Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Fit the Fifth, Page 36, Panel 3 … nothin’ could be finer, jubjub in a diner
“Its flavour when cooked is more exquisite far
Than mutton, or oysters, or eggs:
(Some think it keeps best in an ivory jar,
And some, in mahogany kegs:)
One can never have enough of a jolly, good Snark hunt, don’t you agree? The fresh country air, the Protosurrealist scenery, the anapaestic hurly-burly of one’s fellow Snarquistadores baying after their prey, it all gives one such an appetite!
Naturally, no Snark hunt is complete without a bit of Jubjub taken al fresco whilst in the saddle. Cooked Jubjub is both palatable and highly nutritious, coyly hinting as it does to three-quarters of the Classical Four Elements : earth in the form of mutton, water in the form of oysters and air in the form of the eggs of some unspecified bird. The fourth and final element of fire could easily be supplied by the judicious application of some spicy condiment or chutney.
If Lewis Carroll were alive, he would certainly agree with you when you assert that this poetic reference (a milestone in Victorian Table Verse) to mutton, oyster and eggs makes these gustatorially implicit items into allegorical symbols of themselves. This is a subtle point indeed, so subtle that I’ll skip over the boring old meat-and-two-vegs-reasoning and head straight for the more exciting porto-and-coffee-conclusion, as it were.
Symbols which refer to themselves are called "reality" by certain smarty-pants metaphysicans. These sort of crackerjack thinkers would point out that the mutton-oysters-eggs-thingy is subset within a Jubjub which is itself subset within the ivory jars and mahogany kegs, the latter containers being diametrically opposed in coloring, another indication that Something Fishy Is Going On Here.
Unfortunately, Lewis Carroll is not alive and hence unable to agree with all of the above. In fact, his lack of Reality makes him feel a bit unagreeable and even disagreeable with all this alimentontological twaddle you’re going on with. In fact, he’s feeling rather queasy and unsettled with the whole business and my goodness, I think that he’s going to faint! Quick, call the management while I relieve Mr. Carroll of the weight of his wallet upon his chest.
Poor fellow, struck down in his prime and not a moment too soon! It must have been the Jubjub — look at the expiration date! Good lord, man, this Jubjub’s nearly 133 years old! Why, it’s not even second-grade-fresh! Slow food, indeed! Criminally slow, I’d say!