Go Ask Alice

Those of you who visit TBTP on a regular basis know of my life-long affection for Lewis Carroll’s classic book. I have had many different editions since I was  a child, but I have long found Ralph Steadman’s drawings for Alice to be both radical and a refreshing change from the many conventional Alice illustrations that preceded it. If you haven’t seen this brilliant take on the book before, I hope that you will appreciate just how clever it is.

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Classically Alice

This is one of the first non-Tenniel illustrated Alices issued when British copyright expired in 1907. Pictured in a white pinafore decorated with pale pink roses and grey tights, Rackham’s Alice appears both thinner and taller than Tenniel’s heroine. Muted colors, especially the browns, lend an eerie aspect to Rackham’s drawings of the Wonderland characters and landscape. But if I could have any edition other than a Tenniel illustrated first, it would be this Rackham.


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Geography is just travel when it’s at home

This is a surprisingly nice copy of Pomponii Melae De Situ Orbis Libri III, by Abraham Gronovius.  Printed in 1722, the book is about ancient geography and includes some wonderful illustrations and fold out maps to help you learn all about things in the ancient world.


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Intellectual Wallpaper


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Keeping the UK Weird

Although the golden age of the zine seems to be over, every once in a while one pops up to grab our attention. I recently stumbled across the first edition of a new UK-based zine titled quite appropriately Weird Walk. The first Weird Walk zine—made by the collective of the same name including Owen Tromans, Alex Hornsby and James Nicholls—is a “journal of wanderings and wonderings from the British Isles.”

The publication aims to examine the odd, unusual and  and just plain weird that can be discovered still around the UK, if we just take the time to have a wander and a look. The zine will explore art, history, architecture, archeology, geography, culture, and more, through essays, photographs, and maps.

If you can’t find it at bookstores featuring zines, it’s available on the collective’s website.

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I’m an open book

Paul Éluard, Le Livre Ouvert III, Editions des Cahiers d’art, Paris, ca. 1944


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NYC Tourist Hoax

Sculptor, prankster, and big-time hoaxster Joe Reginella has struck New York City once again with a marvelously silly faux memorial statue. This one “remembers” all of the missing tourists who have been eaten by subterranean packs of wild wolves. The fake monument is supposedly the gift to the city from the spurious Ed Koch Foundation. Check out the video below for a more detailed explanation.

You may be familiar with Joe Reginella from his previous escapades, which include memorials to the phony “Staten Island Ferry Disaster” caused by a giant octopus. And then there was the statue of the rogue elephants from the nonexistent 1929 Brooklyn circus stampede.


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Not Columbus Day Any More

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day


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American Voyageur

Few American writers have achieved the cultural impact of Herman Melville, author of the eternal classic Moby-Dick, yet he died unrecognized by his contemporaries for his genius. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Melville’s birth, Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library has a new exhibition exploring the life, works, and legacy of this iconic but under-read author. Making use of The Rosenbach’s extensive Melville holdings and numerous loans from partner organizations, including rare manuscripts and first editions, the exhibition will examine how Melville fled to the watery fringes of 19th-century life to grasp core truths about American society—and even human nature itself. The exhibition will challenge visitors to consider what Melville’s writings have to say about modern America through the lens of marine conservation, globalization, social justice, and LGBTQ+ identity. The exhibition  American Voyageur: Herman Melville at 200 runs until April 5, 2020.



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Shakespeare and Company Paris

If you love books, and if you have ever been to Paris, it’s likely that you have also visited the iconic Shakespeare and Company bookshop. The legendary Paris bookseller recently shared a video exploring  artist Karine Diot’s book sculpture The Shakespeare & Company Bookstore. Here’s what she had to say about the project:

“I fell in love with the George Whitman passionating life and bookshop in Paris, and I wanted to give life and make tribute to this incredible ‘wonderful world of books’ as Henri Miller used to say,” the artist noted. “11 months later, more than 4300 tiny paper books later and based on ’70s photographs, I am proud to say that my goals are achieved! Everything is handmade, unique and the only paper I used are the pages of the book I choose to transform. Which one could have been better than a Shakespearian big and old book ?? 🙂 In my dreams, George would have appreciated and been proud of my work.”

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