USC Libraries Wonderland Award submission deadline nearing

Students at the University of Southern California and affiliated institutions take note: the submissions deadline for the 2012 Wonderland Award is only two weeks away.

The goal of the annual award, now in its eighth year, is to encourage new scholarship and creative work related to Lewis Carroll. The competition is multidisciplinary and all manner of submissions are welcomed, from scholarly essays to animation, digital compositions, film, music, performance pieces, and visual artworks.

Last year, the award was won by USC Thornton School of Music student Veronique Van Pelt for her musical album, The Alice Sketches: Songs About Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell, the Wonderland Stories and the Present. Below is a picture of Van Pelt receiving her award. Linda Cassady, founder and sponsor of the award, is pictured far right.

Submissions for 2012 USC Libraries Wonderland Award are due on April 2nd. For more information visit the USC Libraries website.

USC Libraries Wonderland Award 2011

Update: If you are coming to the LCSNA Spring Meeting in Cambridge, MA, next month, you will get the chance to hear Linda Cassady talk about her Wonderland Award and some of the many artistic and scholarly creations it has inspired. More details are available here. If you haven’t yet made plans to attend the meeting, there is still time!


Do I detect the odor of Frumious Bandersnatch?

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, out of North Hollywood (as witchy a place as there ever was), has released no fewer than three dozen specialty fragrances themed after Wonderland & Looking-Glass: Mad Tea Party: The Dodgson Collection. Scents inspired by the madness of Alice’s sojourns to Wonderland. They can each be ordered for $17.99 per 5ml bottle. The online catalog for the Mad Tea Party collection includes full quotes from Carroll’s books and poems, and even the ingredients used are carefully chosen to fit in with each scent’s motif. The seven sub-categorized in “The Garden of Live Flowers” naturally have floral ingredients to match the theme, but even the monsters and lobsters have perfectly fitting recipes. Here are a few for example:

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

Bandersnatch musk, redolent of spicy carnations, wild plums and chrysanthemum.

‘I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. ‘I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That will be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.’

A sea of salty tears drowning out Alice’s light floral perfume.

`O Tiger-lily,’ said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, `I wish you could talk!’

`We can talk,’ said the Tiger-lily: `when there’s anybody worth talking to.”

Alice was so astonished that she could not speak for a minute: it quite seemed to take her breath away. At length, as the Tiger-lily only went on waving about, she spoke again, in a timid voice — almost in a whisper. `And can all the flowers talk?’

`As well as you can,’ said the Tiger-lily. `And a great deal louder.’

(Tiger-lily, ginger root, neroli, purple fruits, and frankincense.)

`Crawling at your feet,’ said the Gnat (Alice drew her feet back in some alarm), `you may observe a Bread-and-Butterfly. Its wings are thin slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar.’

`And what does IT live on?’

`Weak tea with cream in it.’

Bread, lightly buttered, with weak tea, cream, and a lump of white sugar.


Alice in Marinland

The Pacific Sun is the alternative paper in Marin County, California. Their Best of Marin 2010 awards and their March 26th issue are fully Alice themed this year. Mark Burstein (who can see Marin County from his house) adds this endorsement: “The background articles are actually well-researched, unusual in this day and age.” The entire issue is viewable as a virtual edition or as pdf here. Here’s a video from their Best of Marin party, unusual among 2010 tea parties for its lack of fire arms or calls to revolution:


More Tim Burton movie hype at the LA Times blog Hero Complex

It’s now only two weeks from opening night of the Tim Burton Disney 3D Spectacular. There’s posters all over bus stops in the East Bay Area, California. The LCSNA is preparing for the plunge (in lieu of the macropsiacal interest in Carroll) by revamping its website, which will integrate this blog (that’s right, we’re moving! so watch for a White Rabbit), all of this pretty soon.
The Winter 2009 edition of the Knight Letter (no. 83) featured an article by Daniel Singer called “Off With Their Heads! Those Awful Alice Movies.” (The Knight Letter is the LCSNA‘s magazine, sent to subscribers for the membership fee of $35.) Of course, this theme is being taken up now all over, retrospectives of the century-plus of mediocre Alice in Wonderland movies. Susan King at the Los Angeles Times blog Hero Complex took a stab at the topic, beginning her article: “The first known ‘Alice in Wonderland’ film … was made in 1903, just 68 years after Lewis Carroll first published his fantasy ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.'” Perhaps she’s onto advanced rabbithole mathematics, and that works in base 17 or something. We recommend the Daniel Singer article if you can dig up a Knight Letter.

Elsewhere at Hero Complex, they quote Tim Burton discussing his Red Queen (played by his partner Helena Bonham Carter):

“In lots of illustrations and incarnations of Carroll’s work through the years, it always seems like she had a big head. It was an interesting challenge for us to find the right size and weight and proportions. One of the things we wanted to do was to use the actors and their performances — to use the real them — and then make them different. It’s still their performance but it’s just made weird. We wanted to achieve this blend. That was an important dynamic.”

“In a lot of children’s literature and other literature it’s kind of the same thing over and over — there’s good queens and bad queens, and here you have that but the elements are a bit blurred,” Burton said. “Everybody’s weird and has weird qualities to them. She’s kind of a mixture. When I look at her now, she reminds me of pictures I’ve seen of Leona Helmsley. There’s a tiny bit of elements of my mother in there too, for some strange reason. And Helena brings her own things to it too.”


Honorable Mention for LCSNA-member Tatiana Ianovskaia

Two weeks ago we reported that paintings by LCSNA-member Tatiana Ianovskaia were appearing in “Down the Rabbit Hole,” a juried art exhibition in Bakersfield, California. The good news has now reached us that her oil painting “Court” received an honorable mention, one of only three awards given out at the show. “Best in Show” went to artist Nancy Sharp for a mixed media piece entitled “A Very Cheesy Cheshire.”

More of Tatiana’s Alice-inspired work, including her illustrated Alice in Wonderland, can be viewed from her website.

“Down the Rabbit Hole,” featuring many other interpretations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, will remain on display until March 25th at the Younger Gallery, 1440 Truxtun Ave, downtown Bakersfield, CA.


"Down the Rabbit Hole": Juried art exhibition in Bakersfield, California

Central Californian Carrollians and other art lovers should direct their GPS towards Bakersfield, California, for a juried exhibit of art inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice books. The Arts Council of Kern invite members and guests ($5) to the opening tonight (Friday, January 29th, 5:30 to 7:30pm) at the Younger Gallery, 1440 Truxtun Ave., Suite 105, in charming downtown Bakersfield. LCSNA member Tatiana Ianovskaia has had two of her paintings, “Court” (30″x 40″, oil,canvas, $1850, ) and “Antipathies” ( 30″x24″, acrylic, canvas , $1000 – pictured below and on her website here) chosen by the judge to be included. Also on display is Outside in Wonderland: “Artworks created by the members of the Outside In Visual Arts Workshop, a workshop for artists with developmental disabilities.”


“Mad Hatter Card Party”, painting by Leonard Filgate

This is a new painting (acrylic on canvas) by California-based artist Leonard Filgate, one of the creators of Rip Squeak. On his page, there are several ways to purchase the piece (and there’s also a higher-quality image).

-A Giclée Print on either photo paper or canvas (upwards from $32)
-A 5″-by-7″ customizable greeting card from $5.75

For a limited edition signed print ($500 plus shipping), or to purchase the original painting (36″-by-24″, for $7,500) contact the artist thru his website

Castle in the Air in Berkeley: Two Carroll Photographs

After a journey lasting several more than a hundred years and considerably more than a hundred miles, two photographs taken by Mr Dodgson have found their way from the developing room on the roof of Christ Church to a small ink shop and gallery on the West Coast of America. Those wishing to visit these far flung fragments of Dodgson’s life may find them in Berkeley, California between now and November 18, 2009.

The pictures form part of a small exhibition of portraits of children from the early egg whites and silver days of photography. From Dodgson, there is a “Study of Xie Kitchin” (albumen print, not for sale), an impossibly stern-looking girl, who was also chosen to face the exhibition advertisements. According to Dodgson’s diary, the picture was taken in his rooms on June 12, 1873. Xie Kitchin is accompanied by three images of “Bertram and Leonard Rogers Looking at Book in Front of a Chest” (silver print c.1890s, $300 and twin-mounted albumen prints, 1866, Inquire).

Alongside these well-traveled children, hang more hundred-plus year old youths from the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward S. Curtis, Edweard Muybridge and others. The entire exhibition is borrowed from the collection of Wolffe Nadoolman, a Berkeley pediatrician.

Picturing Childhood: Portraits from the Masters of Early Photography (1850-1930), runs from October 10 through November 18, 2009 at Castle in the Air, 1805 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710. (The Castle in the Air website is here, but it’s slightly tricky to navigate.)