The CD cover in the top right corner is my design. You can use this Snark assemblage in compliance with license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Main artists: Conrad Martens & Thomas Landseer, Henry Holiday & Joseph Swain.
2017-11-25, update: 2019-02-06
But the principal failing occurred in the sailing,
And the Bellman, perplexed and distressed,
Said he had hoped, at least, when the wind blew due East,
That the ship would not travel due West!
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! …”
2017-11-14, update 2018-12-30
by Mary Hammond, published on Nov 7, 2017. There also is an essay: Mary Hammond, Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark Explained.
Mary Hammond’s interpretation 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 (a pen ame of Mary Hibbs) 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).
I too associate 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.
There now is a new paperback edition of Untangling the Knot: An Analysis of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, 2019-10-06, by Sandra Mann (besides Mary Hammond another pen name of Mary Hibbs). She also sent me an additional article about a possible reference to Bishop Reginal Heber (1783-1826). See also: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lewiscarrollresources/permalink/2241199999492366/
2020-02-12: Untangling the Knot in PDF, 2018
2017-11-17, updated: 2018-12-02.
The Classics TV
Published on Oct 9, 2017
Original post: 2017-11-07. Update: 2018-08-06.