Down the rabbit hole at Houghton

first_imgIt’s been 150 years since a young girl tumbled down a rabbit hole to a magical world of madcap make-believe and curious creatures eager for conversation. Published in 1865, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” resonated with children and adults. Older readers loved its logic, younger readers its foolishness. The book’s popularity has never dimmed.Now comes a chance to connect with the story behind the story. “Such A Curious Dream! Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” on view from May 20 through Sept. 5 at Houghton Library, explores the genesis and legacy of the work that inspired generations of writers and captured the cultural imagination. Along with the Bible and the works of Shakespeare, “Alice” remains among the most frequently quoted books in English.And it still resonates.In the 19th century, it resonated instantly for Harcourt Amory, a textiles magnate and an 1876 graduate of Harvard College whose interest in Carroll ephemera began when he bought a first edition of “Alice” as inspiration for the toy theater he was building for his children. Amory continued collecting Carroll memorabilia while the author was alive and purchased numerous items directly from Carroll’s estate when he died in 1898.Alice Liddell and her sisters were among Carroll’s favorite subjects to photograph. The Liddell sisters posed for this photograph in 1860, two years before the genesis of the “Alice” story. Courtesy of Harvard Library, gift of Alfred Reginald Allen, 1963Much of the material in the show is from Amory’s archive, which includes hundreds of items “related closely to Carroll,” said curator Heather Cole.“Amory collected the books that Carroll wrote in first editions,” said Cole, “but also subsequent editions, translations, parodies, reinterpretations, anything that had any connection to the stories, as well as ephemera, popular items, games and toys.”Carroll, born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in January 1832 in Cheshire County, England, was a shy, brilliant man whose gift for mathematics matched his vivid imagination. A lecturer in math at Christ Church, Oxford, and an Anglican deacon, Carroll’s artistry was ever present. He wrote poetry and short stories from an early age. Later he became an accomplished photographer. But it was befriending the new dean of the college, Henry Liddell, who arrived at Christ Church in 1856, that changed his life. Carroll grew close to Liddell’s wife and young children, among them a girl named Alice. (Some scholars are convinced that Carroll had an unhealthy relationship with Alice Liddell.) One afternoon, during a row on the Thames with the three Liddell daughters, Carroll told them his tale of a young girl and her adventures in a mysterious land.While Carroll’s own early drawings of Alice were inspired by Alice Liddell, illustrator John Tenniel refused a model for the character. His illustrations are perhaps even more recognizable than Carroll’s own text. Courtesy of Harvard Library, gift of Mrs. Harcourt Amory, 1927The real-life Alice begged him to write the story down, and he obliged. A facsimile of that original manuscript, illustrated by Carroll, which he presented to Alice as a Christmas gift in 1864, is displayed in the first of the show’s nine glass cases.Nearby, an undated letter from his friend Charles Kingsley, who urged Carroll to publish “Alice,” points to the story’s universal appeal.“Many thanks for your charming book,” the letter reads. “My real opinion of it may be gathered from this fact, that I received it in bed in the morning, and … in bed I staid [sic] until I had read every word of it.”Other items in the show reveal Carroll’s drive for perfection, such as a suppressed original edition from 1865 whose poor quality failed to meet the high standards of both the author and his illustrator, John Tenniel. (The recalled edition in Houghton’s collection is exceedingly rare. Only 23 of the 2,000 originals survive, and of those, only one, the copy now under glass in the show, was bound in white vellum and presented to Alice Liddell — who, when asked, dutifully gave it back.)Carroll’s story is as indelible as the original images that illustrated his prose. The Houghton exhibit includes rich studies of several Wonderland characters: the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and, of course, Alice — the waves of her long hair, the ruffles of her pinafore — sketched in vivid detail by Tenniel.The book crossed oceans and media. In America, the Perkins Institute and Massachusetts School for the Blind published a version for the visually impaired in 1927, also in the Houghton show. Companies with something to sell, such as the beer-maker Guinness, seized on the story’s popularity, creating ad campaigns around it.Imitation is the highest form of flattery, goes the saying. Artists have interpreted “Alice” for decades. The exhibit includes woodcut prints by Barry Moser that offer a darker, haunting take on Carroll’s vision (look closely at the background), while Robert Sabuda’s 2003 pop-up book brims with creative whimsy.Other highlights include an “Alice”-themed board game from 1940, a 1923 Russian translation by Vladimir Nabokov, and a 1913 Harvard Lampoon retelling that transplants Alice to Cambridge.The quirkiest item in the show: bars of soap embossed with the images of “Alice” characters.“It’s an odd thing for the library to collect,” admitted Cole. “It’s unique for our collections and a good challenge for our conservators.” How have they treated them thus far? “Just by leaving them alone.”Fans who can’t make it to Houghton can browse the collection via an accompanying website filled with animations and interactive features. Virtual visitors can zoom in on photos and texts and flip through Alice Liddell’s copy of the book.The library’s digital team wanted to create something “whimsical and different that would catch the eye but maintain the integrity of the material,” said designer and multimedia specialist Enrique A. Diaz. “We wanted to make the inaccessible accessible with these informed glimpses into the collection.”last_img read more

Giovanna Grossi: The four most common mistakes hoteliers make

first_imgGood eye contact, a smile, engagement are very important. It is important to ask open-ended questions instead of closed-ended ones – “what was your journey like” is much more open than “was your journey pleasant”. Giovanna will present the four most common mistakes made by hoteliers. Second mistake: Treat all guests equally Source: For many guests, especially due to the growth of online bookings in recent years, the first real interaction with the hotel will be when they arrive. The first 30 or 60 seconds are the most important – then they form their opinion about the hotel, and many hoteliers fail to take advantage of the opportunity. Mistake XNUMX: Insufficient investment in staff One way to motivate staff is to invest in them. If you invest in their development and let them know that they are valued, the staff will be satisfied. Hotel staff should be part of the collective. It is very important that different departments connect and communicate with each other. Hotels should provide new employees with insight into the activities and operations of all departments. Guests expect every employee to know what is going on at the hotel. You cannot consider guests numbers, but have to treat them as individuals – each guest has different needs. You have to understand them. Imagine that at one table in a hotel restaurant you have a group of business partners, and at the other a married couple celebrating their wedding anniversary. Those two tables certainly won’t want the same treatment. Business people generally like sleek service and don’t want to be bothered by frequent requests for satisfaction. It is more likely that a married couple will want more attention. Encourage your teams to find out as much as possible about the guests, but they must be careful not to be intrusive.center_img Hotel expert Giovanna Grossi has joined AA for the first time, a prestigious British brand that has been monitoring and recommending hotels for more than 110 years. Starting as an inspector, she progressed ten years into an inspection team leader, accumulating a wealth of experience. She is also part of the AA Awards jury and, in a new way, is a participant in Sauce Intelligence, a consulting company for hotels and restaurants. Cleanliness is always one of the most important things for guests. No one wants to stay in a dirty hotel. It is, however, a broader process than cleaning rooms. Guests do not want to see cigarette butts in front of the hotel or a pile of papers at reception. Equally, they don’t want to see leftover food at the table from previous guests or use a fork and knife that aren’t polished. Hotel maintenance also implies the responsibility of each employee to report problems related to the hotel. Mistake Three: Misunderstanding room maintenance First mistake: Scheduling a welcome It is important to develop team spirit. If your staff is fully trained to work and works well, they will feel good which will result in their confidence in providing services. And satisfied staff includes satisfied guests. It’s like when a friend visits you. You will not only open the door and greet him, but you will smile and engage around him. The same principle applies to hotels. These first moments should be warm and welcoming, whether you are staying in an international, branded five-star hotel or a less rural two- or three-star estate.last_img read more

Focus group, forum let students discuss transportation

first_imgCheaper parking, bicycle congestion and problems with the Campus Cruiser system were just some of the issues brought up by students at two separate discussions focusing on transportation, Wednesday.Ten students participated in a focus group conducted by USC Transportation yesterday afternoon. Later that night, the Undergraduate Student Government hosted a forum allowing students to learn about and discuss the various safety tools available.Focused · Students met with a representative from USC transportation at The Lab on Wednesday to voice concerns as part of a focus group. A separate transportation forum was held Wednesday night. – Mike Lee | Daily TrojanStudents at the focus group asked the administration about the possibility of cheaper parking on campus, and suggested that USC Transportation could offer shuttles to hotspots around Los Angeles on the weekends.Tony Mazza, director of USC Transportation, said he expected the feedback from the group to provide the department with an idea of what to work on for the following year.“[Previously], our efforts at gathering student feedback have been limited to annual surveys,” Mazza said. “Since we haven’t conducted focus groups in the past, we’re very excited to gather fresh insight from the students.”Judy Zhou, a junior majoring in public relations and participant in the focus group, said the event brought up a number of points that would be useful for USC Transportation.“They got to hear a lot of what the students are saying and it will help them to improve transportation, Zhou said.For the 15 students who attended the forum, the issues were much the same, with a bigger focus on transportation safety.The event was moderated by Helen Moser, USG director of campus affairs, and included a panel consisting of Capt. David Carlisle and Chief Carey Drayton from DPS, as well as Mazza and Jeff Shields, associate director of USC Transportation.Moser asked the panel about the availability of DPS escorts for students who feel unsafe or unable to make their way home.“Remember that DPS is responsible to not just the students that need rides, but every other student that might be involved in any other public safety situation,” Carlisle said. “Friday and Saturday nights we might be busy … particularly because of social events in North University Park.”Moser also told the panel about students’ frustration with the Campus Cruiser system — specifically when callers are asked to use the trams or endure long waiting times.In response, Mazza said if students felt they were in an unsafe area, they should tell the dispatcher about the situation.“Sometimes I recognize you might get a pushback from dispatchers, who are students as well,” he said. “[But] if you insist on a cruiser to come pick you up, they will send you a cruiser.”Audience members also questioned the panel on whether DPS could have the security ambassadors walk up and down their patrolled areas rather than stand in one spot, but Carlisle said DPS had a layered approach that is part of the security strategy with cameras in areas and people patrolling already on T3s and in DPS cars.“We’ve tried to cover that area, so you choose to be on that highly visible path, [rather] than the most obscure place you can walk,” Carlisle said. “We’re trying to create a great sense of safety in community.”Other topics covered included bicycle congestion and safety, the relative security of the parking structures and the availability of trams. Drayton said even though most of the concerns brought up were similar to others that he had heard before, the forum was still useful because it served as an advisory for those who attended.“This … is an opportunity for people that want to hear about what’s going on,” he said.Liz Warden contributed to this report.last_img read more