new to Namesake, you should follow the King of Hearts’ advice: Begin at the beginning. (You can also buy the first part of the story as a published book in their online store, if you prefer.)
To enter the world of Namesake, click me.
Attention, shoppers! Are you looking for some new Holiday “Carrolls” for yourself or someone else? Is there a Carrollian on your list who claims to have “everything” in the world of Alice music? Well, we’ve just received this note from Daniel Hales, of the indie alt/rock/folk band Daniel Hales, and the Frost Heaves:
“Our 3rd album: Contrariwise: Songs from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass is now available for purchase on CD Baby (either the entire, physical album, a download of the digital album, or selected tracks). For this album we adapted (almost) all of the poems in the two “Alice” books for music–and also wrote a few Alice-themed originals. These adaptations were originally composed and performed for a stage production of “Alice In Wonderland,” but can now provide the soundtrack for your own adventures in magical realms: http://cdbaby.com/cd/danielhalesandthefrosthe”
Daniel sent me a preview copy of the album, and while everyone’s tastes are of course different, I think the musical settings are quite fun. You can sample any or all of the tracks before buying, so check it out, and if you like what you hear, shop away!
To give you the flavor of their music, Daniel also shared this clever video they made for Jabberwocky, animating Tenniel’s original illustrations (if the video doesn’t load, try refreshing this page in your browser, or click me to view it on Vimeo):