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Saturday, November 17, 2001

Aspects of the Victorian book, at the British Library
Lear only appears in the "Illustration" section with the Javan Squirrel, but the whole exhibition provides interesting background on the production and publishing of books in the 19th century.
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:36 PM

Friday, November 16, 2001

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF AUSTRALIA: Treasures from the World's great libraries
The National Library of Australia is proud to announce a landmark international exhibition, Treasures from the World's Great Libraries.
This will include "Edward Lear's illustrated version of the nursery rhyme High Diddle Diddle".
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:53 AM

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Artistic Alpine views
WATERCOLOURS and oil paintings depicting Alpine scenes captured from the mid-18th century up to the 1950s will be on show from the end of the month.
Peaks and Glaciers, showing at John Mitchell & Son in London, will include paintings by Turner and Edward Lear, and range from early romanticised (and frankly imaginary) views to later works which are more topographically accurate and realistic. The watercolour of the Rosenlaui Glacier in the Swiss Alps by Johann-Jakob Biedermann is one of the many highlights.
The Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 2:46 PM

Sunday, November 11, 2001

The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense by Edward Lear
Nonsense writers come into a special category, and perhaps we shouldn't expect their posthumous reputations to follow the usual patterns. But still it's surprising to realise, reading Vivien Noakes's new edition, that Edward Lear is no longer homosexual.
Guardian Unlimited Books | Observer review
posted by Marco Graziosi 2:21 PM

Sunday, November 04, 2001

G.K. Chesterton, "Child Psychology and Nonsense", Illustrated London News, October 15, 1921.
For there are two ways of dealing with nonsense in this world. One way is to put nonsense in the right place; as when people put nonsense into nursery rhymes. The other is to put nonsense in the wrong place; as when they put it into educational addresses, psychological criticisms, and complaints against nursery rhymes or other normal amusements of mankind.
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:52 PM

Monday, October 29, 2001

Was Lewis Carroll's interest in Alice sinister?
It is true that the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, otherwise known as Lewis Carroll, author of the inimitable classics Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, liked little girls. Or, as he once wrote: "I am fond of children (except boys)." He took exquisite, melancholy photographs of little girls. He befriended little girls on trains, and beaches, and in the houses of friends. And one particular little girl, Alice Liddell, came to be his muse and great passion.
Guardian Unlimited Books
posted by Marco Graziosi 9:29 AM

Saturday, October 27, 2001

Classic Review - Just So Stories
I t was only a century ago, as everybody remembers, that literary sucklings were nurtured on the Bible, Pilgrim's Progress, Paradise Lost, and Fox's Book of Martyrs. This was not in all respects an admirable diet for readers of any age, but it had its good points. There is a chance that an imaginative child may be helped toward a taste for good literature by having to amuse himself with that or nothing; he may delight in the rhythm of great poetry or the stately march of great prose before he can get an inkling as to what it is all about. But the situation is hardly imaginable nowadays, since children have plenty of reading to amuse themselves with besides the best. They are no longer required to be seen and not heard, or to put up with the scraps of literature which may fall from the wholesome (that is, tiresome) table of their elders. A much pleasanter bill of fare is being provided for them, and it is confidently expected that the early courses of sugarwater and lollipop will gently and kindergartenly induce an appetite for the ensuing roast. The fact is, our guilt has come home to us. We have not been treating the child properly for the past ten thousand years or so, and we are in a creditable hurry to make it up to him, at the expense of our own rights if necessary; and we do books, among other things, in his honor, by way of propitiating him.
[This review of Kipling's Just So stories from the Atlantic Monthly of May 1903, while not mentioning Lear, emphasises the change that occured in the perception of children's literature during the XIX c.]
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:46 PM

Ship of fools. All aboard! by Vivien Noakes
EDWARD LEAR would have been delighted, though not, I think, entirely surprised that The Owl and The Pussycat was recently voted the nation’s favourite children’s poem. “Nonsense is the breath of my nostrils,” he once wrote, and his joy in absurdity reflected his whole approach to “this ludicrously whirligig life which one suffers first & laughs at afterwards”.
The Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:11 AM

Friday, October 26, 2001

John Gould's Birds of Australia
A page from the Treasures of the Library section of the National Library of Australia.
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:13 PM

Saturday, October 13, 2001

'Ascending Peculiarity': How Gorey Became Gorey
How Gorey became Gorey is the heart of the 21 interviews with assorted writers and critics, dated from 1973 to 1999, the year before his death, collected in ''Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey,'' edited by Karen Wilkin, an art critic who also contributes a useful introduction.
The New York Times Book Review
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:15 AM

Thursday, October 04, 2001

'Owl and the Pussy-Cat' voted favourite children's poem
Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat" has been voted Britain's favourite children's poem in the first public poll of its kind, carried out by the BBC.
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:55 PM

Top poetry is complete nonsense
In a 1998 poll The Owl and the Pussy-cat ranked only 8th, but this was for "comic poems".
BBC News | Entertainment (October 10, 1998)
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:45 PM

What's your favourite children's poem?
Here you can read most of the top ten poems.
BBC - Arts - Poetry
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:39 PM

Poet extols verse's 'healing' quality
Some 1,000 balloons bearing the words of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat - voted the country's best-loved children's poem - were released into the London skies.
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:36 PM

The top ten votes
1 The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Edward Lear
2 Matilda Hilaire Belloc
3 Don’t Michael Rosen
4 Jabberwocky Lewis Carroll
The Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:28 PM

Owl and the Pussy-Cat sail to the top
POETRY lovers, young and old, have voted Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy-Cat their favourite children’s poem in a nationwide poll.
The BBC poll, which was launched to celebrate National Poetry Day today, invited poetry lovers to vote for their favourite children’s verse.
The Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:22 PM

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Children's Literature
Again great links and bibliographies from the same author.
posted by Marco Graziosi 7:07 AM

Social history of Children's Literature
edited by Kay E. Vandergrift
A great collection of links and bibliographies on children's literature, though I have not been able to find any reference to E. Lear.
posted by Marco Graziosi 7:03 AM

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Devices and desires
Tennessee Williams once said that his plays were built on the wreckage of the American family. This is true, of course - the same could be said of Theodore Dreiser's immensely gloomy novels - and yet the wreckage of Williams's own family life comes carefully concealed, its frets and fractures covered up with all manner of innocuous lumber.
The Sunday Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 2:18 AM

Monday, August 20, 2001

Here are a couple of articles with references to Edward Lear:
PET TRADE BLUES (the efforts and moral problems involved in attempting to save Brazil's Lear's macaws from extinction), by Richard Hartley, from International Wildlife, March-April, 2000.
Voyage of a painter (Charles-Alexandre Lesueur), by Errol Fuller, from Natural History, April, 1998.
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:30 AM

Sunday, August 19, 2001

artnet.com Magazine Reviews - Drawing Notebook
He called himself "The Painter of Poetical Topography," but the world knows this superb draughtsman better as the inventor of the limerick. He was the Englishman Edward Lear (1812-1888).
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:46 AM

John Gould (1841-1881)
John Gould (1804-1881) was the most prolific artist and publisher of ornithological subjects of all time. In nineteenth century Europe his name was as well known as Audubon's was here in North America. Unlike Audubon, whose life's work focused on one region, Gould traveled widely and employed other artists to help create his lavish hand-colored lithographic folios. Nearly 3,000 lithographs were created during the span of his long career.
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:31 AM

Saturday, August 11, 2001

Land of make-believe
Eggs on legs and free booze: Marilyn Corrie enters a medieval fantasy in Dreaming of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect Life by Herman Pleij
Guardian Unlimited Books
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:09 AM

Biography choice: Inventing Wonderland by Jackie Wullschläger
Edward Lear lived a solitary life, preferring children to adults as an escape from his homosexuality. Lear’s attitude to children is presented as being the kindest, his nonsense limericks having none of the menace of Carroll’s work.
The Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:43 AM

Thursday, August 02, 2001

Twentieth-Century American Children's Literature
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:39 PM

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

by David Noland, about Lear's travels in Calabria.
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:20 PM

Thursday, July 12, 2001

Word-Twisting versus Nonsense
from The Spectator, reprinted in Littell's Living Age, Fifth Series, Volume LVIII, Apr-May-Jun 1887, pp. 379-81.
posted by Marco Graziosi 2:47 PM

A Review of Illustrated Excursions in Italy
(and Fanny Kemble's A Year of Consolation) from the Quarterly Review, reprinted in Littell's Living Age, no. 187, 11 December 1847, pp. 481-94.
Cornell University Making of America
posted by Marco Graziosi 2:13 PM

Lear necrology from The New England Magazine. / Volume 6, Issue 33
March 1888, p. 302.
posted by Marco Graziosi 1:37 PM

Friday, June 29, 2001

Why I'll always have a soft spot for the lovely Lady Mondegreen
Homophones upset grammarians. But Mondegreen Rules, OK? They are a source of gaiety in the English language. Falstaff, Alice, Dickens and Edward Lear would be lost without them. Thomas Hood made an oeuvre from them. “His death which happen’d in his berth,/ At forty-odd befell:/ They went and told the sexton, and/ The sexton toll’d the bell.” Schoolboy riddles depend on them. “Waiter, waiter, what’s this?” “It’s bean soup.”
The Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:29 AM

Monday, May 21, 2001

The Uses of Enchantment
In ''The Little Mermaid,'' Hans Christian Andersen suggests that immortality can serve as a substitute, however unsatisfactory, for human love. The story is clearly an allegory for his own life, for the unloved Andersen, more than 125 years after his death, can lay as good a claim as anyone to artistic immortality. At a time when children's stories were exclusively moral and didactic, he revolutionized the genre by infusing it with the humor, anarchy and sorrow of great literature. He expressed the most painful and rawest emotions with extraordinary aesthetic control; the results rivaled anything produced by the great Romantic writers who were his contemporaries. In his simple, unpretentious way he told us as much about the human condition (think of ''The Emperor's New Clothes,'' ''The Snow Queen,'' ''The Fir Tree'') as any of the world's writers and philosophers.
The New York Times Book Review
posted by Marco Graziosi 2:22 PM

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

How Come the Translation of a Limerick Can Have Four Lines (Or Can It?)
by Gideon Toury
in: Word, Text, Translation: Liber Amicorum for Peter Newmark,
eds Gunilla Anderman & Margaret Rogers. Clevedon etc.: Multilingual Matters, 1999, 163-174.
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:12 PM

Poetics of Children's Literature
by Zohar Shavit
The University of Georgia Press, Athens and London, 1986 ©
[Full text online.]
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:50 PM

Saturday, April 28, 2001

Pinocchio, questo benedetto toscano
Concepito nell'aprile 1881, il capolavoro di Collodi compie centoventi anni. La Toscana ha perciò indetto il "1° Festival del Teatro di Pinocchio". Molti spettacoli in tutta Italia.
[On the aniversary of Collodi's conception of Pinocchio, with a short reference to EL.In Italian.]
Il Nuovo
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:13 AM

Thursday, April 19, 2001

Granddaughter of Lewis Carroll's Muse Puts Collection Up for Sale
The archive includes hundreds of letters, photographs, manuscripts, journals and other pieces of family memorabilia, among the most prominent of which are a group of photographs by Lewis Carroll; two highly personal letters from him, to Alice and to her mother, Lorina; and Alice's own, specially bound facsimile of Carroll's handwritten, hand-illustrated manuscript of "Alice's Adventures Under Ground," the basis for "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." The book is inscribed by Carroll to "her whose namesake one happy summer day inspired his story."
On June 6 the collection, which has been housed for some years in Christ Church college, Oxford, is to be sold in one fell swoop by Sotheby's in London. The auction house has high hopes for the sale, estimating that it will bring in at least £2 million, or close to $3 million.
The New York Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:36 AM

Thursday, April 12, 2001

The Learian Limericks Augmented and Revised
[I never thought they needed augmentation and/or revision; anyway here is Mr Jeliss's presentation of his 'improvements' — Marco.]
Many of the nonsense verses of Edward Lear which take the form now known as a limerick end with a line that merely repeats the first line with but slight variation. Since his time the necessity for the last line to provide a twist in the tail, or a kick in the pants in our less genteel age, has become apparent. Accordingly I have undertaken, in what I hope will be taken to be sincere affection for the originals, and not sacrilege, to provide some of Mr Lear's limericks with a little more punch in their final lines. Unfortunately many modern writers seem to think that all limericks should be obscene and some have 'reduced' Lear's work in this way. My aim has been to 'enhance' his work with a little added wit or humour of a simple kind. The new lines are in italic.
[This project reminds me of Arthur's tour de force in The Edwardian Leer, an 'uncensored' version of all 112 limericks from the Book of Nonsense.]
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:33 PM

Saturday, March 24, 2001

Gazing Into a Penholder
Why is it de rigueur for members of the avant-garde to try to stump us? Think of the Surrealists and the Dadaists, with their deadpan refusal to make sense; the authors of the French nouveau roman, with their poker-faced descriptions of trivial things; and the inexplicable mathematical games of Raymond Queneau. The present-day heirs of this tendency are conceptual artists, with their penchant for inscrutable brainteasers. When did ''experimental'' become synonymous with ''mystifying''? Mark Ford's smart new biography, ''Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams'' (Cornell University, $35), hints at a novel answer: with Roussel (1877-1933), a strange and possibly mad French poet and fantasist whose following has included many of the most influential avant-gardists of the 20th century. Roussel's power is that for them he functioned as a kind of proto-Andy Warhol. They could never be sure if he was pulling their leg.
The New York Times Book Review
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:50 AM

Friday, March 23, 2001

Les illustrateurs jeunesse
Cette sélection présente un nombre important d'illustrateurs et d'auteurs-illustrateurs pour la jeunesse, classés par ordre alphabétique, par nationalité et par époque. Cette liste est régulièrement mise à jour. Elle signale les artistes confirmés mais aussi ceux moins connus. Chaque entrée introduit à une biographie de l'illustrateur, une bibliographie, à une série d'illustrations de l'artiste, ainsi qu'à des liens éventuels.
Régulièrement, de nouvelles images, visibles en format vignette, sont intégrées à cette base.
[A very complete database.]
posted by Marco Graziosi 1:20 PM

Picturing Childhood: Illustrated Children's Books from University of California Collections, 1550–1990
Welcome to Picturing Childhood, an online version of the catalog produced to accompany an exhibition held at UCLA at the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Los Angeles, April 16 through June 29, 1997. The catalog was published by the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts and the Department of Special Collections at the University Research Library, UCLA.
[This exhibition seems to completely ignore Lear's production.]
posted by Marco Graziosi 1:18 PM

University of Delaware: WORLD OF THE CHILD - Two Hundred Years of Children's Books
An exhibition at the Hugh M. Morris Library
University of Delaware Library
February 17 - June 12, 1998
posted by Marco Graziosi 1:09 PM

Exhibit Essay for Hey Diddle Diddle: A History of Children's Book Illustration
An exhibit featuring books from the University Library's Special Collections, Multicultural Children's Literature Curriculum Collection, and Private Collections.
McHenry Library
University of California, Santa Cruz
January 3 - March 19, 2001
posted by Marco Graziosi 12:47 PM

Sunday, March 18, 2001

That Elgar moustache
On Victorian beards and moustache, with a reference to Lear, though it does not mention that Lear himself wuld be a perfect candidate...
Guardian Unlimited
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:01 AM

Friday, March 16, 2001

A comic strip that sang
If Walt Kelly had written "regular" books, he might be recognized today as one of the finest satirists of the 20th century. As a wizard of wordplay he might well be mentioned, if not in the same breath with Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, then in the very next.
But he didn't. He drew a comic strip, which was then, as now, a low estate, and most of the books he produced were compilations of his strip, "Pogo," featuring Pogo Possum, Albert the Alligator and a whole raft of animals inhabiting Kelly's highly imaginative rendering of Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp. And so Kelly, while not exactly an obscure figure, is remembered primarily by a fiercely loyal band of enthusiasts.
Chicago Sunday Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:21 PM

Friday, February 09, 2001

auteurs.net "Le meilleur du web littéraire"
Le site "Edward Lear Home Page" n'est pas recommandé aux grandes personnes, ni aux gens raisonnables : exclusivement consacré aux inepties rimées d'Edward Lear et au non-sens, il risque en effet de faire "grincer" leur entendement. Par contre, ceux qui ne répugnent pas à l'escamotage du bon sens y trouveront largement de quoi satisfaire leur penchant. Marco Graziosi (auteur d'une thèse sur Edward Lear) leur propose une liste de diffusion ainsi qu'une foule d'informations (biographie, bibliographie…) et de documents (portraits, dessins, études…) sur ce peintre et illustrateur anglais qui écrivait des bouts-rimés incongrus (limericks) entre deux esquisses. Même s'ils n'eurent pas la notoriété des ouvrages de Lewis Carroll, ses Books of Nonsense comptent néanmoins parmi les plus beaux fleurons de l'art non-sensique.
[This review of the site had me so excited I could not stop myself... Just for once!]
posted by Marco Graziosi 1:16 PM

Thursday, February 08, 2001

Manas: Culture, Indian Cinema- Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray was born into an illustrious family in Calcutta in 1921. His grandfather, Upendra Kishore Ray-Chaudhary, was a publisher, musician and the creator of children’s literature in Bengali. His father, Sukumar Ray, was a noted satirist and India's first writer of nonsense rhymes, akin to the nonsense verse of Edward Lear.
Does anybody know anything of this Sukumar Ray?
posted by Marco Graziosi 12:46 PM

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