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Ailice’s Anters in Ferlielann
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in North-East Scots

Alice’s Anters in Ferlielann

By Lewis Carroll, translated into North-East Scots by Derrick McClure

First edition, 2012. Illustrations by John Tenniel. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-016-6 (paperback), price: €12.95, £10.95, $15.95.

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“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.”   Thon gait,” the Cat said, waffin its richt leefie aroun, “there bides a Hatter, an thon gait,” waffin its idder leefie, “bides a Mairch Myaakin. Veisit aider o thaim jist as ye like: the baith o thaim’s gyte.”
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.   “But I’m nae wuntin tae mak nor mell wi gyte fowk!” said Ailice.
“Oh, you ca’n’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”   “Och, ye canna help aat,” said the Cat. “We’re aa gyte here. I’m gyte. Ye’re gyte.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.   “Fou dae ye ken I’m gyte?” speir’t Ailice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn't have come here.”   “Ye maan be,” said the Cat, “or ye wadna hae come here.”
Cat Clárach
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 beginning 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 made to the five of them throughout the text of the book itself, which was published finally in 1865.    
The North-East dialect of Scots, locally called the “Doric”, has a long and distinguished history as the medium of one of the liveliest and most individual local literatures in Scotland. It first emerged in literary form during the Vernacular Revival of the eighteenth century; an outstanding practitioner of the mid-nineteenth century was Lewis Carroll’s friend George MacDonald, who, though his lasting renown is mainly founded on his children’s books and fantasy stories, wrote many domestic novels set wholly or partly in his North-Eastern calf-ground, in which the dialect is skilfully presented.    
In translating Alice, Derrick McClure has endeavoured to find some kind of counterpart for every literary and linguistic trick in the original: that is an ambitious aim, but any translation above the level of a mere crib is a tribute to its source, and an original of such ingenuity as this book deserves the highest tribute possible, in a translation which pays full attention to all the clever and delightful tricks with which Carroll adorned his text. It is the author’s hope that the translation will be read not simply as a linguistic curiosity or a test case for some of the problems of literary translation, but as a not unworthy addition to the corpus of Doric literature and Scots children’s writing.    

 
HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, Cnoc Sceichín, Leac an Anfa, Cathair na Mart, Co. Mhaigh Eo, Éire, 2012-12-01

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