Every once in a rare while you stumble onto something that is so delightful, so inspiring, so completely you, but that you never would've even known to seek out. Something like the Alice in a World of Wonderlands exhibit at the Grolier Club.
We were in New York last year, took the subway over to Central Park from the Bowery, and were being directed around construction on our way to the park when I saw Alice on a little sign. I walked over and saw that it was an exhibition, free to the public, on around-the-world translations of Alice in Wonderland. Of course I couldn't miss it. It wasn't a big room, but I spent at least an hour there and could've spent a few more if I had been alone.
|Alice, the original.
The information about various translations was interesting to say the least, but for me, comparing the various illustrations was just incredible. I was so surprised by the number of non-blonde Alices (including the original, Alice Liddell) although it shouldn’t be surprising considering how many of the world’s peoples have dark hair. I left wishing the book was a compilation of the illustrations rather than the translations, but at least I was able to find images of a few of the more remarkable covers online.