Aug 29

Nissa has blogged about it, so the cat is out of the bag…

Yes, Ralph Midgley is translating Ventürs jiela Lälid in Stunalän, which Evertype will publish in due course.

The grammar of Volapük is agglutinative. The word ventür [venˈtyr] ‘adventure’ has an -s plural, which is familiar enough. The compound stunalän [stʊnaˈlɛn] is derived from stun ‘wonder, amazement, astonishment’ (evidently based on ‘astonish’ plus a genitive ending -a plus län ‘land, country’ (based on ‘land’). The phrase jiela Lälid [ʃieˈla lɛˈlid] is a genitive, composed of the article el ‘the’ used with names to which is attached the prefix ji- [ʃi]~[ʒi] ‘she’ and the genitive suffix -a.

Why Lälid, you ask? Because Volapük uses initial vowels to represent tenses:

  • o- indicates the future
  • ä- indicates the imperfect
  • e- indicates the perfect
  • u- indicates the future perfect
  • i- indicates the pluperfect
  • ö- indicates the future in the past
  • ü- indicates the future in the past perfect
  • a- indicates the present tense, but this is only used in certain circumstances, such a when an adverb has a temporal sense. Compare: delo ‘by day’, adelo ‘today’, odelo ‘tomorrow’, ädelo ‘yesterday’

Since Alice is—well—not imperfect, *Älis could cause confusion. (There is no verb *lisön, as it happens, but even so.) But Volapük handles this with a prefix l-, as in Lislän ‘Iceland’. But there are also rules in Volapük that discourage the use of -s at the ends of words, since that is the plural marker. Alice derives from Germanic Adalheidis, however, so there’s some justification for using a -d instead. Thus, Lälid, genitive Lälida, accusative Lälidi, dative Lälide. (Note that when preceded by the inflected article the noun does not inflect; jiela Lälid and Lälida mean the same thing.)

Ralph notes that “lälid [is] made up of preposition meaning ‘to be near to’, and the noun lid which means ‘a song’. A person near to a song is almost always happy, and with certain infrequent exceptions, I think this describes Alice very well.”

Aug 22

Evertype is pleased to announce the publication of a new edition of John Rae’s New Adventures of Alice, a sequel to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

New Adventures of Alice
From the introduction:

John Rae (1882–1963) was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was educated at Pratt Institute High School in Brooklyn. In 1900 he attended the Art Students League of New York where he studied under illustrator and artist Howard Pyle. Of the better-known children’s books Rae wrote and illustrated are New Adventures of Alice, Grasshopper Green and The Meadow Mice, and Granny Goose. More than fifty books, and many magazines of the day, sported Rae’s illustrations. From 1935 to 1940, he taught Painting and Design at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Rae engaged in portraiture work, and notably painted the portraits of Carl Sandburg and Albert Einstein. Rae was a member of the Artists Guild, the Artists League of America, and the Society of American Illustrators, and was listed in Who’s Who in America from 1926 to 1958.

Rae’s book fulfils his own wish that Carroll had written another book about Wonderland. In it Alice visits a number of Mother Goose characters, as well as a remarkable artist, a poet, and a printer—characters certainly familiar to John Rae himself.

Come close to me, that I to you a secret may impart;
A secret more important, too, than how to toss a tart.
I’ll whisper in your purple ear, like this, a word or two.
Come nearer, lest they overhear;
They seek the Wurbaloo!

Aug 22

Evertype is pleased to announce the publication of a new edition of Saki’s The Westminster Alice, a political parody of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

The Westminster Alice
From the introduction:

Saki was the pen-name of Hector Hugh Munro (1870– 1916). He was an author and playwright best known for his subtle and witty short stories. He wrote for periodicals such as the Westminster Gazette, the Daily Express, the Bystander, the Morning Post, and the Outlook.

Francis Carruthers Gould (1844–1925) was a political cartoonist and caricaturist who contributed to the Pall Mall Gazette until he joined the Westminster Gazette when it was founded. He later became an assistant editor for that publication. In addition to illustrating Saki’s Westminster Alice in a series of publications from 1900 to 1902, Gould also illustrated Charles Geake’s parody John Bull’s Adventures in the Fiscal Wonderland, published in 1904.

The Westminster Alice vignettes were collected together and published in Westminster Popular No. 18 in 1902. Twenty-five years later, John Alfred Spender (1862–1942), who had edited the Westminster Gazette from 1896 until 1922, published them again with a foreword and a set of footnotes. These are re-published here, to help guide the reader into understanding and appreciating the context of Saki’s parodies.

In his 1927 edition, Spender re-arranged the vignettes in chronological order—that is, in the order in which they had been published in the Westminster Gazette. Here, I have reverted to the order in which Saki had published them in 1902, as it seems to me that he may have arranged them thus for reasons of narrative or—well, to be honest, I don’t know, but I’d rather not second-guess him. The dates of publication are given for those readers interested in the chronology, however.

I am grateful to the University of Bristol Library, Special Collections, for permission to reproduce Francis Carruthers Gould’s “His own Inventions”, originally published in 1922, as an appendix to this edition.

I am likewise grateful to Hugh Cahill, Assistant Librarian at the Foyle Special Collections Library in King’s College London for his permission to reprint, as an afterword, his 2008 review of The Westminster Alice, which first appeared on the web in a slightly different form as as one of continuing series of pieces based on notable items from the collections of the Foyle Special Collections Library.

Alice certainly was; the Knight was riding rather uncomfortably on a sober-paced horse that was prevented from moving any faster by an elaborate housing of red-tape trappings. “Of course, I see the reason for that,” thought Alice. “If it were to move any quicker the Knight would come off.” But there were a number of obsolete weapons and appliances hanging about the saddle that didn’t seem of the least practical use.

“You see, I had read a book,” the Knight went on in a dreamy far-away tone, “written by someone to prove that warfare under modern conditions was impossible. You may imagine how disturbing that was to a man of my profession. Many men would have thrown up the whole thing and gone home. But I grappled with the situation. You will never guess what I did.”

Alice pondered. “You went to war, of course—”

“Yes; but not under modern conditions.”

Aug 14

I am pleased to announce the release of Rupakara, a font that supports the new INDIAN RUPEE SIGN, as well as the letters used to transliterate Indic scripts into Latin script. I was inspired to make this font available by Unni Koroth of Foradian Technologies, who wrote to describe my work to help encode the character.

The article about the INDIAN RUPEE SIGN on the Hindi edition of the Wikipedia spells my name माइकल ऍवरन Māikal Ĕvaran (though this would be read Māikala Ĕvarana in Sanskrit). Later someone corrected this to ऍवरसन Ĕvarasan and finally to एवर्सन Evarsan.

Unni Koroth blogged a notice about the UTC decision and also blogged an interview with me about Rupakara.

I’ve just learned that tomorrow, 15 August, is India’s Independence day. I am happy to dedicate Rupakara as a gift to India on this auspicious day day.

Follow-up, 22 August: Some folks at the Management Scholars Academy of India have blogged about using Rupakara.

Aug 08

Evertype is pleased to announce the publication of a new edition of the translation by Selyf Roberts of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Welsh. It had previously been out of print for 25 years.

From the introduction:

Llysenw yw Lewis Carroll: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson oedd enw iawn yr awdur a oedd yn ddarlithydd mewn Mathemateg yng Ngholeg Eglwys Crist, Rhydychen. Cychwynnodd Dodgson y stori ar 4 Gorffennaf 1862, pan aeth ar daith mewn cwch rhwyfo ar afon Tafwys yn Rhydychen gyda’r Parchedig Robinson Duckworth, Alice Liddell (deng mlwydd oed), merch Deon Coleg Eglwys Crist, a chyda’i dwy chwaer, Lorina (tair blwydd ar ddeg oed), ac Edith (wyth mlwydd oed). Fel sy’n amlwg o’r gerdd ar ddechrau’r llyfr, gofynnodd y tair merch i Dodgson adrodd stori, ac o’i anfodd i gychwyn dechreuodd adrodd fersiwn cyntaf y stori iddynt. Ceir llawer o gyfeiriadau hanner cuddiedig i’r pump ohonynt drwy gydol testun y llyfr ei hun a gyhoeddwyd o’r diwedd yn 1865.

Cynhyrchodd Selyf Roberts drosiad Cymraeg talfyredig a ffurfiol braidd yn 1953. Yn 1982, bron i ddeng mlynedd ar hugain yn ddiweddarach, teimlai’r angen i’w ddisodli â throsiad llawn o’r newydd mewn arddull ystwythach. Ar graffiad newydd yw hwn o gyfieithiad Roberts o 1982, wedi’i gysodi o’r newydd ac yn cynnwys lluniau John Tenniel. Wrth baratoi’r argraffiad hwn, gwnaethpwyd mân newidiadau i’r orgraff a’r gystrawen i gydymffurfio ag arferion cyfoes.

Lewis Carroll is a pen-name: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was the author’s real name and he was lecturer in Mathematics in Christ Church, Oxford. Dodgson began the story on 4 July 1862, when he took a journey in a rowing boat on the river Thames in Oxford together with the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, with Alice Liddell (ten years of age) the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, and with her two sisters, Lorina (thirteen years of age), and Edith (eight years of age). As is clear from the poem at the begin ning of the book, the three girls asked Dodgson for a story and reluctantly at first he began to tell the first version of the .story to them. There are many half-hidden references are made to the five of them throughout the text of the book itself, which was published finally in 1865

Selyf Roberts produced an abridged and rather formal translation in 1953 which nearly thirty years later in 1982 he felt needed to be replaced by a full-length fresh translation in a somewhat more natural style. This is a new edition of Selyf Roberts’ 1982 Welsh translation, freshly typeset and con taining John Tenniel’s illustrations. In preparing this edition, minor alterations have been made to the spelling and syntax to conform with current Welsh practice.

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