Friday, July 30, 2010

Snarks of the world, unite!

More sentimental verse from the Admirable Carroll, who knew full well how to tug at the heartstrings of his Victorian audience with the most maudlin blather any anapestic poet has ever mustered up.

However, we Protosurrealists are made of sterner stuff! Yes, we are dabbing at a tear or two at the corner of our eye … yet it is not the sudden outbreak of flowers and chocolates twixt Beaver & Butcher that moves us so. It’s the eye-strain brought on by the wearisome days we’ve spent inking all those floorboards and velour curtains.

The ship in the background, required by the poet’s careless mention of a billowy ocean in the verse, was a further source of discomfort … we’ve half a mind to insist upon the creation of a Royal Society for the Protection of Artists to curb this rash of excessive authorial description which blights our once fair land. Huzzah for minimalism, we say!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched Snarks of your teeming shore

A flourish heard off-stage and exeunt all.

Thus ends the Lay of the Jubjub and thus ends the Butcher’s knowledge of Natural History. Long-time readers of this blog will note the sudden and inexplicable appearance of a stage and curtain, which I’ve used as a narrative framing device to signal a change of scene throughout the poem.

The Butcher and the Beaver are undisturbed by this inexplicable change of scenery for they are used to the logical vagaries of the Snarkian Multiverse. The Red Queen’s First Law of Motion, which states that “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place" has somehow emigrated from Looking Glass Land and into Snark Island, thanks to the lax and easy-going immigration policies of the Carrollian Universal Mind governing both locations.

The Butcher’s Boschian auditors from earlier stanzels can be seen peeking out from behind the stage curtain, banned from entry into the impending Fit the Sixth by the strict, anti-gryllus immigration laws of that admittedly regressive and intolerant canto.

For shame, Fit the Sixth! Are we not all born into Nonsense together and thus created equally bereft of common sense?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Looking for Mister Goodsnark

More Jubjubbery, something about polyhedrons and super-glue and winged insects fleeing the less fashionable bit of the Bible.

Readers seeking the correct explanation of the above stanzel will find it here … readers simply looking for a bit of fun with a Jubjub (single or divorced, with or without children and still retaining her perfectly symmetrical shape) are encouraged to send their particulars on the back of a twenty-rupee bill to this blog.

When deadlines press, inspiration takes a powder!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Refudiate the Jabberwock!

The flavor we are rhapsodizing over is the flavor of a Jubjub Bird and the rhapsodizer is the Butcher, the rhapsodee is his comrade-in-arms, the Beaver, and the rhapsodius is Fit the Fifth of The Hunting of the Snark.

This word, rhapsodius, denoting a place within which rhapsodic activities are occurring, is a word I’ve just invented. I rather like it, it has an exquisite flavor and far better than mutton, which in my experience, keeps best when it is served far away from me.

In any case, this business of rhapsodic portmanteaus, (which was once the speciality of that notorious firm of Victorian wordwrights, Messers Dodgson, Carroll & Co, LLC) is trickier than it looks.

But please pay careful attention when crafting your latest rhapsody, lest you drop a stitch and incur the wrath of certain linguistic prudes who simply cannot bear to think that someone, somewhere, is actually having a bit of a giggle with a living, breathing, bit-of-a-giggly language … the kind of language certain linguists would never take home to their mothers.

NB. The management & staff of THOTS feel that Mrs. Palin deserves a (rare) tip o’ the ink-stained turban for her recent and rather clever portmanteau. Alas, when politicos speak Nonsense, all the land is in an uproar yet when they do Nonsense, no one dares pipe up …

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Snark Day, Mister Carroll!

Today is Snark Day, that auspicious day 136 years ago when Lewis Carroll began composing The Hunting of the Snark and thus, in a semiotic and hypermetaphysical manner, began decomposing the non-existence of The Hunting of the Snark.

You might think all of that a bit of hairsplitting blather but to support both this frabjous day and this odd contention, I direct your attention to the above stanzel, the infamous Missing Bee stanzel, the very stanzel upon which both myself and the eminent Czech poet, translator and Snarkologist Václav Z. J. Pinkava both once foundered.

The spontaneous appearance of a Dee out of a Bee triggered the spontaneous appearance of a Bride out of a Bribe, and although the former was not stripped bare by any bachelors, she most certainly did not belong in this very proper and correct Victorian stanzel. But how to put her back again without destroying the very fabric of the space-time continuum of the Snarkian Multiverse?

Well, I'm at a lose for a solution to all of that, but something’s bound to turn up and meanwhile, let’s peruse this fascinating picture of an angry Tom Quad menacing a blob of ink which has fashioned itself into a Rorschach test pattern indicating a vivid mental picture of a Snark Day gone terribly wrong for somebody or the other!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The word for French in Snark is Jubjub

Unlike certain countries where local customs require the Jubjub Birds to go about completely covered from head to toes in a swathy waddly sort of black body bag lest they overwhelm an innocent bystander with their lascivious aura of perpetual passion, we here in Quebec like our Jubjub Birds a bit more au naturel.

A bit of Jubjub ankle goes completely unnoticed on the streets of Montreal, where it is not uncommon to see the local women braving ice and snowstorms clad in their usual insouciant attire of stiletto heels, hose and cocktail dress. Such are the grim fashion realities of La Belle Province and what’s a Jubjub Bird to do in such circs?

At least her avian claws will provide some traction on the ice, at least sufficient to allow her to make her way to the nearest resto where she can indulge her absurd tastes for a bit of well-greased french fries submerged in thick, gummy cafeteria gravy topped off with bits of a rubbery cheese-like substance almost but not quite tasting entirely unlike cheese itself.

Fashion! The tyrant of Jubjubs and all of Canada alike!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A snarkimental education

We see here a classroom of utterly bored & disinterested students, cunningly disguised as the pixillated denizens of some Boschian version of Christ Church during the salad days of the 19th-century, enduring a bit of light torture at the pedagogic hands of the maths tutor & nonsensical scallywag, the Rev. C.L. Dodgson, disguised here as an Eminent Victorian passing himself off as a certain Lewis Carroll whilst pretending to be an Easter Island mo'ai shanghaied by Chilean slavers and forced to play the part of the Butcher in this interminable pen & ink & dog & pony show rendition of The Hunting of the Snark …

Sounds perfectly natural to me. And all in one sentence … take that Mister Saramago!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cry havoc and let slip the ducks of war …

Too hot and too exhausted by multiple, simultaneous deadlines to do more than limply flutter my pen at you in the hopes that the spray of ink drops will form themselves into a vaguely suitable illustration of one of Jean De la Fontaine's Fables Choisies

Madame Bird Wounded by an Arrow (Thy Hand, Belinda)
(II; 6)

Struck by feathered arrow she is dying
Madame Bird languishes expiring
her words betray her wretched state:
« I’ve lent wings to mine own fate
oh, cruel humans, to pluck mine own plume
and use it for mine own doom
monsters who act but will not reflect
mock me now but my fate soon suffer
when half thy race slaves to perfect
cunning arms to kill the other. »

L’ Oiseau blessé d’une flèche

Mortellement atteint d’une flèche empennée,
Un oiseau déplorait sa triste destinée,
Et disait, en souffrant un surcroît de douleur :
«Faut-il contribuer à son propre malheur !
Cruels humains ! Vous tirez de nos ailes De quoi faire voler ces machines mortelles.
Mais ne vous moquez point, engeance sans pitié :
Souvent il vous arrive un sort comme le nôtre.»
Des enfants de Japet toujours une moitié
Fournira des armes à l’autre.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Tell-Tale Snark

Some more mathy stuff from that mad mathman sans pareil, the Rev. C.L. Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll to our plucky Fellowship of the Snark …

There’s a long story behind this stanzel which is really worth reading, but which I shall not repeat here since it would disturb my monastic sense of indolence.

Besides, where else can you Google « Arthur Gordon Pym » and « the hunting of the snark » and find the results to be perfectly and exactly true … and thus logically superfluous in this, the best of all possible hellishly cybernetic worlds?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Snarkhunter’s Guide to the Universe

Lewis Carroll would be pleased to learn that scientists have finally confirmed what he had suspected for so long: that the entire cosmos, every last bit of it from the depanneur on the corner to the Horsehead Nebula, is actually an infinitely powerful supercomputer that just happens to look like Life, the Universe and Everything In It.

Carroll concealed this snippet of information inside his exegesis on the Jubjub’s Song, part of which is seen above. We see a bit of the Cosmos calculating the outcome of a frighteningly complex metamathematical operation whose purpose is so recondite, so deviously byzantine in its fiendish tautological perplexity that the Cosmos has totally forgotten what it was that it was supposed to be thinking about in the first place.

Stupido ergo sum — the song of the Jubjub!