Monday, May 2, 2016

The Unbearable Lightness of Drawing Snark

Dear readers, if Lewis Carroll was alive today, he would never get into print. He would have no comps to be measured against, a shocking excess of originality and an unmarketable habit of assuming children want to be genuinely challenged. Even if he self-published (which is what he did for the first Alice book in essence), no distributor would handle him. 

The point is that diverse books are not just about different races or cultures, that's just part of it … to me, diversity is more about alternative viewpoints, ideas that are not pre-commodified or safely clichéd but which really expand the reader's head. I published my novel, American Candide, with Rosarium Publishing, a minority-owned house that publishes books by authors and artists that tell diverse stories, with multicultural perspectives and unorthodox subjects that the bigger houses refuse to touch. Rosarium is having an indiegogo campaign to refinance, so if the issue of diversity in publishing and storytelling matters to you, check them out … or tell a friend. It's your Literary Multiverse, dear reader … do you want to stagnate in a provincial monoculture or flourish in a diverse, vigorous world culture? Now back to the snarky laughs …

Friendship is, of course, a double-edged sort of business, the very sort of tricksy fritter-my-wig-thingum-a-jig that Messers Lewis Carroll and C.L. Dodgson must have pondered over quite a bit in the course of their own long and fruitful association.

The attentive reader (is there any other?) will remember my own reasons for emasculating the Beaver, and I think that this very stanzel is proof positive of the aesthetic rightness (or is it righteousness?) of that long-ago, fateful decision on my part.

And so, we see here the Beaver and Butcher heaving into view with their freshly-minted friendship in tow. Needless to say, the friendship of the Butcher will prove a heavy burden for the luckless Beaver. The former’s penchant for looking the part of an incredible dunce, as evidenced in his just-concluded, semi-interminable monologue upon all things Jubjub, will weigh heavily upon the Beaver’s sensitive soul.

May we conjecture that Carroll might have had the same private misgivings concerning his rather leechlike pal, Dodgson? The basic principles of Prosodic Forensics may apply here, my dear Watson, when one bears in mind that once one has removed the impossible from whatever verse one is studying, whatever one is left with, however improbably, is the logical solution.

The Butcher’s poetic modus operandi is painfully obvious: dunderheaded obliviousness to all things outside his realm of expertise, a compulsion to lecture strangers ad infinitum, etc. Such a description is, as some of us are painfully aware, the very epitome of the college lecturer, of which C.L. Dodgson was a prime example.

The Beaver’s versical activities in the last Five Fits have been limited solely to making lace and saving the entire crew from wreck. The former activity is utterly frivolous, as is versifying in general, and the latter activity is nothing less than an oblique reference to her skill in composing galdors, those Celtic verse charms used in pagan times to protect the common folk from evil through the application of some mysterious, verbal magic unknown to the layman!

The attentive reader should promptly compare the above description to Lewis Carroll, and finding that it’s a perfect match, brandish their regulation Scotland Yard handcuffs, then secure the guilty party and march him off to the station to take his statement, the villain!

And while you’re at it, Sergeant, cuff that Dodgson wallah, he was probably in on it with Carroll, the two of ‘em are inseparable friends, don’t you know. We’ll soon have at least one of ‘em singing like a canary, probably till the next day, I’m afraid.