Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Conqueror Snark!

It appears that our Snark is a humorless beast, an embarrassing situation for the eponymous hero of a comic epic. Yes, I did say hero, for I firmly believe that the Snark is that, and not the Baker as so many others think.

It was the genius of the Admirable Carroll to construct an entire comic epic upon the tragic premise of Inevitable Annihilation. This sort of mash-up, so beloved of present-day hipsters, is an ancient device practised by such masters as Cervantes, Shakespeare and Mozart, it is the hallmark of a certain sophistication in regarding Things As They Are and also requires a visceral commingling of humility and craftsmanship which goes far beyond mere technical bravado.

It is also one of the unquestionable marks of true Modernism (regardless of the actual date of creation) and leads us to a final enigma : is the Snark a comic poem with a tragic motif or a tragic poem with a comic motif? Frankly, I have no idea, and in place of one I’ll pilfer and then mangle Henri Michaux’s admonition to never jest with a dead man.

Elsewhere on The Hunting of the Snark …
Belgium, Man, Belgium!


Attention illustrators/photogs/sculptors/etc!
Eternal glory and neat prizes!

MobyLives is holding a contest to see who can best summarize the contents of any Melville House title into one page/image. Some of the prizes being offered are quite compelling. Since one of the titles eligible for the contest could be The Hunting of the Snark (I assume since pub date is very soon), regular readers of this blog should have a good head start upon the competition … I'll give you an extra clue for summarization … 42, man, 42 …

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