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Far-Flung Knight

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The Blog of the LCSNA

Four New Illustrated Editions!

In addition to Nicole Claveloux’s fabulous Looking-Glass announced recently, we have for your viewing pleasure:

A new Russian translation of Wonderland by Oleg Gorbushin features illustrations by 13 contemporary Russian artists. You can see a short video about it here. The book is $41 and postage to the U.S. is $26. (A set of 53 stickers is an additional $4.) To order it, email Irina. (As of this writing, bank transfer is the only payment option, but she is working on establishing a PayPal account.)

Valeria Docampo, an artist born in Buenos Aires and now living in France, has produced a truly charming Wonderland, available in French (Alice Jeunesse, ISBN: 978-2874264399), Dutch (Eenhoorn, ISBN: 978-9462915275), and Italian (Terra, ISBN: 978-8861896475). A video of the book can be watched here. The French edition can be ordered through the Albertine bookshop.

French artist Aurélie Castex’s humorous and cartoon-like (in the best sense!) take on Wonderland is great fun. The oversize hardcover is full of playful cut-outs and other designs making for a magical adventure. A new translation, by Patrice Salsa, is another plus. You can view sample pages here. ISBN 978-2812303500.

A portfolio, limited edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with new illustrations by Alp Ozberker has been produced by George and Linda Cassady to support Carroll scholarship in connection with the Cassady Collection at USC. You can view the illustrations here. A folio book (105 unbound pages in an archival box) is $150; the art portfolio (24 pages in archival box, sans text) is $100. Email Linda.

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Nicole Claveloux’s Looking-Glass!!

The marvelous French illustrator and comic-book artist Nicole Claveloux published her psychedelic edition of Wonderland (Les Aventures d’Alice au pays des merveilles) in 1974 (Grasset-Jeunesse), with a translation by François Ruy-Vidal, to universal acclaim. A mere 45 years later (Fall, 2019), her Looking-Glass (De l’autre côté du miroir) has been issued by the same publisher, in the Henri Parisot translation (ISBN 978-2246816515).

For those whose collections lack her delightful Wonderland, it was reprinted by Grasset-Jeunesse in 2013 (ISBN 978-2246787105).

Nous saluons le retour, Nicole!!

(And thank you, Adriana, for discovering it.)

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White (Stone) Monday Terrific DEALS!!

Time to start your holiday shopping, and what could be finer than gifting your loved ones (or yourself) a Carrollian book, especially one sold at a discount?

Princeton University Press’s release in 2015 of the first (and only) trade edition of Wonderland with the marvelous illustrations by Salvador Dalí was a truly wondrous gift to the Carrollian world. The introduction is not the usual Wiki mini-bio, but a contemplation on Carroll, surrealism and mathematics. For any adult who wishes to read (or reread) Alice, this is the perfect edition to give them! And Princeton has offered a 30% discount to Society members for books purchased on their site through December. The code is CARROLL.

Diane Waggoner’s sublime Lewis Carroll’s Photography and Modern Childhood, explores “how Lewis Carroll’s photographs of children gave visual form to evolving ideas about childhood in the Victorian era.” Photographic quality is of the highest, and the text is of great interest to all Carrollians and students of that medium. Again, a 30% discount for our members through December is available through the code CARROLL on their site.

The Pamphlets of Lewis Carroll, Volume VI: A Miscellany of Works on Alice, Theater, Religion, Science, and More is the sixth and final volume in the series. It contains more than one hundred items that Carroll wrote on a wide variety of subjects, often under his real name. Drawn from separately published pamphlets, contributions to periodicals, and unpublished manuscripts, many of these items have not been reprinted since the nineteenth century, and more than a dozen are newly discovered. The University of Virginia will offer LCSNA members a pre-publication 50% discount on this volume, for a limited time only. There will be a special email to members in the near future offering the book for half price ($47.50 as opposed to the $95.00 list).

Blending Logic and Imagination: The Puzzle Art of Lewis Carroll by Marcel Danesi, PhD, is reviewed in the Fall 2020 Knight Letter, which will be mailed later this week. Nova is offering a 20% discount on their site. Code is Carroll20.

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Alice in the Pandemic: A Virtual Opera

A ticketed online opera will be streamed by the activist opera group White Snake Projects on Oct. 23-27. “The heroine of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books navigates an absurd alternate reality, and that idea spoke to the composer Jorge Sosa and the librettist Cerise Lim Jacobs during this chaotic year. Their virtual opera, Alice in the Pandemic, employs CGI to build a desolate, nonsensical cityscape, where a modern-day Alice searches for her sick mother. Designed with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine—the same software platform used to create Fortnite—the world of the opera resembles that of a first-person-shooter or roleplaying video game. The soloists sing to a prerecorded accompaniment of strings and electronics, and their voices and facial expressions come together in real time to animate their onscreen avatars during the live stream.”

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Kathryn Beaumont Before Alice

Walt Disney first saw Miss Beaumont in a 1948 Esther Williams vehicle called On an Island with You, which led to her being cast as Alice and later, Wendy. Her elocution, accent, voice, and appeal are unmistakable here, even when she’s imitating Jimmy Durante! You can rent the movie on Amazon Prime or You Tube, but please be warned that although there are some nice dance sequences and musical numbers, in this #MeToo era, the central romance comes off as way more creepy than charming. Better perhaps just to see the excerpts in which Kathryn appears.

“But, Grandmother, how can one possibly be too British?”

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Our Virtual Book Club!

Please join us this Saturday (September 12, 2:00 pm Eastern Time, 11:00 am Pacific Time) for our very first Virtual Book Club! LCSNA Vice-President Emertita Cindy Watter will be interviewing author/scholar/founding LCSNA member Edward Guiliano about his entertaining and enlightening book Lewis Carroll: The Worlds of His Alices.

You can access the Virtual Book Club with this Zoom link. You do not need a Zoom account to attend. We’ll have the Q&A feature turned on so that you can submit questions and comments for Cindy and Edward during the interview.

“You’ll see me there,” said the Cat, and vanished.

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New Work by Abelardo Morell

Many of us grew enamored of the photographic assemblages of the world-renowned, award-winning photographer Abelardo Morell with his edition of Wonderland (Dutton, 1998) or A Book of Books (Bulfinch, 2002).

He has now illustrated Looking-Glass, and re-visited his Wonderland work. A suitable publisher is being sought.

We are anticipating an interview with him in the Fall Knight Letter. Meanwhile, he will be discussing this work along with others in a virtual presentation at the Eastman Museum on October 7 at 6 pm (Eastern time).

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A Virtual Time Machine to Disneyland, 1958

Alice in Wonderland opening, 1958. Karen Pendleton as Alice.

Former Imagineers Don Carson and Daniel Rover Singer (longtime LCSNA member) have created videos that digitally re-create the experience of riding Disneyland’s original “Alice in Wonderland” ride that opened in 1958.  It was visited by millions of Disneyland guests before it was destroyed in 1983 after 25 years, without any known attempt to properly document it.  The original art directors interpreted the Disney cartoon into more of a carnival spook-house ride, which is why the show was gutted to make way for a new version in 1984 that more closely resembled the animated film.

Don and Rover were lucky to find enough rare documentation to re-create the entire experience in fine detail and full color. (The indoor part of the ride, that is; the ride itself then went outdoors for its final third, wending through a winding vine of leaves. Walt loved the idea of passersby seeing caterpillars wiggling along amongst tall blades of [fiberglass] grass and towering dandelions that glowed at night.)

It’s difficult to say what Lewis Carroll would have thought of this attraction—it’s nightmarish and has little to do with his witty, charming stories.  But for “Alice” fans who may have seen this show, it’s a fun memory-jog and a fascinating piece of theme-park history.

* High resolution but no animated props or opening doors
* Lower resolution with animated props, opening doors; with a VR headset you can turn and look in any direction
* One of Don’s fascinating in-progress “making of” videos

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A Virtual Theme Park

Creation Theatre of the UK is offering Alice: A Virtual Theme Park throughout the month of August. It sounds like you will go between a “Wonderland” virtual experience and Zoom meetings with the cast (in character) and other participants. They also recommend having a deck of cards at hand. Shows must be booked in advance. Tickets are £20 ($26) and remember show times are listed in Greenwich Mean Time (5 – 8 hours ahead of the continental US).

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