Monday, October 28, 2013

Sturgeon General's Warning: Hunting Snark May be Hazardous to Your Wealth

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK by Lewis Carroll, a graphic novel by this artist and explained here, page by page, panel by panel, squiggle by squiggle … right now we're in Fit the Seventh … 

For five panels now we've been tootling merrily along on our Snarkic Soul Train, through English garden parties and homunculi-haunted jungles into the depths of Page 72, where our train has debouched at last into the jumbled contents of a cigar box.

These contents are nothing less than the raw materials of the Snarkic Galdor which has resonated throughout this poem to such hypnagogic effect: soap, a thimble, hope (personified as an anchor), smiles (a Dali-esque sofa) and a railway share. But where's the care, more petty-minded Carrollians might ask?

To which this illustrator replies: care? You dare to question the care I've taken over this drawing? Go ahead and count the lines, squiggles, blobs and crochets of inky care I've lavished on this Snarkic semioglyph … even better, peruse the various labels & inscriptions embellishing the cigar box into which I've heaped up the raw stuff of our verse … all of 'em scraps torn from a larger whole:

Lo buscaron con dedales, con cuidado lo buscaron,
lo persiguieron con tenedores y con esperanza.
con acciones del ferrocarril lo amenarazon
y lo hechizaron con sonrisas y jabón.

Indeed, it is our Snark Hunter's Galdor-Refrain cast in the language of Castile, the language of Don Quixote, who must surely qualify as the Snark Hunter par excellence!

The cigars which once occupied this box were manufactured, as the upper label notes, in the manner of the Indians. Naturally, the Indians referred to here are the now-extinct Caribs & Arawaks who first introduced the Conquistadores to the joys of the evil weed, tobacco.

But we Snarquistadores are more literal-minded fellows and prefer a bit of geographic veracity with our cigars & porto; the Indians we refer to shall be the 100% genuine, curry-inflected East Indians of Uttar Pradesh and the Punjab, the Indians of Old Delhi, to be precise.

All shall become clear in good time, dear reader, for now, just remember that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, even in the increasingly Orientalist labyrinths of our geographically discombobulated Snarkian Multiverse!

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