Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Persecution and Assassination of the Baker as Performed by the Inmates of the Hunting of the Snark Under the Direction of Lewis Carroll

This stanzel of The Hunting of the Snark would make anyone faint away, the way it leers at us with its inky visage of squiggly lines and blobby crochets, all of ‘em denoting a sound and fury signifying nothing, nothing at all!

Why does this artist feel it necessary to illustrate an otherwise ordinary bit of verse about the dangers of fainting on the job with this overly baroque reference to the Rake’s Progress of William Hogarth?

Is he making some futile, pseudo-erudite stab at a bit of ironic postmodern reference to a long-dead fellow illustrator, a useless pastime when one considers that no one reads comic books for that sort of thing anymore?

Or has he gone mad? Has the cheap brand of india ink which he surreptitiously imbibes when no one’s looking rotted out his last synapses, synapses already nibbled down to a nub by Stravinsky's rakish earworm?

Or is he, like the Baker, simply overwhelmed by the horror of it all, by that creepy Mistuh-Kurtz-he-dead malaise which so pervades Lewis Carroll’s Snark and the modern world?

Questions, questions everywhere, they’re the bane of all thinking folk … just look at the pretty picture and admire my off-hand reference to Mister Hogarth’s Line of Beauty.

Elsewhere on The Hunting of the Snark …
Old Snarks for sale, old Snarks, prim Snarks, silly and grim Snarks for sale


  1. Madness is of course responsible, but leave us not forget abject drunkenness, the extinguisher of lights in the brain, the lights Singh despises and celebrates in his brilliant illustration, the lights that also went out in the Baker's head that caused such an unpleasantness at the Snark Hunt.

    There is more to be said, but I am a gentleman and will leave it unspoken.

  2. Martin is too genteel to say it but I shall! His Invasion Manual of Earth (see the Available from this Artist sidebar up top) is the next best thing to actually being a participant in the Stravinsky/Auden opera version of the Rake's Progress … I for one am dying of curiosity to see the redblooded American reaction to Martin's satanic roman a clef … can we hope for a mobbish book burning at least?