Alice at 150

I’ve mentioned a few times that AIW is 150 years old this year, which has led to projects like this and exhibits like this.  Because Harvard owns a lot of Lewis Carroll materials, The Boston Globe has been printing articles about the books and author.  Claire’s mom has been sending her clippings that Claire shared with me.  I couldn’t access some of them online for everyone to see, but I did get this one about the incredible number of translations of the Alice books: article on alice translations. I was actually lucky enough to see the Harvard exhibit in person this summer, so I’m also including here a few of my own (not very good) photos:

LC's original illustrations

LC’s original illustrations and text

The binding chosen by LC

The binding chosen by LC

First American edition of AIW

First American edition of AIW

Alice as a Guinness beer ad

Alice as a Guinness beer ad

LC alice game Harvard 2015

1932 theater production

1932 theater production

a German lampoon

a German lampoon

AIW in shorthand

AIW in shorthand

LC alice ill variants 2 Harvard 2015

LC alice nabokov trans Harvard 2015

Seaside edition?

Seaside edition?

LC for Japan Harvard 2015LC in Japanese Harvard 2015

LSD tabs

LSD tabs. Woah.

 

 

The significance of cards in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The description of the royal inhabitants of Wonderland as physical playing cards suggests the concept of a house of cards. Rule and expectation are structured very carefully, and even a single card “out of place” within the house will likely catalyze a collapse of the structure as it were. Alice is clearly the card which actively disrupts the order (or the order of disorder that is Wonderland), and this dynamic is exhibited finally and most directly with the event of Alice’s exit from Wonderland, as she bluntly accuses the queen, king, and subjects of being nothing more than a pack of cards. She willfully illegitimatizes their authority, which releases her from Wonderland, and, from one perspective, subverts its entire construct. All of this suggests that in some situations, figures of authority maintain their power because those whom they govern simply and consistently allow them the power and authority.

Welcome to Wonderland

alice and rabbitWhen Alice follows the White Rabbit, she has no idea that the world in which she will soon find herself will challenge nearly all that she knows: how to

navigate from one place to another,

interpret words that sound like English but seem to be nonsensical,

solve problems and puzzles,

gain authority when everyone else seems to have great power,

                     make herself heard,

protect herself,

determine which rules to follow and which to challenge,

                                                                                           judge whose advice is trustworthy,

and interrogate the very nature of things without losing her own self.

In all of these ways, her experience is arguably a lot like … well … College.

book tunnelJUMP.