Thursday, October 14, 2010
Stop me before I snark again
It’s all the rage to blame one’s parents for one’s own little problems; many literary critics think this to be a modern phenomenon but it’s a habit dating back to the Old Testament at least (so we can blame our ancestors for this one, at least).
Pinning the blame for present misfortunes upon past misfortunes will, if left unchecked, lead to the dreaded Infinite Regression, that annihilating Boojum of all Western philosophical thought.
Of course, in this instance, Lewis Carroll is having his little joke with us, for by taking on an assumed identity, the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson had essentially negated his parents (in the most genteel manner) and thus absolved them of all blame for whatever it was that Lewis Carroll was about.
Or the Rev. Dodgson could have just skipped all that and admitted that he, and he alone was entirely responsible for his own problems in life and thus made the entire foundation of all narrative art softly and suddenly vanish away.
Elsewhere on The Hunting of the Snark …
• Having placed in my mouth sufficient boojum for three minutes’ chewing