2017-12-17, updated 2019-03-10
As I reported in the Associations Blaster (2014-03-08), Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and Henry Holiday kept a Snark as a pet. They fed it with »greens«, but as growing greens led to horrible electricity bills, Dodgson and Holiday could not afford to keep their Snark any longer. It took many years until 2014, before in Colorado planting greens became legal and affordable enough to breed Snarks again. I assumed then that we would see more of these beasts in the future.
Since I predicted that in 2014, more and more biotopes for Snarks had been created, not only in Colorado. The top of the tide seems to have been approached in 2017, when the White House too became a habitat especially for those Snarks, who were able to quickly adapt to such a challenging environment. In order to survive there, Snarks now are born as Boojums right away.
Luckily, there still are regions where most Snarks just are Snarks (Audio):
Let us take them in order.
- “The first is the taste,
Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp:
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
With a flavour of Will-o’-the-wisp.
- “Its habit of getting up late you’ll agree
That it carries too far, when I say
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o’clock tea,
And dines on the following day.
- “The third is its slowness in taking a jest.
Should you happen to venture on one,
It will sigh like a thing that is deeply distressed:
And it always looks grave at a pun.
- “The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines,
Which it constantly carries about,
And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes –
A sentiment open to doubt.
- “The fifth is ambition.
It next will be right
To describe each particular batch:
※ those that have feathers, and bite,
※ And those that have whiskers, and scratch.
“For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
Yet, I feel it my duty to say,
Some are Boojums –” The Bellman broke of in alarm,
For the Baker had fainted away.
“He remarked to me then,” said that mildest of men,
“ ‘If your Snark be a Snark, that is right:
Fetch it home by all means – you may serve it with greens,
And it’s handy for striking a light.
(“That’s exactly the method,” the Bellman bold
In a hasty parenthesis cried,
“That’s exactly the way I have always been told
That the capture of Snarks should be tried!”)
Among the forks mentioned above (used to hunt the Snark and carried by this landing crew of a naval expedition) is a tuning fork (held by the Banker). Charles Darwin used a tuning-fork to let spiders dance, and for dissection (don’t tell the spiders) he used lace-needles together with his microscope (like the one carried by the beaver).
2017-09-18, edited 2019-03-04
In this image one of the elements has been marked (orange frame) which Henry Holiday borrowed from a 17th century painting (by an anonymous artist). This might be a bit different from the borrowing described by T. S. Eliot in 1920. In the example shown here, the borrowing of the pictorial allusion is inconspicuous. It doesn’t enrich Holiday’s illustration. It’s only purpose might be that of a signpost pointing to another work of art.
2017-09-27, updated 2019-02-25
[…] PLEDGE MUSIC – the crowd-funding platform that has for so many years offered a route to market for independent artists, have reported that they are in a cash-flow crisis and seeking a buyer. That leaves us unable to fund our SNARK project. […]
Mike Batt‘s latest Snark project is to make the first-ever recording of the FULL-LENGTH version of his musical The Hunting Of The Snark, based on Lewis Carroll’s famous nonsense poem. He invites you in his PledgeMusic campain to support to finance this ambitious recording.
2018-10-15, update: 2019-02-22
2017-11-25, update: 2019-02-06
One of the surest tests [of a poet’s superiority or inferiority] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.
- Main image: Segment of John Martin’s painting The Bard (c. 1817).
- Inset: From a segment of an illustration (1876) by Henry Holiday to the chapter The Beaver’s Lesson in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark.
And Lewis Carroll may have borrowed from Thomas Gray.
2018-02-18, update: 2019-01-05 (Thomas Gray)
But perhaps Holiday’s ruff – and the pose of the Fit Five drawing – was inspired by the Elizabethan drama inherent in Millais’ Boyhood of Raleigh, (1869).
Louise Schweitzer, One Wild Flower (2012)
2017-09-04, updated 2019-01-05
HUNTING OF THE SNARK
Topics BBC Radio, Dramatised reading, Lewis Carroll, The Snark, nonsense verse
Michael Bakewell examines the various interpretations of Lewis Carroll’s nonsense verse published in 1876, about “an impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature” and introduces a dramatised reading.
Music: Steven Faux
Narrator: Alan Bennett
Bellman: Paul Daneman
Baker: David Collings
Butcher: David King
Snark: Peter Penry Jones
BBC Radio 3, 20 December 1992
Available in https://archive.org/details/THEHUNTINGOFTHESNARK