“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 only “curiously” if one assumes that Carroll was referring to his age before he reached that age. To me that simply means that for Carroll the number 42 does not refer to Carroll’s own age.
2018-11-11, updated: 2022-01-23
In the introduction to The Hunting of the Snark (Penguin Classics edition, 1962, 1974,p. 17), Martin Gardner wrote:
How well the academician Holiday succeeded in producing grotesques for the Snark (it is the only work of Carroll’s that he illustrated) is open to debate. Ruskin was certainly right in thinking him inferior to Tenniel. His drawings are, of course, thoroughly realistic except for the overzize heads and the slightly surrealist quality that derives less from the artist’s imagination than from the fact that he was illustrating a surrealist poem.
I think that Gardner certainly was wrong. And Ruskin certainly was wrong as well. But, of course, that is open to debate.
Today I start to refer to Martin Gardner’s annotations to The Hunting of the Snark in a more systematical way. Admittedly, I should have done that much earlier. I didn’t read the annotations carefully enough. As an example, Martin Gardner annotated (MG058) to The Hunting of the Snark that Elizabeth Sewell pointed out in The Field of Nonsense (1973) that a line in Carroll’s poem has a similarity to a line in a limerick by Edward Lear. I found that in Google.
I should have mentioned Elizabeth Sewell in my article Nose is a Nose is a Nose in the LCSNA Kight Letter № 99, Fall 2017, p. 30~31.
“MG058” stands for the 58th annotation in the annotated Snark and links to articles and blog entries which contain issues to which Gardner had referred. In this case it is about Lewis Carroll’s and Edward Lear’s waistcoat poetry.
“MG0” leads you to all entries in snrk.de which refer to issues addressed by Martin Gardner.