The Blog of the LCSNA

Far-Flung Knight

Jett Jackson: Stuck in Wonderland

Welcome to the LCSNA’s blog, where you can read regular updates about Lewis Carroll’s influence on all aspects of life.  Please keep in mind that these posts are informational only; we do not endorse any link, statement or product cited below unless we specifically state that within the post. Also, the bloggers do not speak for the LCSNA as a whole. We hope you’ll visit often to review the posts and add comments.

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The Blog of the LCSNA

Immersive “Wonderland Dreams”

“Alexa Meade’s immersive art exhibition Wonderland Dreams is coming to NYC’s iconic 5th Avenue near Bryant Park. Every inch of the 26,000 square foot exhibit space is hand-painted from floor to ceiling in Alexa’s signature 2D/3D painting style, letting visitors step inside a multidimensional work of art. 
Wonderland Dreams brings to life the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland through boldly painted art installations, creating a whimsical world that plays with our perspective of art and reality. Fall down the rabbit hole into a world of secret rose gardens, mad tea parties, and a living art gallery that puts you inside the frame.”

It opens Friday, October 7 and runs through April 23, 2023. Information and tickets here.

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Haddock’s Eyes!

Vladimir Zimakov is a talented Boston-based book artist, designer, and illustrator specializing in techniques such as linocut, silkscreen, and letterpress, among other traditional and digital media. His latest project, four years in the making, is a setting of the White Knight’s poem “Haddock’s Eyes,” as the name of the song is called. The book is “Leporello” or accordion-style, a single folded 28′ (8½ m.) sheet of paper, and is a masterpiece!

Printed from original linocuts, it is housed in a red & brown slipcase; an edition of 34 copies, signed and numbered by the artist; dimensions are 12” × 10” × 1½”; 36 pages.

​Click here for more information and photographs; an 80-minute video about its making is available here; and a .pdf Book Prospectus can be downloaded here.

The price is $1,200 plus shipping. For ordering and any additional information, please contact vzimakov@gmail.com.

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Nine Astonishing New Illustrators

An absolute cornucopia of truly memorable illustrated editions have recently come our way, many of them discoveries of Adriana Peliano of the LCSBrazil. A few are newly published; some older ones have just come to our attention. Each entry below shows a sample page from the work. The wide range of styles once again demonstrates why Carroll’s masterworks are the most widely illustrated novels in existence. (Prices do not include postage, which in some cases, is more than the cost of the book!)

Yuri Vaschenko’s delightfully droll, pastel-infused illustrations to Wonderland (Алиса в Стране Чудес, Kniga, 1982) and Looking-Glass (Сквозь Зеркало и что там увидела Алиса, или Алиса в Зазеркалье, Kniga, 1986) have heretofore been readily available only in small formats (each book measuring 4 × 5 × 1 inch). In 2015, Vita Nova republished these works together in a deluxe, superbly printed large format (7½ × 10½ × 1½ inches) that at long last does justice to Vaschenko’s witty, hyper-surreal, and splendidly stylized art (ISBN: 978-5-93898-506-3). The perfectly reproduced illustrations were presumably shot from an extremely rare, much larger Russian edition. Given the current tragic political situation, you may wish to order it from a reliable online Finnish bookstore, Ruslania.com. €190.

Made Balbat’s painterly renditions in Alice Imedemaal, an Estonian edition (ISBN 978-9949-099-84-9), are available in signed copies from the artist. The large (9.5 x 11.5 inches) hardcover came out in 2021. It’s worthwhile to note that Alice is depicted at the right age (just turned seven), which is rare in books and almost nonexistent in movies. €36.

A stunningly unusual Italian Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie with ballpoint pen black-and-white illustrations by Giovanni Robustelli was published in a 9 x 12-inch paperback by Edizione Papel in 2018 (ISBN 978-88-904072-3-9). His interpretations are wildly thought-provoking and the linework is exquisite. You can get it directly from the publishers. €28.

A darkly surreal, lavishly illustrated Russian duad (Приключения Алисы в Стране Чудес and Сквозь Зеркало и что там увидела Алиса, или Алиса в Зазеркалье) was published by Arbor in 2020 (ISBN 978-5-6044870-2-0), combining earlier, separate volumes. Svetlana Rumak “fuses deep, layered canvases with translucent monochrome crop prints for fantastic visual variety.” Wonderland is in rich, full color: Looking-Glass in monochrome blue. More pictures can be found on her site. It is also available from Ruslania. €100.

A somewhat more conventional, but still exciting, Italian Le avventure di Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie (AW) illustrated by Sonia Maria Luce Possentini was released in 2017 by Corsiero (ISBN 978-88-98420-51-3). Some pages are horizontal fold-outs. Available from the publisher. €26.50.

It was particularly difficult to find a “typical” illustration here, as Alexey Fedorenko’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published in an edition of 999 in 2011 by Verlag add-books (ISBN: 978-3000340222), utilizes a different style for almost every picture! Originally done as a Master’s thesis at the University of Applied Sciences in Manheim, Germany, its range is remarkable, from watercolors through graffiti, Japanese woodblocks, tattoos, collage, deco, Aztec, etc. Some nudes appear. In a plush hardcover and boxed, it is still available from Amazon in Germany. €39.90.

Ekaterina Kostina’s delightful and often surprising full-page paintings for Алиса в Зазеркалье (LG) were published in a large-format hardcover by Kacheli in 2021 (ISBN 978-5-907302-51-8). Her imaginative paintings often feature unusual perspectives. Again, Ruslania stocks them. €35.

Alicia en el país de las maravillasAlicia a través del espejo (AW/LG) in a tête-bêche (upside down to each other) format contains hysterically funny portraits of the characters by Mexican illustrator Juan Gedovius. Published by Penguin Random House (ISBN: ‎978-6073186032 ) it is available from many online Mexican bookstores (www.amazon.com.mx stocks them, but will not deliver to the U.S.) MX$249 (around US$12).

Saving my favorite for last, Kirill Chelushkin’s outlandish allegorical paintings of a very modern blue-haired Alice moving among vast industrial machines and spaces is perhaps the most individualistic and creative approach to Alice since Dalí’s. The book itself is a marvel: 13 x 10.5 inches of handmade, beautifully printed splendor with a hand-designed typeface as well (ISBN 978-5-6041147-0-4). More pictures and ordering information can be found on the artist’s site. $1,500.

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The Tricycle Down the Rabbit Hole

Fedde Benedictus’s site “The Tricycle Down the Rabbit Hole” contains musings on various topics from the perspective of a philosopher of physics. His “Numbers in Wonderland” thread has five episodes to date that are based on Alice in Wonderland and are thought-provoking, understandable, and rather droll as well. Fedde teaches at Amsterdam University College and is the managing editor of a theoretical physics journal, Foundations of Physics.

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Looking-Glass Exhibition in Brazil: Esplêndido!

Assemblage: Adriana Peliano
Assemblage: Adriana Peliano
Photo: Alexandre Guzanshe

This month (July 5-29), the Biblioteca Pública Estadual de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte is presenting a splendid exhibition, the ninth such celebrating Carrollsday (July 4, of course). Brazil’s Carrollsday was created in 2010 by Beatriz (“Bia”) Mom, who is also the curator of this exhibition. This year’s iteration, which is in partnership with Adriana Peliano and the Sociedade Lewis Carroll do Brasil, celebrates Looking-Glass150.

The exhibit contains collages, assemblages, and installations. Adriana selected the books on display and designed an enormous double-chessboard whose white squares each show a different artist’s interpretation of the moment where Alice goes through the looking-glass. In all, there are 100 images from 70 illustrators from all over the globe.

If you can’t get to Belo Horizonte (it’s 280 miles due north of Rio de Janeiro) this month, there are a number of photographs you can look at on Facebook (which has close to 40); Instagram (@carrollsday); and the above link to the LCSBrazil has some as well.

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Alico en Mirlando (Esperanto)

A new edition of La aventuroj de Alico en Mirlando (Wonderland in Esperanto) has been published by the Esperanto-Asocio de Britio. Illuminated by the fantastic Chris Riddell illustrations, the text is based on Donald Broadribb’s 1996 translation and significantly revised by Edmund Grimley Evans. You can get it from their website. Or a bookstore (ISBN: 978-0-902756-48-9).

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“Let’s Go Crazy” (Sing 2)

Sing 2, the excellent sequel to the very popular animated musical Sing, opens with a shot of Meera, the teenage elephant (Tori Kelly), who runs through a forest, trips and falls down a hole, goes through a tiny door, and finds herself in a Wonderland musical number performed to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” Later in the film, Ash (Scarlett Johannsson) sings “Heads Will Roll,” and one of the backstage carpenters is, of course, a walrus.

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“…for I never was so small as this before, never!”

The goal of the Tiny Alice Project was to produce the smallest ever reproduction of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with letters measuring in nanometers. And they succeeded!

The project was an unlikely collaboration between a Welsh scientist, Dr. Daryl Beggs, and a Welsh fantasy-literature expert, Dr. Dimitra Fimi. Using electron-beam lithography, they printed the book on crystalline silicon using lettering of pure gold. With letters just 2 microns high, each page measures 85 microns by 60 microns. (A micron, or micrometer, is one millionth of a meter, or one thousandth of a millimeter.)

Why Alice? For one thing, Victorian culture was obsessed with the minuscule. A diary entry for 1852 shows Carroll fascinated with Uncle Skeffington’s microscope, and we are all aware of Alice’s changes in size. In fact, Carroll’s diary entry for that famous July 4th, 1862, expedition says, “Duckworth and I made an expedition up the river to Godstow with the three Liddells: we had tea on the bank there, and did not reach Christ Church again till quarter past eight, when we took them to my rooms to see my collection of microphotographs, and restored them to the Deanery just before nine.”

Microphotographs, invented by John Benjamin Dancer, were the natural offspring of marrying the two leading Victorian technologies: microscopy and photography. For one shilling, one could purchase a 3″×1″ glass slide with what looked like a tiny dot on it, but which when looked through a microscope would be revealed to be portrait of a famous scientist or writer, a landscape, or the entire Lord’s Prayer.

Carroll’s own microscope is now in the Houghton Collection at the Pierpont Morgan Library. Another gadget he owned was a geographer’s pen, which he used to write “miniature” or “fairy” letters, about the size of a postage stamp and usually addressed to children, using a magnifying glass.

Knight Letter readers will recall Williard Wigan of Birmingham, UK, whose Wonderland microsculpture tableau of the Tea Party was so small that it can fit in the eye of a needle (and he once inhaled its heroine by mistake; KL 79:46). At last, the attendees have something to read.

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Philip Glass Ballet “Alice” Now Online

“The French company Opéra national du Rhin Ballet premiered Alice Feb. 11–13, 2022, in Mulhouse, and Feb. 18–19 in Strasbourg. ‘With a new score by Philip Glass, a figurehead of American minimalism, choreographers Amir Hosseinpour and Jonathan Lunn reimagine and reinvent Carroll’s fantastical world. Freed from the original narrative, the dancers of the OnR Ballet play a new gallery of contemporary creatures and characters, joined by actor Sunnyi Melles.’” – Knight Letter 107, p. 73

The ballet was recorded and is now available for viewing until June 28, 2022. (You must subscribe to Medici.tv, minimum one month @ $13.) A trailer can be seen here.

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