Among the issues the The Hunting of the Snark is about, one issue is reasoning. Here is a remedy against bad reasoning: Kwame Anthony Appiah, Thinking It Through – An Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy. It also is available as eBook.
Easter Greeting by Lewis Carroll, printed by James Parker & Co. (Oxford, 1876) for C. L. Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) privately on cream laid fine paper, watermarked by E. Towgood. Tipped in at front end paper of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, 1st edition and 1st printing, Macmillan & Co. (London, 1876).
Shortly before publishing The Hunting of the Snark, Carroll perhaps became afraid of his own work and tried to prepare his readers for the tragedy: On his own expense, he inserted that Easter Greeting into the already printed first edition of the book.
by Mary Hammond, published on Nov 7, 2017. There also is an essay: Mary Hammond, Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark Explained.
This of course is not the first Snark interpretation. First hints on what the Snark could be about had been given to us by Henry Holiday and Philo M. Buck. And there is an excellent chapter on Carroll’s tragicomedy in Louise Schweitzer’s One Wild Flower. Oliver Sturm’s Die Jagd nach dem Schnatz is a German translation, which also contains an attempt to explain the Snark. And there is a Snark chapter in Klaus Reichert’s Lewis Carroll: Studien zum literarischen Unsinn. Reichert is another German Snark translator.
Among the interpretations known to me, Mary Hammond’s interpretation is the first one where Eternal Damnation is seen as one of the more important issues to which Lewis Carroll might have taken reference in The Hunting of the Snark. In Carroll’s poem, the Baker‘s Forty-Two Boxes led me to the same conclusion earlier.
In my correspondence with Mary Hammond she also told me about what in her view “…jum” in Boojum could stand for: Search for jumble in the chapter Of Reason in John Locke‘s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689). That is interesting: Even before I learned about this, I associated Boojum with the vanishing of reason – which too often is the beginning of violence. Yet, I’ll probably never know, whether my association is similar to what the Boojum meant to Carroll.
549 “It’s a Snark!” was the sound that first came to their ears,
550 And seemed almost too good to be true.
551 Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers:
552 Then the ominous words “It’s a Boo-”
553 Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air
554 A weary and wandering sigh
555 That sounded like “-jum!” but the others declare
556 It was only a breeze that went by.
349 “The thing can be done,” said the Butcher, “I think.
350 The thing must be done, I am sure.
351 The thing shall be done! …”
- Snark and Brexit
- “Brexit” is a “portmanteau”, by Merrill Perlman
- No Pause for Thought? Brexit, Bias and Political Manipulation, by Volker Patent
- The Trumping of the Snark – and why Brexit means Boojum, by Tom Evans, Liverpool Echo
- Dean Burnett
- [left]: Illustration The Crew on Board by Henry Holiday to Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark (1876)
- [right]: Crossing the Line (1839), based on a print by Thomas Landseer, after Augustus Earle. You will find the print in Robert Fitz-Roy’s Narrative of the surveying voyages of HMS Adventure and Beagle, Vol II (1839).
On 2017-10-09, snrk.de underwent a major change. The site turned into a blog. (If you used links to snrk.de and your browser doesn’t find them anymore: Some of these links still may work if you replace snrk.de by old.snrk.de.)
In snrk.de you’ll find a few assumptions. Among these are the following ones:
- The Baker (with four nicknames related to something which was heated or burned) could stand for Thomas Cranmer. As a Protestant, he wrote the Forty-Two Articles. Under threat, he left those articles behind like the Baker‘s Forty-Two Boxes. As a Catholic he had to believe in Macarius’ hyenas and Corbinian’s bear. He hoped that seven recantations could protect him like seven coats. But the protection didn’t work.
- Boots could be a portmanteau word for maker of Bonnets and Hoods. (This is an assumption by someone else, to which I agree.)
- The Beaver‘s lace making is “wrong” (in Carroll’s view) if lace making stands for vivisection.
- Lewis Carroll’s textual conundrums are paralleled by Henry Holiday’s pictorial conundrums. Of course Lewis Carroll and Henry Holiday took care of being able to deny to have given any meaning to anything in The Hunting of the Snark.
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Götz Kluge, Munich 2017-11-07
In his Illuminated Snark, John Tufail assumed that the night sky in the front cover of The Hunting of the Snark could be a map. Together with my assumption that Henry Holiday drew inspiration from several paintings by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, John’s paper helped me to find the Ditchley Portrait. That again helped me to find the painting by an anonymous artist depicting Elizabeth I at old age.
Goetz Kluge, Munich, 2017-08-28