Beyond Obscure

...jum!I assume that in The Hunting of the Snark Lewis Carroll and Henry Holiday take references to Thomas Cranmer and his Forty-Two articles. I discussed that with an anglican priest and church historian. As this blog isn’t my echo chamber, I’ll show you his objections to what I think.
 

me: I think, that the “Baker’s” 42 boxes may be a reference to Thomas Cranmer’s 42 Articles. And I learned that Dodgson/Carroll had issues with the 39 Articles and therefore didn’t take ordination. Could you give me any hints where Dodgson/Carroll may have had issues with the 39 Articles? And as for the 42 Articles, I think, that Carroll may have rejected #42 (“All men shall not be saved at the length…”).

him: Why go for the 42 Articles, hardly in force for a month in 1553, when if Dodgson was denying any doctrinal statement, it would be the 39 Articles which had been in place since 1563? The articles of the 42 omitted in 1563 did include the article about universal salvation, but also matters about soul-sleep and millenarianism. As an allegorical reference, it seems beyond obscure.

me: Carroll did not accept (https://snrk.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/lewiscarrollpict00carruoft_bw_ocrmypdf_345-355.pdf) the last Article in the Forty-Two Articles. The Article 42 didn’t make it into the 39 Articles, but there is a publication which shows that this still was a controversial issue which Carroll had to deal with.

him: The argument makes no logical sense at all.
 

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A Snark Excerpt as Graph


The image visualizes hypergraph properties of a part (lines 547 to 556) of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. (I fixed the transposition error “Page 18” in the original image. In the 1st 1876 Snark edition it’s page 81.)

Image source:
Ronald Haentjens Dekker and David J. Birnbaum.
“It’s more than just overlap: Text As Graph.”
Presented at Balisage: The Markup Conference 2017,
Washington, DC, August 1 – 4, 2017.
In Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2017.
Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 19 (2017).
https://doi.org/10.4242/BalisageVol19.Dekker01.

A remark which I received from David J. Birnbaum: Gijs Brouwer implemented the visualization, and Astrid Kulsdom transcribed the information based on the data model inside the application. Gijs’s animated version of the image is available at https://github.com/HuygensING/TAG/blob/master/snark-fly.mp4.

Page 81 visualization | Print/Mobile | EPUB | Twitter | Facebook

Flat Earth

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

One of my articles in this blog has the title What can Science reveal? This is the quest of the Snark (quoting Philo M. Buck, 1942). I think, that the question what science can reveal is only one among several quests of the Snark. Another quest might be, how science reveals the world and how science can be threatened. Here, flat earth theory is a good example. That theory does not only aim at reverting scientific findings, but also at damaging science itself. I don’t know whether Dodgson/Carroll took any interest in that theory and the related debates, but its history helps me to improve my understanding of popular science debates and businesses in the Victorian society at around the time when Lewis Carrol wrote The Hunting of the Snark.

This week in the New Yorker, Alan Burdick wrote an article about Looking for Life on a Flat Earth, What a burgeoning movement says about science, solace, and how a theory becomes truth (2018-05-30). Very regrettably, Burdick failed to mention Christine Garwood‘s book Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea (2008). That shouldn’t happen in a magazine like the New Yorker. Didn’t Burdick read that excellent book before he wrote his article?

Garwood shows why and how science can be threatened and is being threatened. This includes John Hampden‘s (1819-1891) discrediting of journalists 1870 (p. 76), who probably had quite similar reasons for media bashing as Donald Trump had and openly described them in February 2016. If you want to make a living as influencer, you need to control the presentation of knowledge. To understand that is as important today as it was in the 19th century. It is amazing how similar the 21st century anti-scientific populism is to what happened since “Parallax” started his flat earth business in the Victorian Britain. And he meant business.

The Ocean Chart

Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark (1876) has been published “with nine illustrations by Henry Holiday”. But there are ten illustrations. One possible explanation: The Ocean-Chart (aka the Bellman’s map) has been made neither by Henry Holiday nor by Joseph Swain, but by a typesetter.

In the more recent British history, the map has been used by Britain’s contemporary Bellmen before 2016-06-23 to present their understanding of the impact of the Brexit to the rest of the crew. Admittedly, by now the majority of Britains understand the trouble they put themselves into. But as pride and face-saving of course is much more important than something profane like a healthy economy and rational thinking, that map won’t be updated.

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2017-09-29

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