[Evertype]  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in Gothic Home

Balþos Gadedeis Aþalhaidais in Sildaleikalanda
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Gothic

Balþos Gadedeis Aþalhaidais in Sildaleikalanda

By Lewis Carroll, translated into Gothic by David Alexander Carlton

First edition, 2015. Illustrations by Byron W. Sewell and John Tenniel. Portlaoise: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-097-5 (paperback), price: €12.95, £10.95, $15.95.

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Jaindre,” qaþ Katta, biwagjands taihswon pauta seinana, “bauiþ Hattareis: jah aljaþ,” wagjands pauta anþara, “bauiþ Martjuhasa. Gaweisos ƕaþar saei leikaiþ þus: bajoþs woþs.”   “In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw around, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”
“Ak ni gairnja ei gaggau in wodam manam,” qaþ Aþal­haids.   “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“O, ni manna mag biwandjan þata,” qaþ Katta: “weis sijum her woda in allamma. Ik im woþs. Þu is woda.”   “Oh, you ca’n’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“Ƕaiwa witeis þatei ik sijau woda?” qaþ Aþalhaids.   “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“Þu skalt wisan,” qaþ Katta, “aiþþau ni iddjedeis hidre.”   “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn't have come here.”
Cat Clárach
Gothic (Gutiska razda or Gutrazda) was a continental Germanic language spoken by the Visigoths and Ostrogoths in many areas (most notably Spain and Italy) throughout antiquity and the early Middle Ages; while Gothic appears to have become functionally extinct sometime in the eighth century, some form of the language may have continued to be spoken in the Crimea until the sixteenth or seventeenth century. The Gothic Bible, translated from a lost Greek exemplar sometime ca. 360 CE by the Gothic bishop Wulfila, represents the earliest substantive text in any Germanic language. Gothic itself remains the only significant representation of the East Germanic branch of languages, which have since died off completely. Other extant works in Gothic include an exegesis of the Gospel of John known as Skeireins, a partial calendar, and some minor fragments. Unfortunately, all extant texts are incomplete, so it remains unknown to what extent the extant fragments are written in idiomatic Gothic, as well as exactly what dialect of Gothic they might represent.    
This translation of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” seeks to transport Carroll’s seminal work into the fourth-century Germanic world by Gothicizing both the language and environment of the original text.    
Why translate “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” into such an ancient and idiosyncratic language? In part, because Alice—itself a textbook of idiosyncrasies—lends itself well to linguistic flights of fancy, and in part because the dearth of available Gothic reading material has occasioned the production of new literature in this important East Germanic language. “Aþalhaids” is to date the longest text written in Gothic in more than a thousand years.    

HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2015-06-01

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