Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lewis and Carroll’s excellent adventure

As you can see above, the Baker is not digging this particular part of our GN/BD (sounds kinky, eh?) version of Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark. He’s not in the groove, he’s not with the program, he’s just not jiggy with it.

In short, the Baker’s being a bit of a wet blanket about this whole Boojum thing and frankly, it makes me sick.

Man up, Baker, stiff upper lip and all that. When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro, as Dr. Thompson once said. Whatever you do, don’t look inside the big dresser beside you, just focus on the blank, mushroomy eyes of your homunculi parents, clutch your fork tightly and refudiate your dread.

On a lighter note, last weekend’s meeting of the LCSNA in New York was the exact opposite direction of dreadful. The gracious and ever-resourceful Andrew Sellon was succeeded as LCSNA prez by Mark Burstein, who promised to take the society in a more Californian direction, cowabunga!

Adam Gopnik gave us a brief whirl around the Carrollian œuvre with some snappy and sharp insights into the difference between anglophone and francophone preferences in children’s literature. Jenny Woolf’s talk on C.L. Dodgson’s persona, both public and private, was unusually shrewd and penetrating; she described in detail how Dodgson’s childhood laid the foundation for Carroll’s public persona, a theme which she amplifies in her latest book, The Mystery of Lewis Carroll. Her recent piece in the Smithsonian is an excellent summation of current Carrollian thinking.

Cathy Rubin explained the intricate research and acquisitions process for her new book about Alice Liddell, The Real Alice in Wonderland, and Dr. Edward Guiliano explained to us why the NYIT had so much Carrolliana in its library holdings despite his students’ steadfast refusal to avail themselves of it.

But for we Snark Hunters, the appearance of Oleg Lipchenko was the main event! Oleg gave a talk on his in-progress version of THOTS and judging by the sample spreads he showed us, it’s going to be quite a splendid book.

I think it’s safe to say that we are officially in a Snarkian Renaissance at long last, with two film versions coming out, a revival of the Wesley-Smiths' Boojum! in Chicago (starts November 19th), my own Snark at Melville House, Oleg’s stunning version looming very large on the horizon and even a Japanese manga version circulating, replete with the obligatory googly-eyed teenaged girl brandishing a high-powered hunting rifle and short skirt. It is this, it is this that I dread!

Elsewhere on The Hunting of the Snark …
Art is long, life short; judgment difficult, Boojums transient