Easter Greeting

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, watermarked by E. Towgood. Tipped in at front end paper of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, 1st edition and 1st printing, Macmillan & Co. (London, 1876).

Shortly before publishing The Hunting of the Snark, Carroll perhaps became afraid of his own work and tried to prepare his readers for the tragedy: On his own expense, he inserted that Easter Greeting into the already printed first edition of the book.

Snark Explanations

by Mary Hammond, published on Nov 7, 2017. There also is an essay: Mary Hammond, Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark Explained.

This 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 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). That is interesting: Even before I learned about this, I associated 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.

Crossing the Line

  • [left]: Illustration The Crew on Board by Henry Holiday to Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark (1876)
  • [right]: Crossing the Line (1839), based on a print by Thomas Landseer, after Augustus Earle. You will find the print in Robert Fitz-Roy’s Narrative of the surveying voyages of HMS Adventure and Beagle, Vol II (1839).

snrk.de

Since 2012 this is the place for snrk.de. The site is about Lewis Carroll‘s, Henry Holiday‘s illustrations (engraved by Joseph Swain) to the tragicomical ballad The Hunting of the Snark.

On 2017-10-09, snrk.de underwent a major change. The site turned into a blog. (If you used links to snrk.de and your browser doesn’t find them anymore: Some of these links still may work if you replace snrk.de by old.snrk.de.)

In snrk.de you’ll find a few assumptions. Among these are the following ones:

  1. The Baker (with four nicknames related to something which was heated or burned) could stand for Thomas Cranmer. As a Protestant, he wrote the Forty-Two Articles. Under threat, he left those articles behind like the Baker‘s Forty-Two Boxes. As a Catholic he had to believe in Macarius’ hyenas and Corbinian’s bear. He hoped that seven recantations could protect him like seven coats. But the protection didn’t work.
  2. Boots could be a portmanteau word for maker of Bonnets and Hoods. (This is an assumption by someone else, to which I agree.)
  3. The Beaver‘s lace making is wrong (in Carroll’s view) if lace making stands for vivisection.
  4. Lewis Carroll’s textual conundrums are paralleled by Henry Holiday’s pictorial conundrums. Of course Lewis Carroll and Henry Holiday took care of being able to deny to have given any meaning to anything in The Hunting of the Snark.

Contact: In order to minimize spam, I disabled blog registration and don’t publish an email address. But you can write to me (e.g. for registration) in social networks.



Götz Kluge, Munich 2017-11-07

Snark and Boojum

This blog is mostly about Lewis Carroll‘s, Henry Holiday‘s and Joseph Swain‘s illustrations to The Hunting of the Snark.

more

 
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 the Younger, John’s paper helped me to find the Ditchley Portrait. That again helped me to find the painting by an anonymous artist depicting Elizabeth I at old age.

Goetz Kluge, Munich, 2017-08-28

Eternal Disconnect

It’s cool to answer questions with “42”, especially if it takes effort to understand the question which belongs to that answer. If you expect another cool answer here, you might want to look somewhere else. This post is about the possible religious background of all that 42 business, which in my view was started by Lewis Carroll.

 

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 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 “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

 
 
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.

I assume, that Carroll’s “forty-two” serves as a reference to Thomas Cranmer’s Forty-Two Articles and the last article hierin about eternal damnation. As far as I understand, eternal damnation was a controversial issue in the era of the Oxford Movement, and the Rev. C. L. Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) objected to the belief in eternal punishment. (The controversy seems not to have ended yet.)

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).

Carroll’s Snark and Adams’ Guide have more in common that just having fits instead of chapters. But probably it only was the Reverend Dodgson to whom “42” had a special relevance in the history of the church, that vessel which had been snarked so many times.

 
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