Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kabumpo Goes to Moscow

As you have undoubtedly read on this blog, we will be celebrating Ruth Plumly Thompson's birthday at this year's Winkie Convention. It promises to be a grand time and in addition to some great Thompson programming on Friday evening the convention will also feature an elaborate display of Thompson's work. And over the next few months I will try to give you a few sneak previews of some unusual and little known Thompson material.

Today I want to share a quite lovely Russian edition of Thompson's second Oz book Kabumpo in Oz. Only seven of Thompson's Oz books have ever been translated into any language and all seven were published in Russia.

The Russian Kabumpo was published in 2001 by Vrymy. And it is almost certainly the most beautiful and luxurious edition of Kabumpo ever published. Can any of my readers translate the title of the book for me?

The cloth binding is stamped in gold on the front cover and spine and features an undersized version of the original pictorial cover label - slightly reworked to omit the lettering.

The book also features John R. Neill's  original pictorial endpapers  printed in plum-colored ink.

The interior of the book is beautifully designed, too. The handsome new title page can be seen at right and there is a two-page introduction explaining how Thompson acquired the mantle of Royal Historian of Oz and offers a few biographical details..

The volume includes all of Neill's original illustrations which are printed in the same plum-colored ink as the end sheets - as are the running titles. The text of the story is printed in black creating a vibrant contrast.

What makes this Russian edition even more special is the inclusion of all twelve of Neill's color plates.

There are similar editions of The Royal Book of Oz and Captain Salt in Oz - but I chose to show you Kabumpo as we are putting a special Winkie Convention focus on Thompson's Ozzy "Pumperdink" stories.

So come on, stretch your ears and pack your trunk and come join us at the Winkie Convention this summer! Click here or on the WINKIE CON tab at the top of this page for further details.


John W. Kennedy said...

“Kabumpo in the Land of Oz”
Beneath Ozma:
“Magic Land Oz”

I’d bet that “Magic Land” is the same phrase used by Volkov.

Anonymous said...

KABAMPO V STRANE OZ = Kabampo [sic] in the Land of Oz.

Thompson's stories and charcters are so pun-based that I imagine that it is hard to translte them into a non-English language.

David Maxine said...

Thanks, guys! Interesting that they'd work "Magic Land" into the title - though it makes perfect sense!

Marcus said...

Of all of RPT's Russian translations, I think SILVER PRINCESS is probably the most gorgeous... though I agree that this is the most gorgeous edition of KABUMPO. :)

David Maxine said...

@Marcus - I assume you mean the Russian edition of SILVER PRINCESS that also included OZOPLANING? I agree it's very pretty but I thought it fell short compared to KABUMPO given the lack on endpapers, color plates, colored ink, and larger size.

So have you seen any other RPT translations? I have the ROYAL BOOK and SALT like Kabumpo - and the above mentioned SILVER PRINCESS and OZOPLANING and a similar volume with GRAMPA and COWARDLY LION.

Marcus said...

You are correct. I'm actually judging the Russian SILVER PRINCESS based solely on the cover. I think it's gorgeous!

I have a set of Baum Oz books in Russian that use the original Neill illustrations and color plates, but in some cases, an anonymous artist repainted some of the color illustrations (particularly for PATCHWORK GIRL) and got things wrong. There's a wonderful image of Ojo holding a candle (complete with glow) under Nick Chopper's knee... where that artist obviously looked at Neill's original and assumed he was doing that, instead of collecting a drop of oil! Ha!

saintfighteraqua said...

I never knew Thompson's books were translated at all!
Wow, this one sure is beautiful.
The plum colored ink is perfect for a book featuring so many Gillikins!