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The Vanishing

Image based on an illustration by Henry Holiday and a page of the British Museum:

Almost four months before Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark was officially published on the 1st of April 1876, the illustrator Henry Holiday still thought of that ballad as a “tragedy“. In the end, the collaboration between the author and the illustrator yielded a tragicomedy. The sad end still is there, albeit very well hidden from child readers: The burning of Thomas Cranmer.

Nonsense literature like Carroll’s can be read repeatedly. Carroll’s nonsense is crossover literature. At different ages you would read the Snark tragicomedy differently. Likewise, you would look at Henry Holiday’s illustrations differently. Carroll wrote his Snark tragicomedy in a way which protects the young reader from understanding the sad end of the final “fit” The Vanishing too early.

 
2021-09-02, updated: 2022-02-28

A Starry Map

John Tufail’s “The Illuminated Snark” (p. 15) lead me to this comparison. In 2004 he interpreted the starry night sky in Henry Holiday’s front cover illustration to Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark” (1876) as a map. Only today I got the idea to compress and flip a large segment of a map of the UK vertically. Sadly, I can’t tell John that anymore.

 
2024-05-12

When the Queen met the Boojum

This is the first page published in snrk.de, a blog which was set up in 2017. It’s mostly about Lewis Carroll‘s, Henry Holiday‘s and Joseph Swain‘s illustrations to The Hunting of the Snark.

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 (I+II), John’s paper helped me to find the Ditchley Portrait. That again helped me to find the painting by an unknown artist depicting Elizabeth I at old age.

It took me several years to find another map to which Henry Holiday might have referred as well.

more

 
2017-08-28, update: 2024-05-12

Lime Twig

On 1875-11-06 Carroll wrote in his diary about his Snark poem:

The first stanza was composed in July 22. 1874. “In the midst of the word…” which stands as the last verse of the poem. But the very last line, “For the Snark was a Boojum, you see” came into my head while out on a walk at Guildford, July 18[.]

Source: Edward Wakeling (Ed.), Lewis Carroll’s Diaries, Vol. 6, 2001, p. 432
 

I was walking on a hillside, alone, one bright summer day, when suddenly there came into my head one line of verse — one solitary line — “For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.” I knew not what it meant, then: I know not what it means, now; but I wrote it down: and, some time afterwards, the rest of the stanza occurred to me, that being its last line: and so by degrees, at odd moments during the next year or two, the rest of the poem pieced itself together, that being its last stanza.

Source: From Lewis Carroll’s notes, found in Alice on Stage, The Theatre, April 1887.
See also: https://web.archive.org/web/20240504231527/https://kellyrfineman.livejournal.com/173027.html

 

I think that leaving such a nice origination story to his readers is part of Carroll’s skillful marketing of his Snark ballade. Oliver Sturm, who translated The Hunting of the Snark into German (Die Jagd nach dem Schnatz. 1996, ISBN 978-3-15-009433-4, p. 85) called that a “Leimrute für Kritiker” (“lime twig for critics”).

I don’t think that Carroll dishonestly misleads his readers when he said “I know not what it means“. Of course he knows. He just made his poem as ambiguous as possible. The motive: Widening the interpretation space of his Snark poem. With that wider space, a book makes more readers happy (and therefore sells better, which is a nice side effect).

In case his readers (like me) think they have discovered some obfuscated meaning, it is the reader (again like me) who can be hold responsible for her or his interpretation, not the author. So, as for my interpretations, there still is the possibility that I am misleading myself.

This is why the Snark hunt never will end.

 
2017-12-17, updated: 2024-05-10

Carroll’s Honest Lie

Louis Zukofsky, “Review of Lewis Carroll, Russian Journal,” The New Masses (1935-10-08)Louis Zukofsky, “Review of Lewis Carroll, Russian Journal,” The New Masses (1935-10-08)

Authors, who say that they “don’t not know” whether their book is satire, quite probably lie. Such honest lies are less boring that telling that they won’t tell. (That is a difference to presidents who lie openly because it shows that they have the power to do that.)

Of course “The Hunting of the Snark” contains satire. Dodgson wasn’t stupid. Satirists who explain their work would kill their work. E.g. in case of the “bathing machines“, “The Hunting of the Snark” took a reference to one of Carroll’s obvious satires.

ex Twitter

 
2019-06-23, update: 2024-05-09

Blur

Blurring images is low pass filtering images. An artist’s blunted sight can have the same effects like blurring with computerized image processing. Sometimes you need to get rid of distracting details in order to get the whole picture.


Jay Clause‘s what Salvador Dalí taught me about creative work will help you to (perhaps) get the whole picture. However, keep in mind that artists like to play with what the beholders of their work might want (or might not want) to percieve. Even without blurring, artists can deny anything you “see” in an ambiguous creation: They play with their own pareidolia as well as with the pareidolia of their audience.

Before computerized image processing was available, artists use simple techniques to blur images. For example, looking at an image through a feather did the trick.

Blurring might help you to see things which you wouldn’t see with clear sight. It’s fine to try that with artwork which might have been intentionally created for such an exercise. But better make sure that it was an artist who created the face that is looking at you. I don’t know whether Mars ever has been inhabited by artists.

 
Rather than suffering from pareidolia, artists get inspired by it.

 
Sometimes blurring helps to reveal structures hidden in the hatching.

 


See also: Susana Martinez-Conde, Dave Conley, Hank Hine, Joan Kropf, Peter Tush, Andrea Ayala and Stephen L. Macknik: Marvels of illusion: illusion and perception in the art of Salvador Dali

 


2017-12-28, updated: 2024-05-05

Easter Greeting

On 1875-10-25, C.L. Dodgson noted in his diary that publishing The Hunting of the Snark as a book «would give me a good opportunity to of circulating two papers (which might be lightly gummed in), one a new “Christmas Greeting” to my 40,000 child-readers, the other an advertisement for a house (and a garden perhaps) in or near London».

Later, because the book wasn’t ready for the Christmas sales due to delays in preparing the printing blocks for the illustrations, an Easter Greeting was lightly gummed into 1st editions of the book shortly before it was published on March 29th, 1876 (officially April 1st).

 

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 with the “Towgood Fine” watermark. Tipped in at the black front end paper of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, 1st edition and 1st printing, Macmillan & Co. (London, 1876).
'Towgood Fine' watermark of the 'Easter Greeting' tipped in at the front end paper of Lewis Carroll’s 'The Hunting of the Snark'

 
2017-11-17, update: 2024-05-01

Bowsprit

Gemini came up (after I introduced https://snrk.de/page_boots-bonnetmaker/ in an earlier prompt) with a quite interesting answer to the question “Are ‘the maker of Bonnets and Hoods’ and the ‘Boots’ the same person in Lewis Carroll’s ‘The Hunting of the Snark'”?

Q: Are “the maker of Bonnets and Hoods” and the “Boots” the same person in Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark”?

A: The document says that there is ambiguity about whether the maker of Bonnets and Hoods and the Boots are the same person. Some argue that the fact that the maker of Bonnets and Hoods is not pictured in any illustrations and the Boots’ job description includes unshipping the bowsprit, which requires some knowledge of ship parts, suggests they are the same person. Others argue that the description of the Boots’ incompetence makes it unlikely that they would be entrusted with such a task. Ultimately, the author leaves it up to the reader to decide.

Websites reviewed
1. snrk.de/page_boots-bonnetmaker

I already knew that ‘bonnets’ and ‘hoods’ can be understood not only as ats, but also as ship parts. (Carroll liked to use words with more than one meaning.) However, I didn’t make the link to the third ship part, the ‘bowsprit’. Thus, Gemini can generate new ideas (e.g. by checking which words belong to the same category).

It was quite probably Henry Holiday’s illustration (left image) of the Bonnetmaker holding a hat, which gave almost all Snark readers the idea that the Bonnetmaker just made hats. I think that Carroll associated some of his Snark characters with his Oxford colleagues, and the Bonnetmaker could have be a professor who graduated students to doctors and gave them their Tudor bonnet.

But on a ship, a maker of the bonnets and hoods (you see both ship parts together behind the Butcher and the Beaver in the right illustration) might be more helpful to repair these ship parts (and the bowsprit) than a hat maker.

 
2024-03-12, update: 2024-04-07

«To haunt a man of forty-two»

“No doubt,” said I, “they settled who
      Was fittest to be sent
Yet still to choose a brat like you,
To haunt a man of forty-two,
      Was no great compliment!”

 
In his 29th annotation (MG029) to The Hunting of the Snark, Martin Gardiner stated:

Curiously, Carroll refers to his age as 42 in his poem Phantasmagoria (Canto 1, Stanza 16) though at the time [1869 or earlier] the poem was written, he was still in his thirties. The number 42 certainly seems to have had some sort of special significance for Carroll.

It’s a popular assumption, but did Carroll really refer to his age? It’s only “curiously” if one assumes that Carroll was referring to his age before he reached that age. To me that simply means that for the number 42, Carroll did not refer to his own age. With “brat” he might have addressed a cleric who intended to reinstate the dogma of eternal punishment as described in the last article of Thomas Cranmer’s Forty-Two Articles.

2018-11-11, updated: 2024-04-07

9.5±0.5 Snark Hunters

Most readers of The Hunting of the Snark assume that the Snark hunting party consists of ten members. However, probably for a good reason, only nine members can be seen in Henry Holiday’s illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s ballad. Actually, I really think that the Snark hunting party consists of nine members only. But if you, as almost everybody else, prefer ten Snark hunters, that’s fine too. Lewis Carroll gave you (and me) a choice, incidentally(?) in the 9th and the 10th line of his tragicomedy.

Let us take all the crew members in order of their introduction:

  1. The Bellman, their captain.
  2. The Boots, a maker of Bonnets and Hoods.
    (A non-sequential interlaced portmanteau can be built from Bonnets and Hoods.)

    009  'The crew was complete: it included a boots -
010  A maker of Bonnets and Hoods.

The usual interpretation is that this is the introduction of two crew members:
The Boots and the maker of Bonnets and Hoods.

Alternatively, the two lines also can be interpreted as the introduction of
a Boots, who is a maker of Bonnets and Hoods.
  3. The Barrister, brought to arrange their disputes, but repeatedly complained about the Beaver’s evil lace-making.
  4. The Broker, to value their goods.
  5. The Billiard-marker, whose skill was immense, might perhaps have won more than his share. From John Tufail I learned that in Henry Holiday’s illustration the Billiard-marker is preparing a cheat.
  6. The Banker, engaged at enormous expense, had the whole of their cash in his care.
  7. The Beaver, that paced on the deck or would sit making lace in the bow and had often (the Bellman said) saved them from wreck, though none of the sailors knew how.
  8. The Baker, also addressed by “Fry me!”, “Fritter my wig!”, “Candle-ends” as well as “Toasted-cheese”, and known for joking with hyenas and walking paw-in-paw with a bear.
  9. The Butcher, who only could kill Beavers, but later became best friend with the lace-making animal.

More about the members of the Snark hunting party:
9 or 10 hunters?
  Care and Hope
  The Snark
  The Boojum

 
2017-11-06, updated: 2024-03-12

Eternal Disconnect

All men shall not be saved at the length. They also are worthy of condemnation, who endeavour at this time in restore the dangerous opinion that all men, by they never so ungodly, shall at length be saved, when they have suffered pains for their sins a certain time appointed by God’s justice.

Article 42 on eternal damnation in Thomas Cranmer’s Forty-Two Articles (1552)

 

No one shall speak to the Man at the Helm, and the Man at the Helm shall speak to no one.

Rule 42 (possibly mocking Cranmer’s Article 42), with the second part of the sentence having been “completed” by the Bellman in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark (1876)

 

Pope Francis said eternal damnation is not a torture chamber but distance from God.

Vatican Radio, 2016-11-25 (archive)

 
If something like eternal damnation (Article 42) would exist, then that also would be an eternal disconnect (Rule 42) between the Abrahamic god and those who adhere to that god.
 


What are those Forty-Two Articles?

The Forty-Two Articles were intended to summarise Anglican doctrine, as it now existed under the reign of Edward VI, who favoured a Protestant faith. Largely the work of Thomas Cranmer, they were to be short formularies that would demonstrate the faith revealed in Scripture and the existing Catholic creeds. Completed in 1552, they were issued by Royal Mandate on 19 June 1553. The articles were claimed to have received the authority of a Convocation, although this is doubtful. With the coronation of Mary I and the reunion of the Church of England with the Catholic Church, the Articles were never enforced. However, after Mary’s death, they became the basis of the Thirty-nine Articles. In 1563, Convocation met under Archbishop Parker to revise the articles. Convocation passed only 39 of the 42, and Elizabeth reduced the number to 38 by throwing out Article XXIX to avoid offending her subjects with Catholic leanings. In 1571, the Article XXIX, despite the opposition of Bishop Edmund Gheast, was inserted, to the effect that the wicked do not eat the Body of Christ. This was done following the queen’s excommunication by the Pope Pius V in 1570. That act destroyed any hope of reconciliation with Rome and it was no longer necessary to fear that Article XXIX would offend Catholic sensibilities. The Articles, increased to Thirty-nine, were ratified by the Queen, and the bishops and clergy were required to assent.

Source: Wikipedia, 2018-03-15
 

Henry VIII was succeeded by his son, Edward VI, in 1547. During Edward’s reign, the Church of England adopted a stronger Protestant identity. The Book of Common Prayer of 1549 authorised a reformed liturgy, and this prayer book was revised in 1552 to make it more explicitly Protestant. To make the English Church fully Protestant, Cranmer also envisioned a reform of canon law and the creation of a concise doctrinal statement, which would become the Forty-two Articles. Work on a doctrinal statement was delayed by Cranmer’s efforts to forge a doctrinal consensus among the various Protestant churches to counter the work of the Catholic Council of Trent. When this proved impossible, Cranmer turned his attention to defining what the Church of England believed.
        The Forty-two Articles were drafted by Cranmer and a small group of fellow Protestants. The title page claimed that the articles were approved by Convocation when in reality they were never discussed or adopted by the clerical body. They were also never approved by Parliament. The articles were issued by Royal Mandate on 19 June 1553. The articles were to be short formularies that would demonstrate the faith revealed in Scripture and the existing ecumenical creeds. The theology of the articles has been described as a “restrained” Calvinism.
        Edward died in 1553. With the coronation of Mary I and the reunion of the Church of England with the Catholic Church, the articles were never enforced. However, after Mary’s death, they became the basis of the Thirty-nine Articles. In 1563, Convocation met under Archbishop Parker to revise the articles. Convocation passed only 39 of the 42, and Elizabeth reduced the number to 38 by throwing out Article XXIX to avoid offending her subjects with Catholic leanings. In 1571, despite the opposition of Bishop Edmund Gheast, Article XXIX was re-inserted, declaring that the wicked do not eat the Body of Christ. This was done following the queen’s excommunication by the Pope Pius V in 1570. That act destroyed any hope of reconciliation with Rome and it was no longer necessary to fear that Article XXIX would offend Catholic sensibilities. The Articles, increased to Thirty-nine, were ratified by the Queen, and the bishops and clergy were required to assent.

Source: Wikipedia, 2021-03-28
 
 


Eternal damnation still was a controversial issue in the era of the Oxford Movement.

ON APPEAL FROM THE ARCHES COURT OF CANTERBURY.
[…] An Article setting forth extracts of a review of a work that a Clergyman of the Church of England had reviewed, charging that he had therein advisedly declared, that after this life there would be no judgment of God, awarding either eternal happiness or eternal misery, contrary to the Three Creeds, the Absolution, the Catechism, and the Burial and Commination Service: Held not established by the passages of the work pleaded. It is not penal for a Clergyman to express a hope of the ultimate pardon of the wicked [2 Moo. P.C. (N.S.) 432, 433]. […]

Source: 15 E.R. (Essays and Reviews) 943; Date: 1863-06-26; Court: Privy Court; Appellant: Rev. Rowland Williams, D.D.; Respondent: Rev. Walter Kerr Hamilton, Lord Bishop of Salisbury; Appellant: Rev. Henry Bristow Wilson, Clerk; Respondent: Rev. James Fendall, Clerk
 

The Deacon C. L. Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) objected to the belief in eternal punishment in 1897, but his article on Eternal Punishment was not published during his lifetime. In that article, one of Dodgson’s points is that “αἰών” should be translated as “of indefinite duration”, not as “eternal”. (See p. 52 in Robert D. Sutherland’s Language and Lewis Carroll, 1970.) The controversy on eternal punishment seems not to have ended yet.

I assume, that Carroll’s “forty-two” serves as a reference to Thomas Cranmer’s Forty-Two Articles. And Revd. Karen Gardiner suggested in The Carrollian (July 2018, № 31, p.25~41), that this is a reference mainly to Article 42 (about eternal damnation) in Cranmer’s Forty-Two Articles.

The main argument of Gardiner’s June 2018 paper is “that Carroll’s frequent and unexplained use of the number 42, and in particular his development of Rule 42 in the preface of The Hunting of the Snark and Rule 42 in Alice’s trial scene highlight the doctrine of eternal punishment that Carroll was so concerned about.”«But if Rule 42 is not just a random number, preferred by some inexplicable reason by Carroll, but is actually a theological nod to a discarded article of faith, then the riddle may be solved. The rule may indeed be the oldest (that is, from 1553 rather than 1571) and so the King, in some senses, is correct. But Alice is also correct. This rule has already been rejected as unnecessary and flawed and therefore cannot be used by the court to justify ejecting her.

It is therefore this paper’s argument that Carroll’s frequent and unexplained use of the number 42, and in particular his development of Rule 42 in the preface of the

Today, “42” mostly is known as an answer to an unknown question. That answer had been revealed in a popular travel guide and invented by Douglas Adams as an answer to that unknown question. Of course neither Lewis Carroll nor Douglas Adams would have provided us with spoilers which could help us to understand their “42”. Holding your readers responsible for their interpretations is much more fun to writers like Adams and Carroll. Therefore Adams told us that the “42” just popped up in his mind out of the air when he enjoyed the view of his garden. And Carroll told us that the last line “For the Snark was a Boojum, you see!” in The Hunting of the Snark popped up in his mind during a walk near Guilford (incidentally the birthplace of Ford Prefect, and then again not his real birthplace).

Lewis Carroll’s Snark and Douglas Adams’ Guide (the BBC radio series) have more in common than just having fits instead of chapters. But among both authors, it probably was only the Deacon Dodgson to whom “42” had a special relevance in the history of the church, that vessel which had been snarked so many times.

 
Links:

 
ex Twitter

 
2017-12-25, updated: 2024-03-06

Eschatological Snark


According to Karen Gardiner, “it would be unwise for anyone to imply that they have found the answer to the book’s mystery.” The book is Lewis Carroll’s and Henry Holiday’s The Hunting of the Snark (1876).

I started my Snark hunt in December 2008. Initially I probably had been quite unwise and thought that I had found the answer. That might explain the title The real story behind “The Hunting of the Snark” of an early post in The Lewis Carroll Forum. I am sorry for that botched exercise in self-irony. There is not just one single “real story” behind Carroll’s Snark poem. There are many answers.

Gardiner gave her warning to Snark hunters in her paper Life, Eternity, and Everything: Hidden Eschatology in the Works of Lewis Carroll, published on p.25~41 in THE CARROLLIAN, No. 31, mailed by the UK Lewis Carroll Society to me in June 2018.

As for “Article 42” in Thomas Cranmer’s 42 Articles and “Rule 42” in The Hunting of the Snark, the main argument of Gardiner’s June 2018 paper is “that Carroll’s frequent and unexplained use of the number 42, and in particular his development of Rule 42 in the preface of The Hunting of the Snark and Rule 42 in Alice’s trial scene highlight the doctrine of eternal punishment that Carroll was so concerned about.”«But if Rule 42 is not just a random number, preferred by some inexplicable reason by Carroll, but is actually a theological nod to a discarded article of faith, then the riddle may be solved. The rule may indeed be the oldest (that is, from 1553 rather than 1571) and so the King, in some senses, is correct. But Alice is also correct. This rule has already been rejected as unnecessary and flawed and therefore cannot be used by the court to justify ejecting her.

It is therefore this paper’s argument that Carroll’s frequent and unexplained use of the number 42, and in particular his development of Rule 42 in the preface of the

The issue was addressed in this Blog in December 2017: Eternal Disconnect.

As for Thomas Cranmer’s 42 Articles and the Baker’s 42 boxes in The Hunting of the Snark, Gardiner made me aware of Angus MacIntyre‘s comment (1994) “The Baker’s 42 Boxes are the original Protestant Articles of 1553, with Thomas Cranmer’s name on each.” Since 2010 I believe that too. Thanks to Karen Gardiner’s 2018 paper in THE CARROLLIAN and to Angus MacIntire’s suggestion I now know that linking the Baker in The Hunting of the Snark to Thomas Cranmer (among other references) is not such a weird idea after all.

Also Mary Hammond (a pen name of Mary Hibbs) recognized in 2017 that eternal damnation (Article 42 in the 42 Articles) was an issue which Carroll/Dodgson might have addressed in The Hunting of the Snark.

The Article 42 in the 42 Articles was of special interest to Carroll/Dodgson, who objected to the belief in an eternal punishment. I suggest that Carroll chose the “42” as one among several references to Thomas Cranmer, the author of the 42 Articles.

I started in December 2008 to be unwise with a single finding. But soon I understood, that there are many answers to Lewis Carroll’s and Henry Holiday’s textual and pictorial puzzles in The Hunting of the Snark. When Reverend Karin Gardiner wrote her paper, she did not refer to my findings related to Thomas Cranmer and his 42 Articles. But it is good to learn that also theologists write about religious aspects of The Hunting of the Snark.

more

 
2018-07-06, update: 2024-03-06

Articles of Christian faith are Axioms

It will be no surprise that [Lewis Carroll] extended this intellectual concept outside of mathematics: in 1897, for example, he wrote that the articles of Christian faith

are what would be called in Science “axioms, ” … quite incapable of being proved, simply because proof must rest on something already granted. … (Letters 2: 1122)

His extension of the concept to language is demonstrated in a passage from an appendix to Symbolic Logic, in which he wrote that

if I find an author saying, at the beginning of his book, “Let it be understood that by the word ‘black’ I shall always mean ‘white,’ and that by the word ‘white’ I shall always mean ‘black, ‘” I meekly accept his judgment, however injudicious I may deem it.

Carroll envisions an author, like a mathematician, setting out his axioms at the beginning of a work (though he clearly deems it “injudicious” to arbitrarily invert such a well-respected custom).
        The notion that conventions are axiomatic enables more than Carroll’s insights into structural linguistics: it brings a sense of arbitrariness to all social behaviour.

Darien Graham-Smith, p. 38~39

 
2024-03-03

Carroll & Religion

 


contact

2022-11-05, updated: 2024-03-03

The Jabberwock

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabberwocky#Reception:

[…] [Jabberwocky] has also been interpreted as a parody of contemporary Oxford scholarship and specifically the story of how Benjamin Jowett, the notoriously agnostic Professor of Greek at Oxford, and Master of Balliol, came to sign the Thirty-Nine Articles, as an Anglican statement of faith, to save his job. […]

Stephen Prickett (2005): Victorian Fantasy, Baylor University Press, p. 113, ISBN 1-932792-30-9

Unlike Benjamin Jowett, the Rev. Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) didn’t sign, but managed to save his job nevertheless without being ordained as a priest. (I am not so sure about the Jowett link, because «the first stanza of “Jabberwocky” was originally written by Carroll at the age of 13 under the title “Stanza of Anglo-Saxon poetry”.» [Darien Graham-Smith, p. 36])

 

Jabberwocky

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

 
See also:
https://poemanalysis.com/lewis-carroll/jabberwocky
Vogon poetry
Chamutal Noimann, Empowering Nonsense: Reading Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” in a Basic Writing Class (2014)
※ Etching of Saint George and the Dragon by Paolo Uccello (c. 1470). But there also are other inspiring sources:

Christian’s fight with Appollyon in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress,
London: Carington Bowles, 1781.
(Source: John Bunyan Society)

 


Games (unfortunately not available anymore from the app shop):
Jabberwocky, Confounded, app for iOS by Christopher Gross

 


Music:
composer: Zoë Tweed, rendition: Sylva Winds
(flute: Yi-Hsuan Chen, bassoon: Guylaine Eckersley, oboe & voice: Drake Gritton,
clarinet: Rowan Jones, french horn: Zoë Tweed)

 
composer: Ben Ponniah, rendition: Peter Noden

 


Sometimes mediocre and sometimes pretty great, it’s always noisy in my car. Happy Thanksgiving! With apologies to Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith. And of course to Lewis Carroll. pic.twitter.com/vVIoP96PDe

— Jill Watson (@pie4jill) November 25, 2022

 


Muppets

 


2018-04-06, update: 2024-03-02

Plagiarism by Google Gemini

Q to Google Gemini (2024-02-27): Is Lewis Carroll's «The Hunting of the Snark» related to Thomas Cranmer?

A:  ... Other potential allusions: Some scholars see other possible connections between the poem's characters and Cranmer's life. For example, the Baker's nicknames («Candle-ends» and «Toasted-cheese») might allude to Cranmer's execution by burning at the stake.
...

Google Gemini’s AI is plagiarizing.

The idea came to me already in 2010, but it took until 2013 that I explicitely linked the Baker’s “hot” nicknames to the burning of Thomas Cranmer.

Since then I (not “some scholars”) am the only one who interpreted the Baker’s nicknames in Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark” in that way. Since 2024 Google Gemini does that too, but the AI doesn’t mention the source. e.g. snrk.de/knight-letter-links/kl-spring2018/:Knight Letter, № 100, Spring 2018, p. 55~56

... The Baker, the hero in The Hunting of the Snark, left 42 boxes behind him, with his name painted clearly on each. A baker is exposed to heat. He answered to “Fry me!” or “Fritter my wig!” Intimate friends called him “Candle-ends” and his enemies “Toasted-cheese.” In his poem, Carroll gives us a very broad hint: This Baker got burned. ...

There is a curator’s comment about my findings in the website of the British Museum.Curator's comments
...
This is one of a number of earlier prints used by Henry Holiday in his illustrations to Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark, 1876 (information from Goetz Kluge, June 2016)

 
See also:
※ on this blog: Thomas Cranmer’s Burning (2017)
※ ex Twitter: [1] [2] (2024)
academia.edu (2016)
reddit (2016)
flickr (2010)

 
2024-02-29

Surrealist Entanglements

This perhaps is the first reference in academia to my findings: Chapter 7 Surrealist Entanglements (excerpts which refer to my findings) in Marysa Demoor‘s book A Cross-Cultural History of Britain and Belgium, 1815-1918: Mudscapes and Artistic Entanglements, Springer Nature (Palgrave Macmillan), 2022-03-21.
(Review by Marnix Verplancke, translated by Kate Connelly.)

What Marysa Demoor’s wrote about Henry Holiday’s pictorial references in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark confirms what I wrote my article Nose is a Nose is a Nose in the LCNSA Knight Letter (№ 99, Fall 2017, p. 30~31). I found Holiday’s pictorial references to Gheeraerts’ Image Breakers in 2009. Actually, a reference from another Snark illustration by Henry Holiday to Gheeraerts’ print started my Snark hunt in December 2008.

Henry Holiday’s references to Gheeraerts are also mentioned in Marysa Demoor’s article Een culturele brexit? Grotesk! (2022-05-07, archive) in the Belgian De Standaard.

Professor Demoor didn’t specify her sources for what she wrote about Henry Holiday’s references to Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder, William Sidney Mount and Benjamin Duchenne.

 
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2022-11-21, updated: 2024-02-27

Taking 19840 as the subject to reason about

Taking Three as the subject to reason about —
 ​A convenient number to state —
We add Seven, and Ten, and then multiply out
 ​By One Thousand diminished by Eight.

The result we proceed to divide, as you see,
 ​By Nine Hundred and Ninety Two:
Then subtract Seventeen, and the answer must be
 ​Exactly and perfectly true.

Not all of Thomas Cranmer’s 42 Articles made it into the Elizabethian 39 Articles of the Anglicans.

19840 10 = 231504 6 .
231504 10 can be devided by 42 10 or by 39 10 without remainder.
But did Lewis Carroll know that? 😉

 


(x+7+10)×(1000-8)/992-17 = x,
for x=3:

3 3
+ 7 10
+ 10 20
× (1000-8) 19840
/ 992 20
– 17 3

 

100110110000000 2 1111100000 2
1000012211 3 1100202 3
10312000 4 33200 4
1113330 5 12432 5
231504 6 4332 6
111562 7 2615 7
46600 8 1740 8
30184 9 1322 9
19840 10 992 10
139A7 11 822 11
B594 12 6A8 12
9052 13 5B4 13
7332 14 50C 14
5D2A 15 462 15
4D80 16 3E0 16
40B1 17 376 17
3744 18 312 18
2GI4 19 2E4 19
29C0 20 29C 20
22KG 21 255 21
1ILI 22 212 22
1EBE 23 1K3 23
1AAG 24 1H8 24
16IF 25 1EH 25
1392 26 1C4 26
105M 27 19K 27
P8G 28 17C 28
NH4 29 156 29
M1A 30 132 30
KK0 31 110 31
JC0 32 V0 32
I77 33 U2 33
H5I 34 T6 34
G6U 35 SC 35
FB4 36 RK 36

 
2024-02-14

Crossover Literature

The Hunting of the Snark needs to be read at least twice. It is crossover literature. You read it differently at different ages. The book is an excellent example for crossover literature (and crossover picture books): Children read it as a nonsense story. It is “dark”, but funny nevertheless. Adult readers know more than children. Some of them will recognize the textual and pictorial references in Lewis Carroll, Henry Holiday and Joseph Swain’s tragicomedy.

Henry Holiday’s illustration (engraved by Joseph Swain) to the final chapter of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark has been published almost 150 years ago. Children probably will not understand that the illustration is a reference to the burning of Thomas Cranmer. He and the Baker (the ambivalent hero in The Hunting of the Snark) perhaps hoped that after having left their 42 articles behind, the Boojum won’t get them.


Comparison of two illustrations:

  • Faiths Victorie in Romes Crueltie (published by Thomas Jenner, c. 1630). Immediately to the right side of the fire, Thomas Cranmer is depicted burning his hand.
    Source: British Museum
  • Henry Holiday’s illustration to the chapter The Vanishing in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark (1876). The complete illustration is on the lower left side. A 135° couterclockwise rotated detail from that illustration has been rendered on the upper right side of this comparison image.
    Source: 1st edition of The Hunting of the Snark (April 1876).

The rotated detail from Henry Holiday’s illustration neither is a “claw” nor a “beak”. I assume that it depicts a fire. And there is a hand in both fires. Carroll and Holiday almost too successfully made sure that the readers of The Hunting of the Snark don’t understand their references to Thomas Cranmer too early: Carroll’s tragycomedy was published in 1876. It took almost 120 years until Angus MacIntyre suggested in The Reverend Snark, Jabberwocky 23(1994), p. 51~52: “The Baker’s 42 Boxes are the original Protestant Articles of 1553, with Thomas Cranmer’s name on each.” Henry Holiday’s pictorial reference (I started to search for it in 2010) to Thomas Cranmer’s burning confirms the link between The Hunting of the Snark and Thomas Cranmer.

 
2018-05-07, updated: 2024-02-10

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