Monday, September 23, 2013

Let them eat snark!

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK by Lewis Carroll, a graphic novel by this artist (for sale here) and explained here, page by page, panel by panel, squiggle by squiggle  …

 At last, we've reached Fit the Seventh of this graphic novel version of Lewis Carroll's Hunting of the Snark. I drew a frontispiece for the first page of each Fit, each one usually involving a feeble pun and all of them concealing in some manner the All-Seeing Eye which I chose to represent the Snark.

Karl Marx, the working man's Marx Brother

This Fit concerns the Banker and I chose Karl Marx to depict the Banker for simple reasons of poetic justice. This canto of the poem will prove to be his downfall, his well-deserved sweeping into the dustbin of history, the ol' coot. Imagine that, doubting our capitalist masters.

The Sleeping Odalisque by J.A.D. Ingres
For the moment though, his Fate is being depicted as his fête, or birthday party, in French. His cake has the requisite 42 candles and the charming Alexandra “Xie” Kitchin is playing the violin for his amusement, just as she did in Carroll’s photo. Xie was one of the poet’s favorite child friends although I doubt that he would have approved of her presence in this Snarky up-date of the French painter Ingres’ famous harem scene.

Alexandra "Xie" Kitchin as photographed by Lewis Carroll

No matter, the Banker’s fan-waving monkey will soon restore some decorum. His name in Hindi, bander, summons up the spirit of the Carrollian Bandersnatch, the Banker’s soon-to-appear nemesis. His hookah will also figure in his downfall, a Marxist reminder that opium is the religion of the masses.

Just say nein, Karl!

Next week: The Gang of Four take five


  1. Happy unbirthday, Karl Marx! Too bad the Assamese nautch girls seemingly were busy gyrating elsewhere on this festive day, I'm sure the banker would have enjoyed them gracing the celebration with their vibrant presence.

  2. Yes, we need more research into Karl Marx's attraction towards gyrating Indian women … did he prefer them to sing while spinning? Did he like them to serve snacks and if so, what flavour? Samosas or bhel puri? Tea or rooh afza?

    Much work to be done here, graduate students!