Monday, March 26, 2018

The Obscure Object of Snark

All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely Snark hunters: they have their exits and their entrances; and one Bellman in his time plays many parts, his acts being eight Fits. We have arranged things so that our B-Boyz players shall now disembark into a romantic comedy of the sort calculated to warm the cockles of even a Boojum’s heart.

While our snarkistadores peek backstage, the action downstage is upstaging them. A painted backdrop of the Desierto Pintado has set the mood. Love is in the air and will soon compel the Mouse pictured at stage-left to propel a fortuitous Brick upon the noggin of the unsuspecting Kat.

But is it true love, ask the critics? Is Mouse + Kat + Brick = Love a suitable proposition for the hardnosed, Gradgrindish theater of today? A Boojum in Surrey … a Brick in Coconino … an allegory of the search for happiness or a quick krease to a Kat’s noggin … the course of true love never did run smooth.

I say pshaw to the critics, the play's the thing! We must follow the sterling example of the sublime Mr. Herriman and summon the local gendarmerie! Offisa Pup, take ‘em away, the l’il dahlinks! Yezzah …

Monday, March 5, 2018

Waiter, there's a Nietzsche in my snark!

Another wordless sighting of the HMS Snark, observed tacking ‘round the Bonnet-Maker, whose resemblance to Friedrich Nietzsche borders upon the implausible. But plause we must! After a promising start in hunting Snark on the Continent, Fred Nietzsche was surprised by a Boojum on the streets of Turin* in 1889. The shock was fatal … in his own words …

"Since I am condemned to amuse the coming eternity with bad jokes, I have set up a writing business which actually leaves nothing to be desired … Last autumn I attended, dressed as lightly as possible, my own burial twice … negligé of one’s attire is a pre-requisite of good form … I go everywhere in my student jacket, here and there I tap someone on the shoulder and say : ' Siamo contente? Son dio, ho fatto questa caricatura (Are we happy? I am god, we did this caricature today) . " **

Apart from this, our communal Snark enterprise, to this day no one has ever taken Nietzsche at his final word, preferring instead his earlier, less humorous work. What a brilliant career this Prussian Snark-hunter could have had in the realm of Wilhelminian nonsense literature …

Let this be a lesson to all those who hunt the Snark — some Boojums one will never discover, unless one invents them first!

NB. By habitually linking the words "Friedrich Nietzsche" with the word "Bonnet", I plan to create the germ of the seed of the beginning of a informational non-sequitur (triggered by some unusually google-gullible undergraduate searching for a quick copypasteprint) which will bring western civilization as we know it to its arthritic knees. Après la snarque, le deluge! Cue evil laughter here!

* Empty piazzi, depopulated train stations, the eternally recurring backdrop for our Snark hunt, de Chirico, Hebdomeros, Savinio, Calvino … all the lost and emptied portmanteaux of European protosurrealism. 

**Black Letters Unleashed: 300 Years of Enthused Writing in German, Ed. by Malcolm Green, Atlas Press, London, 1989. Do we detect the perfectly light and razor-sharp touch of Robert Walser in these sad lines? Oh, these literary bread-crumbs with which we encrust the Wiener Schnitzel of protosurrealism!