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.

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

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.

 
Links:

Snark and Boojum Today

Lewis Carroll’s and Henry Holiday’s The Hunting of the Snark made me digging into British history and the history the Anglican church (especially the Oxford Movement).

It’s not history, at least not a finished one.

To me, Carroll’s tragicomedy (a tragedy in Henry Holiday’s view) is about the doctrinal conflicts (some of them lethal) arising along the travel to truth, whatever that might be. These conflicts within and between belief systems surely didn’t end today. Also the concrete disputes which might have inspired the Rev. Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) in the 19th century seem to be going on even today. All that is quite strange to me (not only because I am a German). I can’t take sides, because I don’t even understand how and why the disputed issues can be issues at all.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/church-england-has-sent-clear-message-its-conservative-churchgoers-youre-not-wanted-1611289:

The Church of England has sent a clear message to its conservative churchgoers – you’re not wanted
The treatment of Bishop Philip North, an Anglo-Catholic, shows the Church’s prospects for unity are grim.
By Andrew Sabisky March 13, 2017 13:16 GMT

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that the Church of England is at it again. Fresh off a truly disastrous session of General Synod (the Church’s parliament), it has plunged itself headlong into further public ignominy.

The latest disaster concerns Bishop Philip North, currently the Bishop of Burnley. He was chosen by the bureaucracy to be the new Bishop of Sheffield (a promotion from suffragan to diocesan status). []

Not only the ongoing struggles in the Anglican Church still are turning Snarks into Boojums. The multicultural beasts are very alife today, perhaps more than ever.

What I tell you three times is true!

The Bellman’s Rule is stated in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, line #7 and line #335. Here is an example how to implement that rule:

#! /usr/bin/haskell
import Data.List
statementList :: [String]
statementList =
  ["Grand Fenwick steals our jobs!"
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ,"Just the place for a Brexit!"
  ,"There are 9 Snark hunters."
  ,"Grand Fenwick steals our jobs!"
  ,"There are 9 Snark hunters."
  ,"6 * 7 = 39"
  ,"6 * 7 = 39"
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ,"Just the place for a Brexit!"
  ,"6 * 7 = 42"
  ,"Grand Fenwick steals our jobs!"
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ,"6 * 7 = 39"
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ,"Just the place for a Brexit!"
  ]
atLeastThrice :: [String] -> [String]
atLeastThrice sL = [head grp | grp <- group $ sort sL, length grp >= 3]

Result (if loaded and executed in GHCi):
*Main> atLeastThrice statementList
["6 * 7 = 39","Grand Fenwick steals our jobs!","Just the place for a Brexit!","There are 10 Snark hunters."]

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 not been made neither by Henry Holiday nor by Joseph Swain, but by a typesetter.

The map presently is used to navigate the United Kingom through the Brexit.

more

Snarks Have Five Unmistakable Marks

    “Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
        The five unmistakable marks
    By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
        The warranted genuine Snarks.

  1.     “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.
  2.     “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.
  3.     “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.
  4.     “The fourth is its fondness for bathingmachines,
            Which is constantly carries about,
        And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes –
            A sentiment open to doubt.
  5.     “The fifth is ambition. It next will be right
            To describe each particular batch:
        Distinguishing 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.

    “ ‘You may seek it with thimbles—and seek it with care;
        You may hunt it with forks and hope;
    You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
        You may charm it with smiles and soap –’ ”

    (“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!”)

Snark in the Woods

Forestry Commission of England:

NEWS RELEASE No: 16687
14 SEPTEMBER 2017

Arts Council England grant awarded for exciting forest theatre experiences

The Arts Council has awarded £139,000 to the Forestry Commission and theatre partner Burn the Curtain to develop their outdoor theatre experiences. The substantial grant will enable Burn the Curtain to tour their sell-out evening theatre show, The Company of Wolves, based on the stories by Angela Carter, to three more forest locations this autumn.

In addition, a new theatre show will be developed around the nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll, ‘The Hunting of the Snark’. The experience will tour across seven forests in 2018 and will be accompanied by ‘Snark Hunter’, an innovative app which will bring the poem to life for forest visitors across the country. []

(Thanks to Doug Howick for drawing my attention to this.)

Links:

Waistcoat Poetry

 

There was an old man of Port Grigor,
Whose actions were noted for vigour;
He stood on his head
till his waistcoat turned red,
That eclectic old man of Port Grigor.

Edward Lear, 1872

 

He was black in the face,
and they scarcely could trace
The least likeness to what he had been:
While so great was his fright
that his waistcoat turned white –
A wonderful thing to be seen!

Lewis Carroll, from “The Hunting of the Snark”, 1876