Thursday, January 7, 2010

hunting snark in the land of nod

To those of you who are wondering what this perturbing image from the Dreambook of Mister Pyridine might have to do with Lewis Carroll's Hunting of the Snark, I can only say: 42, man, 42!

It is a popular fact that dreams are suspected to embody some sort of hidden wisdom, a curious belief when one also considers the general thickieness of vast swathes of the good ol' human race. From whence comes this universal desire to believe that the semiconscious reveries of cerebral organs that are also collectively responsible for war, state-sponsored famines, racial pogroms, organized religion and French grammar might also somehow possess a hidden meaning and wisdom?

This risible desire to find meaning where there is none is responsible for a lot of unhappiness and at the same time, happiness! The Expulsion from Eden is proof positive of the former and the Admirable Carroll's Hunting of the Snark will do nicely for the latter. In both cases, a pattern of facts and events is stitched together into a logical pattern of meaning through sheer will power.

Those who search for the hidden meaning of the Snark are playing at Adam and Eve sitting underneath that infamous Boojum-Tree of Knowledge. Rather than just enjoy the shade it casts (and each other) they have to spoil everything by figuring it all out. When will the human race understand that the meaning of a pattern can sometimes be nothing more than the pattern?

Deep thoughts indeed, you're probably better off just looking at the pretty picture I've provided for your entertainment this week. Believe me, there's no hidden meaning there.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, real Snark lovers fiercely defend the "explanation space" of the beast and are so afraid of seeing it being narrowed by overanalysis. They miss the chance to widen that space. Carroll, Holiday and Swain should not be underestimated. Their Snark is foolproof: Any uncovered meaning hidden in the Snark just will lead to new conundrums. As an example, in contrary to Holiday you provide some hints to your illustrations since you started your Snark work in May 2007. And these references to the rest of all the nonsense around us unaviodably just lead to new questions. Don't worry, the Snark hunt just starts.