Friday, July 31, 2009
Just a few whimseys from my own Alice Collection, which is sure to grow by leaps and bounds in 2010 once Tim Burton's vision of Alice hits the big screen. From the trailers it already looks to be most promising and appears that finallly the tale will be told as the dark adventure that it truly is!
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) is a novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. The tale is filled with allusions to Dodgson's friends. The tale plays with logic in ways that have given the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the most characteristic examples of the genre of literary nonsense, and its narrative course and structure have been enormously influential, mainly in the fantasy genre. The book is commonly referred to by the abbreviated title Alice in Wonderland, an alternative title popularized by the numerous stage, film and television adaptations of the story produced over the years. Some printings of this title contain both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.
Alice was written in 1865, exactly three years after the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed in a boat up the River Thames with three little girls:
Lorina Charlotte Liddell (aged 13, born 1849) ("Prima" in the book's prefatory verse)
Alice Pleasance Liddell (aged 10, born 1852) ("Secunda" in the prefatory verse)
Edith Mary Liddell (aged 8, born 1853) ("Tertia" in the prefatory verse)
The three girls were the daughters of Henry George Liddell, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and Dean of Christ Church as well as headmaster of Westminster School. Most of the book's adventures were based on and influenced by people, situations and buildings in Oxford, England and at Christ Church, e.g., the "Rabbit Hole" which symbolized the actual stairs in the back of the main hall in Christ Church.
The journey had started at Folly Bridge near Oxford and ended five miles away in the village of Godstow. To while away time the Reverend Dodgson told the girls a story that, not so coincidentally, featured a bored little girl named Alice who goes looking for an adventure.
The girls loved it, and Alice Liddell asked Dodgson to write it down for her. After a lengthy delay — over two years — he eventually did so and on 26 November 1864 gave Alice the handwritten manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, with illustrations by Dodgson himself. Some, including Martin Gardner, speculate there was an earlier version that was destroyed later by Dodgson himself when he printed a more elaborate copy by hand (Gardner, 1965), but there is no known prima facie evidence to support this.
But before Alice received her copy, Dodgson was already preparing it for publication and expanding the 18,000-word original to 35,000 words, most notably adding the episodes about the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Tea-Party. In 1865, Dodgson's tale was published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by "Lewis Carroll" with illustrations by John Tenniel. The first print run of 2,000 was held back because Tenniel had objections over the print quality. A new edition, released in December of the same year, but carrying an 1866 date, was quickly printed. As it turned out, the original edition was sold with Dodgson's permission to the New York publishing house of Appleton. The binding for the Appleton Alice was virtually identical with the 1866 Macmillan Alice, except for the publisher's name at the foot of the spine. The title page of the Appleton Alice was an insert cancelling the original Macmillan title page of 1865, and bearing the New York publisher's imprint and the date 1866.
The entire print run sold out quickly. Alice was a publishing sensation, beloved by children and adults alike. Among its first avid readers were Queen Victoria and the young Oscar Wilde. The book has never been out of print. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has been translated into 125 languages. There have now been over a hundred editions of the book, as well as countless adaptations in other media, especially theatre and film.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Resurrection is a Catholic Cemetery established in 1904. This cemetery was our first destination, the morning after arriving late the night before to Midway Airport. It's located in Justice , Ill. So after securing a large steaming cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee we went right over. It was early morning and about 19 degrees out at the time. Gave the whole photographing of this cemetery a certain 'cold' look that hopefully came through in the photos. The grass was mostly dead in the cemetery and everything was covered with ice, no snow then as it had rained the day before.
Resurrection Mary is the Chicago area's best-known ghost story. Of the "vanishing hitchhiker" type, the story takes place outside Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois, a few miles southwest of Chicago.
Since the 1930s, several men driving northeast along Archer Avenue between the Willowbrook Ballroom and Resurrection Cemetery have reported picking up a young female hitchhiker. This young woman is dressed somewhat formally and said to have light blond hair, blue eyes, and wearing a white party dress. Some more attentive drivers would sometimes add that she wore a thin shawl, or dancing shoes, and that she had a small clutch purse, and is very quiet. When the driver nears the Resurrection Cemetery, the young woman asks to be let out, whereupon she disappears into the cemetery. According to the Chicago Tribune, "full-time ghost hunter" Richard Crowe claims to have collected "three dozen . . . substantiated" reports of Mary from the 1930s to the present.
She left the ballroom and started walking up Archer Avenue. She had not gotten very far when she was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, who fled the scene leaving Mary to die. Her parents found her and were grief-stricken at the sight of her dead body. They buried her in Resurrection Cemetery, wearing a beautiful white dancing dress and matching dancing shoes. The hit-and-run driver was never found.
Jerry Palus, a Chicago southsider, reported that in 1939 he met a person who he came to believe was Resurrection Mary at the Liberty Grove and Hall at 47th and Mozart (and not the Oh Henry/Willowbrook Ballroom). They danced and even kissed and she asked him to drive her home along Archer Avenue, of course exiting the car and disappearing in front of Resurrection Cemetery.
In 1973, Resurrection Mary was said to have shown up at Harlow's nightclub, on Cicero Avenue on Chicago's southwest side. That same year, a cab driver came into Chet's Melody Lounge, across the street from Resurrection Cemetery, to inquire about a young lady who had left without paying her fare.
There were said to be sightings in 1976, 1978, 1980, and 1989, which involved cars striking, or nearly striking, Mary outside Resurrection Cemetery.Mary disappears, however, by the time the motorist exits the car.
She also reportedly burned her handprints into the wrought iron fence around the cemetery, in August 1976, although officials at the cemetery have stated that a truck had damaged the fence and that there is no evidence of a ghost.
In a January 31, 1979 article in the Suburban Trib, columnist Bill Geist detailed the story of a cab driver, Ralph, who picked up a young woman – "a looker. A blonde. . .she was young enough to be my daughter - 21 tops" – near a small shopping center on Archer Avenue.
"A couple miles up Archer there, she jumped with a start like a horse and said 'Here! Here!' I hit the brakes. I looked around and didn't see no kind of house. 'Where?' I said. And then she sticks out her arm and points across the road to my left and says 'There!'. And that's when it happened. I looked to my left, like this, at this little shack. And when I turned she was gone. Vanished! And the car door never opened. May the good Lord strike me dead, it never opened."
Geist described Ralph as "neither an idiot nor a maniac, but rather [in Ralph's own words] 'a typical 52-year-old working guy, a veteran, father, Little League baseball coach, churchgoer, the whole shot'. Geist goes on to say: "The simple explanation, Ralph, is that you picked up the Chicago area's preeminent ghost: Resurrection Mary."
Some researchers have even attempted to link Resurrection Mary to one of the many thousands of burials in Resurrection Cemetery. A particular focus of these efforts has been Mary Bregovy, who died in a 1934 auto accident in the Chicago Loop, as well as Anna "Marija" Norkus who died in a 1927 auto accident while on her way home from the Oh Henry Ballroom.
We found this sign posted at a smalll bar across from the cemetery.
Jeff and I travelled to Chicago in February of 2009. It was my first visit to this most photogenic of cities. Jeff is from Chicago as is my Father. I just fell in love with it! We drove around for hours, and Jeff~ who is a great city driver was able to get me to the right spots to capture just the right angles on the photos that I took. I hardly noticed the 21 degree weather as I hung out the window to snag the shot! At one point I hopped out to get some river shots in downtown ( which I will post in an upcoming blog) and was amazed as how chilled the air was standing at the top of the steps leading down to the rivers edge. Wisps of what looked like ash to me ( snow of course- but since I had never actually seen it snow. . ) blowing in the air was such a unique experience for this born and raised California girl! I hope you enjoy our look at Chicago! Here is one blog full of photos, more to come!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Anytime we spot one of these traveling carnivals we try to stop for a few photos. Usually the rides are just a little bit different from the last one we encountered. There is something fun, yet sinister about traveling carnivals. I wonder if this is why they are so often featured as backdrops for horror films? You can find Amusementorium in an early blog on this site by clicking HERE.
What sorts of memories do these carnivals conjure up for you?