Monday, April 22, 2013

He who would make a Boojum of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a Snark

“Its flavour when cooked is more exquisite far
Than mutton, or oysters, or eggs:
(Some think it keeps best in an ivory jar,
And some, in mahogany kegs:)

One can never have enough of a jolly, good Snark hunt, don’t you agree? The fresh country air, the Protosurrealist scenery, the anapaestic hurly-burly of one’s fellow Snarquistadores baying after their prey, it all gives one such an appetite!

Naturally, no Snark hunt is complete without a bit of Jubjub taken al fresco whilst in the saddle. Cooked Jubjub is both palatable and highly nutritious, coyly hinting as it does to three-quarters of the Classical Four Elements : earth in the form of mutton, water in the form of oysters and air in the form of the eggs of some unspecified bird. The fourth and final element of fire could easily be supplied by the judicious application of some spicy condiment or chutney.

If Lewis Carroll were alive, he would certainly agree with you when you assert that this poetic reference (a milestone in Victorian Table Verse) to mutton, oyster and eggs makes these gustatorially implicit items into allegorical symbols of themselves. This is a subtle point indeed, so subtle that I’ll skip over the boring old meat-and-two-vegs-reasoning and head straight for the more exciting porto-and-coffee-conclusion, as it were.

Symbols which specifically refer to only themselves are called "reality" by certain smarty-pants metaphysicans. These sort of crackerjack thinkers would point out that the mutton-oysters-eggs-thingy is subset within a Jubjub which is itself subset within the ivory jars and mahogany kegs, the latter containers being diametrically opposed in coloring, another indication that Something Fishy Is Going On Here.

Unfortunately, Lewis Carroll is not alive and hence unable to agree with all of the above. In fact, his lack of Reality makes him feel a bit unagreeable and even disagreeable with all this alimentontological twaddle you’re going on with. In fact, he’s feeling rather queasy and unsettled with the whole business and my goodness, I think that he’s going to faint! Quick, call the management while I relieve Mr. Carroll of the weight of his wallet upon his chest.

Poor fellow, struck down in his prime and not a moment too soon! It must have been the Jubjub — look at the expiration date! Good lord, man, this Jubjub’s nearly 137 years old! Why, it’s not even second-grade-fresh! Slow food, indeed! Criminally slow, I’d say!


  1. I suspect that Mr. Carroll would object that people who lack Reality act usually nicer than people with a superabundance of it; not considering what amount of inconvenience this deprivation could induce, they never grow mad at you, for example, and never drink your cup of tea. Too bad he's not currently in a disposition allowing him to express his thoughts. Did you check what was making his wallet so heavy? There could be a clue in there.

  2. Reality, reality, reality! It's always the problem, there's either too much or too little of it … and it's never there when you need it.

    Carroll's wallet was heavy with nonsense … the coin of our realm!

  3. Holy Nonsense! I should've known.

  4. Yes, Nonsense is the god of this blog! In fact, she rules my entire life … perhaps yours also?

  5. AHA! Finally, the answer to the riddle: what does Humpty Dumpty pay his words on Saturday night? He pays them with NONSENSE! With pure hot air to lift their souls, with bullshit to weigh them down! I thank thee in the name of Caissa, of Eris, and of the unknown goddess of the rolling eyes.

  6. Thank you for your Dischordian comments … Humpty Dumpty gets blamed for a lot of things on Snark Island, all of which reminds me that if I ever had the time, I'd like to present readers with a reverse-translation of Artaud's translation of HD's exegesis of the Alician Gospel.

    There's not enough medication in this world to deal with the Artaud-Carrollian nexus right now.