Thursday, January 6, 2011

Snark Sutra

Our examination of Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark is a glorious duty indeed! We few, we happy few, we band of snark hunting brothers (and sisters) have chased our prey for quite some time now … and yet … we have not seen it. Not the slightest sign of a Snark has yet appeared to us.

The Snark is a beast conspicuous by its absence, in fact, that is the only defining characteristic of a Snark which all the taxonomists have ever agreed upon.

The absence of the Snark has created, within the confines of the Carrollian Multiverse, a sort of inverse force field which re-arranges all things and beings, re-arranges them into precursors of Snark. Visual and verbal puns abound, all of them pointing directly at the Absence of the Snark.

One might say, if one is Platonically inclined, that the Snark is a pure Form struggling to be Real but which is substantiated only into puns, tricks and games … the Form of Maya, perhaps?

Or one can have a nice cup of tea, nibble a samosa and have a giggle at these solemnly occidental gentlemen seen above, mis-parsing the Carrollian Multiverse!

NB. A really good interview with Francis Ford Coppola by Ariston Anderson here, concise and useful for all young artists in any medium …

"… I once found a little excerpt from Balzac … he said, “I was so happy when this young person took from me.” Because that’s what we want. We want you to take from us. We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can’t steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that’s how you will find your voice …

… It is very important for an artist not to lie, and most important is not to lie to yourself … that will carry your personal conviction into your work … There is something we know that’s connected with beauty and truth. There is something ancient. We know that art is about beauty, and therefore it has to be about truth."

Elsewhere on The Hunting of the Snark …
The joy of snarking


  1. Thanks for the link to that great interview by Coppola. Lots of wisdom there - the cake in the oven, never to lie and especially (what an artist usually never admits) about the necessity of having another source of income when you want to do be an artist.

  2. Yes, it's quite a revelation that even such successful artists as FFC must earn their keep peddling wine.

    Other artists have laughed at me when I say this but I think for us artists in both east & west, the days of guilds, apprenticeships and royal & religious patronage were our glory days.

    Relying on the tastes of the marketplace for a living, now matter how educated, is not viable anymore unless you're peddling utter tripe.

    Which is odd, since there's still a a lot of money to be made in the arts. It just doesn't go to artists.