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

Seeking It with Thimbles: Fine Press and Artist’s Books

This seems to be a banner year for hunting particularly elegant Snarks. The Cheshire Cat Press of Toronto last year published a fine-press Snark illustrated by Byron Sewell (42 copies, $350, KL 101:58), and will soon publish an identically formatted edition with illustrations by George Walker based on Donald Trump’s cabinet as the crew. Another being planned features cartes de visite selected by Andy Malcolm. Contact cheshirecatpress@gmail.com.

Marie Christine Bourven of Reims, France, has produced a charming bilingual (French and English) accordion-fold artist’s book Snark ($100). Contact aimecbaime@aol.com (de préférence en français).

A most elegant artist’s book from the Chevington Press (UK)—distributed in the U.S. by Two Ponds Press of Rockford, Maine—is “illustrated by the lauded color-etching printer D. R. Wakefield, using contemporary characters to depict the members of the hunting party and even a portrait of the elusive Snark/Boojum. Wakefield’s etched portraits, ranging from Ted Hughes as the Broker to Morgan Freeman as the Butcher and the artist as the Bellman, bring a modern feel to this work.” Deluxe copies (#s 1 – 5) are bound in quarter leather, housed in a clamshell box, and contain an extra suite of the etchings ($4,700); “ordinary” editions #s 6 – 32 are $3,200. Contact KenShure@twopondspress.com.

Two spectacular oversize artist’s books by Gwen Harrison and Sue Anderson of the Impediment Press in Australia consist of sugarlift and aquatint etchings with handset letterpress printing. Howl for a Black Cockatoo (photo above) and Phantomwise Flew the Black Cockatoo “tell the cruel and absurd history of a government institution set up in Australia in 1869, which continued up until 1975. Lewis Carroll’s remarkable texts were interwoven and layered with other text throughout both books, which allowed us to tell this previously hidden history, as without Alice’s help, reading such a dark history would have been unbearable.

“It tells of devastating and relentless cruelties inflicted on young girls, orphans, and neglected children while they were confined in the old penal prison known as ‘Biloela,’ on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. It is difficult to express the nature of the overwhelming wrongs these girls endured. Eventually their story was recontexualised into another world called ‘Wonderland.’

“The original sugarlift etchings, many inspired by John Tenniel, are all printed from the copper and steel plates on Magnani ‘Revere’ 100% cotton rag paper. Letterpress printing on a Potter Proof press, handset in Caslon lead type, various wood types. Abstract leather binding in black kangaroo, with sugarlift etching on Magnani ‘Revere’ paper.”

Howl is in an edition of 25 (au$7,000; us$5,000); Phantomwise is au$8,000; us$5,700. Contact wandringbarkstudio@gmail.com.

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We’re No. 2!

OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), a nonprofit cooperative organization “dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing information costs,” and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world, as well as the Dewey Decimal Classification system.
On March 5, they published The Library 100: Top Novels of All Time, a list of the novels most widely available in libraries today. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland came in at No. 2 overall, behind No. 1, Don Quixote, and ahead of Huckleberry Finn.
Thanks to Jon Lindseth for finding this.

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The Graphing of the Snark

The hypergraph properties of a short excerpt (lines 547 to 556) of “The Hunting of the Snark” was presented by Ronald Haentjens Dekker and David J. Birnbaum in their talk “It’s More than Just Overlap: Text as Graph” at Balisage: The Markup Conference in Washington DC in August of 2017. It was later printed in their Proceedings in the Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 19, and is accessible here. (Scroll down about 2/3rds of the way or search for “Appendix C. Hypergraph Visualizations.”)

[Thanks to Götz Kluge for spotting this.]

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All Is in One (image) Derland

Renowned Spanish illustrator, and professor at the University of Granada, Sergio García Sánchez depicted the entire book of Wonderland in a single circular image, published in the New York Times Book Review on February 2, 2018. He has now made beautiful 100 × 100 cm (39 × 39 inch) prints available on acid-free Fabriano Accademia paper, 120 gr., signed by the artist. A print plus shipping to the US is $100. Contact him by email.

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Five More New Books

Five new books of possible interest to younger Carrollians:

  • “Gothically visionary” You Are Alice in Wonderland’s Mum (Pick-A-Plot book 4 in a series of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style books, Conundrum Press, 2017), written and illustrated by Sherwin Tjia. “In a quest to find your daughter that will take you through the seedy underbelly of London’s Whitechapel district and up into the secret debauched heart of its richest denizens, …” Alice’s Mum is called Hannah for some reason. The Pick-A-Plot series also contains such undoubted masterpieces as You Are a Cat in the Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Described as a “Steampunk Alice in Wonderland,” Curiouser and Curiouser (Clockpunk Press, 2017) by Melanie Karsak (who describes herself as “a steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne”), follows Alice Lewis through adventures with Lord Dodgson, Rabbit, Jabberwocky [sic], and the like through the London of the Crystal Palace exhibition.
  • DeAnna Knippling’s The Clockwork Alice (Wonderland Press, 2017) is a YA novel described as “In Wonderland, a terrible curse had been inflicted on the inhabitants. For half the day, they are banished to the opposite side of Wonderland, where everyone is made of clockwork and forced to work until sunrise, winding the Master Chronometer that powers them all. And if they don’t? The entire world will wind down.” She is also the author of
  • Alice’s Adventures in Underland: The Queen of Stilled Hearts “Before Lewis Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, he was humble Charles Dodgson, mathematician at Christ Church college . . . and a zombie.”
  • Stefanie Marie’s War of Hearts (2018), Book 1 of her Wonderland Kings series, set in today’s world, follows Alexandra (“Alex”) Kincade into Wonderland, these days full of dark magic and dead things, and her four “kings” in what is called a “reverse harem” arrangement.

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The Tell-Tile Hearth

As we all know, Rev. C. L. Dodgson’s fireplace in his rooms at Oxford was surrounded by beautiful brick-red decorative tiles created by William De Morgan. A sailing ship was depicted at the top, with both mythical and natural creatures encircling it. (Seen here in Linda Gray-Moin’s re-creation, KL 100:4. A detailed article on the subject will be in the forthcoming Knight Letter #102.)

The frabjous news is that you can now get perfect reproductions of these tiles from William Morris Tile! You can buy them in several sizes, or one or two of the multi-image ones specially designed and priced for the LCSNA! (Look on the lower right of the page under “Limited Edition Collector Tiles.”)

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Spring Meeting in San Diego!

San Diego Central Library (Photo: Natalia Robert)
San Diego Central Library (Photo: Natalia Robert)

Our Spring 2019 meeting will be held March 8 and 9 in sunny San Diego, California, and is filled with all manner of things—great opportunities, exceptional speakers, and an archaeological adventure to rediscover a once-lost mural! Friday events will be held at the San Diego Central Library, and activities include the Maxine and David Schaefer Memorial Reading, a tour of the Library (including the Children’s Library and Rare Book Room), and their special Alice exhibit. On Saturday at San Diego State University‘s Scripps Cottage, activities include terrific speakers—fine scholarly talks, and others more focused on the popular culture (Edward Gorey! Kathleen Krull! Shel Silverstein! Star Wars! see Agenda for details), a short trip to view a once-lost Alice in Wonderland mural, and an exhibition of Edward Gorey’s Carroll materials. San Diego is a beautiful place—you may wish to stay a couple of extra days!

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Hunting Snarks in the Antipathies

New Zealander David Elliot, whose book Snark: Being a true history of the expedition that discovered the Snark and the Jabberwock … and its tragic aftermath won several prestigious awards, has a Snark: A Victorian Odyssey exhibition currently running at the Ashburton Art Gallery, November 5 – February 10. It is presented in the form of a Cabinet of Curiosities and features several artifacts from Otago Museum plus other objects made by his friends. A photographer, Chris Gilman Gable, has made a short documentary on David and the exhibit, if you don’t happen to be in the neighborhood.

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Believe In Dreams: A Tiffany Holiday

Tiffany & Co. Believe in Dreams campaign

“This holiday season, Tiffany & Co. introduces the latest chapter of its ‘Believe in Dreams’ campaign, which takes viewers behind the scenes of a Tiffany workshop where surprising and surreal moments unfold, featuring a star-studded cast of characters. The campaign film opens at Tiffany & Co.’s iconic Fifth Avenue flagship store, where actress, musician and style icon Zoë Kravitz stars as a Tiffany sales professional working late into the evening. Kravitz is drawn from reality into a Tiffany Blue®dreamscape infused with pops of neon. At the heart of this whimsical wonderland is an underground holiday workshop with craftspeople, and at the helm is a quirky manager played by model Xiao Wen Ju. The exquisite workmanship and masterful artistry of Tiffany & Co. are brought to life in a series of witty vignettes with cameos from models Karen Elson and Maye Musk, among others. The journey culminates in a ‘madcap tea party’ hosted by Naomi Campbell.” The ad features Aerosmith’s 1973 hit “Dream On.” Lots of Wonderland references; click here.

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