Day3 《爱丽丝漫游仙境》是怎样出版的?(前言 中)外教原文朗读
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Day3 《爱丽丝漫游仙境》是怎样出版的?(前言 中)外教原文朗读

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Introduction: Lewis Carroll and the Alice Books(中)

by Morton N. Cohen

He gave the green leather booklet that contained the neatly hand-scripted text to Alice as a Christmas present in 1864. It was then apparently kept in an obvious place in the Deanery, and visitors would sometimes pick it up and look at it, even read through it. Henry Kingsley, the less well known novelist brother of Charles Kingsley, visiting the Liddells, noticed the book, read it, and told Mrs. Liddell to urge its author to publish it. Dodgson must have been encouraged by the message, but by that time he was actually well along the road towards publishing the book, even though he later recalled that “there was no idea of publication in my mind when I wrote this little book:thatwas wholly an afterthought, pressed on me by the ‘perhaps too partial friends’ who always have to bear the blame when a writer rushes into print.” One of those friends was Duckworth, whom Dodgson had asked for his “candid opinion whether it was worthy of publication or not, as he himself,” Duckworth recalled, “felt very doubtful.” Duckworth's verdict supported the others: he too thought the book should be published.


(查尔斯·金斯利)                     



(亨利·金斯利)

 

Perhaps the most meaningful spur came a good deal earlier, after Dodgson had lent a draft of his story to his friends, Rev. and Mrs. George Macdonald. These were people whose taste and judgment Dodgson trusted. Macdonald was an accomplished poet and storyteller; Mrs. Macdonald wrote and produced private theatricals. Besides, they had a household full of children on whom they could test the tale. One of these, Greville, tells us that Dodgson “asked my mother to read his first ‘Alice’ book to us, just to see how we took it and thus to gauge its worth if published…. I remember that first reading well,” he continues, “and also my braggart avowal that I wished there were 60,000 volumes of it.” On May 9, 1863, Dodgson got a letter from Mrs. MacDonalds announcing that the MacDonalds had handed down a positive verdict: “They wish me to publish,” Dodgson wrote in his diary.


(Rev. Robinson Duckworth)


(乔治·麦克唐纳夫妇)


But the life of a mathematical lecturer at Oxford in Victorian times was a busy one, and Dodgson had no experience with high-powered London publishers. Still, he valued the story enough to set himself the task of revising it completely. If he was to publish it, there would need to be more of it. He added numerous chapters, incidents, characters, and lengthened the whole considerably. Looking back upon the original in later years, Dodgson described it as merely “the germ that was to grow into the published volume.”

Now Dodgson needed a publisher, and he found one through another happy accident. On October 19, 1863, he went by invitation to visit the director of the Clarendon Press and Printer of Oxford University, Thomas Combe (1797—1872). Dodgson had frequently visited Combe and his wife at home and he had already photographed the strikingly handsome Combe. But on that evening, he recorded in his diary, he went expressly “to meet the publisher Macmillan to get him to print some of Blake’sSongs of Innocence, etc., on large paper.” Arranging private printings of verses, pamphlets, calling cards, menus, and even letters that one wished to circulate was customary among the educated and well-to-do of Victorian England, and Dodgson allowed himself this indulgence from time to time. His mention ofSongs of Innocenceis not surprising: he admired Blake’s poetry and shared Blake’s romantic attitude toward child innocence and purity.

 

(19世纪麦克米兰出版社的徽标,注意这里有两个M,暗示是两兄弟创办的公司)

 

(亚历山大·麦克米兰)


Combe’s guest of honor, Alexander Macmillan (1818—1896), had, with his elder brother, Daniel, established in Cambridge in the mid-1840s the house of publishers and booksellers that bore their family name. In 1857 Daniel died, and in 1863, the same year that Dodgson and Alexander Macmillan met at Combe’s, Macmillan moved the company's main business office to London. Alexander proved in time a greatly gifted businessman with an eye to expansion and profit. Almost single-handedly, he established the firm on a sound basis and made it one of England's most highly respected publishing houses.

We do not know whether Macmillan agreed to print Blake’s work for Dodgson or not, but either on the evening that they met at Combe’s or soon thereafter, Dodgson tried out his idea for a children’s book on the publisher. Five months before the two men met, Macmillan had published Charles Kingsley’sThe Water Babies, and that fact alone may have led Dodgson to think of Macmillan as a likely publisher ofAlice. Evidently Macmillan reacted favorably to Dodgson and his manuscript, for he agreed to publish. If it seems surprising that he would undertake a first children's book by an unknown mathematics don hiding behind anom de plume, one must realize that Alexander Macmillan was a publisher with courage: if he believed in a manuscript and in its author, he took them on.

Now Dodgson had to find an illustrator. Robinson Duckworth later recalled that he told Dodgson “that if only he could induce John Tenniel to illustrate it, the book would be perfectly certain of success.” Tenniel was already one of the best-known artists in England, and his drawings appeared regularly inPunch. What is more, his style of drawing suited Dodgson’s taste perfectly. Dodgson decided to see if Tenniel would consider doing the illustrations. Two months after the meeting with Macmillan, on December 20, 1863, he wrote to an acquaintance, the popular playwright Tom Taylor:

Do you know Mr. Tenniel well enough to be able to say whether he could undertake such a thing as drawing a dozen wood-cuts to illustrate a child’s book, and if so, could you put me into communication with him? The reasons for which I ask…are that I have written such a tale for a young friend, and illustrated it in pen and ink. It has been read and liked by so many children, and I have been so often asked to publish it, that I have decided on doing so…If [Mr. Tenniel]…should be willing to undertake [the illustrations]…, I would send him the book to look over, not that he should at all follow my pictures, but simply to give him an idea of the sort of thing I want.


(《爱丽丝漫游仙境》插图作者:约翰·坦尼尔)




(英国的Punch杂志)


A month later, on January 25, 1864, Dodgson called on Tenniel in London with a letter of introduction from Taylor. “He was very friendly,” Dodgson wrote in his diary, “and seemed to think favourably of undertaking the pictures.” If Tenniel did see the early version of the tale, he certainly was later furnished with the fuller version, which contained more than twice as many words and all the changes and expansions. The wording of the mouse’s tale, for instance, Tenniel would have noticed, was entirely different, and the trial scene at the end of the story, which Tenniel illustrated, occupies two whole chapters of twenty-six pages as opposed to only two pages in the early version.

 Dodgson changed the title as well. The book he gave to Alice, now safely housed in the British Library in London, is entitledAlice Adventures Under Ground. But Dodgson was unhappy with that title and he cast about for a new one. On June 10, 1864, he wrote to his friend Tom Taylor again:

I should be very glad if you could help me in fixing on a name for my fairy-tale, which Mr. Tenniel (in consequence of your kind introduction) is now illustrating for me, and which I hope to get published before Xmas. The heroine spends an hour underground, and meets various birds, beasts, etc. (nofairies), endowed with speech. The whole thing is a dream, butthat I don't want revealed till the end. I first thought of “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground,” but that was pronounced too like a lesson-book, in which instruction about mines would be administered in the form of a grill; then I took “Alice's Golden Hour,” but that I gave up, having a dark suspicion that there is already a book called “Lily’s Golden Hours.” Here are some names I have thought of:

Alice among the elves

Alice among the goblins

Alice’s hour in elf-land

Alice’s doings in elf-land

Alice’s adventures in elf-land

Alice’s hour in wonderland

Alice’s doings in wonderland

Alice’s adventures in wonderland.

Of all these I at present prefer “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” In spite of your “morality,” I want something sensational. Perhaps you can suggest a better name than any of these.

Taylor evidently could not and Dodgson settled on his own preference.

During the summer months Dodgson discussed, both in person and by letter, various production details with Macmillan. On June 21 he called on the publisher in London, and as Dodgson noted in his diary, Macmillan “strongly advised my altering the size of the page of my book, and adopting that ofThe Water Babies.” From Macmillan's office Dodgson went directly to call on “Tenniel”—Dodgson actually misspells the name in his diary—“who agreed to the change of the page.” A letter survives from Macmillan to Dodgson written on September 10 of that year. “I don't like any of the title pages,” Macmillan wrote. “I will try to get a new specimen and send it to you,” and he goes on with suggestions for altering the title page and other details. “The headings of the page should give the title of your book—which is very good,” Macmillan adds. “‘Fairy Tales’ cannot claim the merit of great novelty!... The end of October—or early November would be about the best time [to publish]. I don’t like ornamental type in title pages. Mr. Tenniel’s drawings in the book need no such meretricious help.”

“I have been considering the question of thecolour ofAlice’s Adventures,” Dodgson wrote to Macmillan on November 11, “and have come to the conclusion thatbright redwill be best—not the best, perhaps, artistically, but the most attractive to childish eyes.” And indeed the book was published in bright red, and that color soon became a standard for the Alice books and for other Lewis Carroll books as well.

The exchanges between Dodgson and Tenniel are not so well documented as those with the publisher—Tenniel probably destroyed the letters he received from Dodgson—and in fact a certain myth has grown up about the relationship through the years that paints John Tenniel as the long-suffering illustrator at the mercy of the iron whim of the fledgling author Lewis Carroll—merciless, exacting, and extremely difficult to satisfy. But that myth is false. It probably originated with Harry Furniss, a slapdash caricaturist, who, while popular, was by no means in the same artistic league as Tenniel, and who, three years after Dodgson's death, published a two-volume memoir where he describes Dodgson most unfavourably. He claims there that “Tenniel had point-blank refused to illustrate another story for Carroll” when Carroll needed an illustrator forSylvie and Bruno and that Carroll “was, Tenniel told me, ‘impossible’—and Carroll evidently was not satisfied with other artists he had tried.… Tenniel and other artists declared I would not work with Carroll for seven weeks!” Furniss proclaims and goes on to characterize Carroll the man as “a wit, a gentleman, a bore and an egotist—and, like Hans Anderson, a spoilt child.” But the letters between Dodgson and his illustrators, and especially the correspondence with Furniss, which does survive, prove Dodgson to be patient and considerate on almost every count and Furniss quite the opposite. Furniss did last longer than seven weeks with Carroll, for he illustrated bothSylvie and Bruno andSylvie and Bruno Concluded, but he and Dodgson did come to grief many times in the process, largely as a result of misunderstandings, but also clearly because of a certain amount of Furniss’s high-handed behavior. Dodgson emerges from the record as a much more considerate and patient artist than Furniss does, a man of high principle who suffered many rebuffs from both Tenniel and Furniss, as well as from other illustrators he engaged, and bore them quietly and patiently.

 Perhaps the greatest instance of Dodgson's willingness to reconcile himself to the temperamental demands of an illustrator emerges from the fantastic details that compose the publishing history ofAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland. These details have a fairy-tale quality all their own. The Clarendon Press of Oxford printed two thousand copies of what has come to be known as the first edition of the book. On May 24, 1865, Dodgson wrote to Macmillan requesting fifty early copies to give to friends, saying that “the rest of the 2000 you can bind at your leisure and publish at whatever time of the year you think best.” On June 27 he recorded in his diary that the Clarendon Press had sent its first copies to Macmillan, and on July 15 he went to London “and wrote in 20 or more copies ofAlice to go as presents to various friends.” Four days later, on July 19, however, the shock came: “Heard from Tenniel, who is dissatisfied with the printing of the pictures,” Dodgson wrote in his diary. Nowhere at this point does Dodgson himself express any displeasure with either Tenniel's drawings or with the Clarendon Press printing of the pictures. The next day Dodgson recorded that he “called on Macmillan, and showed him Tenniel’s letter [which has apparently not survived] about the fairy-tale—he is entirely dissatisfied with the printing of the pictures, and I suppose we shall have to do it all again.” Less than a fortnight later (on August 2) Dodgson recorded: “Finally decided on the re-print ofAlice, and that the first 2000 shall be sold as waste paper. Wrote about it to Macmillan, Combe and Tenniel.”

Then Dodgson immediately set himself the task of recalling all the copies he had inscribed and sent to friends, promising them replacements as soon as the new printing was available. The new printing was carried out by a different printer, Richard Clay of London, and Dodgson received his first copy of the new impression on November 9, 1865. He “heard from Tenniel, approving the new impression,” his diary records, on November 28. The diary also records what the reprinting cost him. As his arrangements with Macmillan called for the author to pay all the costs—printing, engraving, even advertising—and for the publisher, Macmillan, to receive a commission on the sales, Dodgson was the one who suffered most by the need to reprint. It cost him £600 to have the book done a second time, “i.e. 6s. a copy of the 2000,” he noted. “If I make £500 by sale,” he added, “this will be a loss of £100, and the loss of the first 2000 will probably be £100, leaving me £200 out of pocket.” For a thirty-three-year-old Oxford lecture with a modest income, these must have been figures to make the head whirl. But Dodgson refused to compromise on the quality of the book and he was eager that his publisher and his illustrator be satisfied. “… if a second 2000 could be sold,” he continued in his diary, “it would cost £300, and bring in £500, thus squaring accounts: any other further sale would be a gain. But that I can hardly hope for,” he concluded, unaware that, in fact, he had on his hands one of the greatest children’s classics in the English language.

For a long time literary historians understandably jumped to the conclusion that it was originally Dodgson who wanted Macmillan to scrap the first edition ofAlice, but we know now that it was really all Tenniel’s doing. Dodgson would probably have been content to leave the first edition stand and, at most, would have wanted the later impressions printed more carefully. For him it was simply a case of making concessions to his uncompromising illustrator. In fact, Tenniel boasted in a letter he wrote at the time to one of the Dalziel brothers, the firm of engravers: “I protested so strongly against the disgraceful printing that… [Dodgson]cancelled the edition.”

 Both Dodgson and Tenniel would be stunned to know that a single copy of that “inferior” first edition brings thousands of English pounds when it comes up for sale these days. So choice a book has it become that collectors would trade whole segments of their libraries for a single copy of the “first”Alice; bibliographers dream of uncovering an unrecorded copy; and literary chroniclers are at a loss to explain how, even in the heyday of Victorian publishing, such extravagant decisions could be made over a single children’s book as were made over this one.

 Dodgson sent copies of the new impression to his friends, and some of their reactions are on record. Christina Rossetti wrote to offer “A thousand and one thanks… for the funny pretty book you have so very kindly sent me. My Mother and Sister as well as myself made ourselves quite at home yesterday in Wonderland: and… I confess it would give me sincere pleasure to fall in with that conversational rabbit, that endearing puppy, that very sparkling dormouse…. The woodcuts are charming.” Her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti also wrote: “I sawAlice in Wonderland at my sister’s, and was glad to find myself still childish enough to enjoy looking through it very much. The wonderful ballad of Father William and Alice's perverted snatches of school poetry are among the funniest things I have seen for a long while.” Henry Kingsley also wrote: “Many thanks for your charming little book. My real opinion of it may be gathered from this fact, that I received it in bed in the morning, and in spite of threats and persuasions, in bed I stayed until I had read every word of it. I could pay you no higher compliment in half a dozen pages, than confessing that I could not stop reading your book till I had finished it. The fancy of the whole thing is delicious; it is like gathering cowslips in springtime… Your versification is a gift I envy you very much.”

 



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