Saturday, August 21, 2010

Visions of Alice

Deep in the tulgey forest, Alice receives some confounding advice from the Caterpillar whilst a pair of slithy toves gyre and gimble. Nearby, resting in a sunny spot, is a Snap-dragon-fly, "its body made of plum-pudding, its wings of holly-leaves, and its head a raisin burning in brandy". The Red Knight is snoozing against a tree. The Jabberwock is trying to get some attention, but no one wants to awaken the Red Knight, since they are all phantoms of his dream.

Herewith we present a commemorative collage from the museum's publications department, featuring an arrangement of some of John Tenniel's original illustrations, set in a "tulgey wood" provided by Gustave Dore. Most of the collages in this series are views of the Zymoglyphic region, which, in fact, is not very far from Wonderland. See a previous blog entry for more of Alice's influence on the region.

A blockbuster version of the Alice story recently hit the big screen, transforming two complex, multi-level tales into a conventional battle of good vs. evil, albeit with eye-popping visuals. The museum's marketing department had advised us to cling tight to its coat-tails to promote this print, but the blog department was, like the White Rabbit, late. The print is nevertheless available in various sizes and framing options here

This collage was recently featured at Alicenations, one of the blogs maintained by Adriana Peliano of the Sociedade Lewis Carroll do Brasil. Adriana also creates amazing assemblages and collages inspired by the Alice stories, as well as traditional tales.

Two other Lewis Carroll societies exist, in the U.S. and the U.K, both tending toward somewhat more academic pursuits. This is perhaps the most interesting part of Carroll's legacy - that a synthesis of mathematical logic, wordplay, dream logic, storytelling invention, and a timeless view of childhood can inspire an apparently inexhaustible variety of movies, art, plays, and scholarly analysis.