Monday, January 2, 2012

Fit 7, pg. 75/2 … drive your snark and your plow over the bones of the dead

This stanzel is jam-packed with jolly bits of scrumptious, Nonsense-soaked Carrollian references. Would it interest you to know that —

1. mimsy is a portmanteau of miserable and flimsy. The word is current throughout the Carrollian Multiverse, ranging from Snark Island to Looking Glass Land. The islanders pronounce it with a marked rolling of the "r", while the Spiegelmans and womans prefer to drop the final, silent "o".

2. the Banker is rattling his bones and fingering his hair; the former is a reference to Mister Bones, a stock character in Victorian minstrel shows who would literally play himself, ie., play the bones … and the latter is a probably just the Banker luxuriating in his newly-minted, windswept locks. In short, he's vamping, ie., playing himself.


3. the deliciously well-turned line, "words whose utter inanity proved his insanity," is a cleverly veiled jab at the letter "S", whose appearance inside a word, say inanity, seems sufficient here to render it unfit to operate heavy machinery or make major financial decisions. There's a yummy whiff of the Eternal Recursion here — the primum mobile of the Carrollian Mutliverse — since this petty defaming of the letter "S" is itself a classic example of the inability of most phonemes to just get along. Why can't they learn to live in peace with one another? It's utter insanity, their communal inanity.

In short, more of the same for 2012 …


  1. Thank you for posting this. I did't know Maunt's painting.

  2. My pleasure, Goetz. This also relates to the last posting (or maybe one before …) where Doug Howick gave us the info about the minstrel show Snark.

    My American readers will chuckle appreciatively at all this … playing the bones is as down-home, good ol' fashioned as playing the saw … altho' playing at being a saw-bones without a license is a felony in most states.

    'Nuff said …

  3. thanks, Goetz. I didn't know that Mount did the painting for a lithographer, very interesting indeed! LC very well could have seen it.

  4. thanks, Götz … and happy New Year to you! 2013 will be the Year of the Snark, I think …

  5. What you wrote in December 2012 at least was true for Flickr in May 2013. After Flickr got snarked, the Bone Player moverd to ipernity:

  6. did Holiday have a reproduction of Mount's painting to copy from? Only the Snark knows …

    1. Besides the possibility that Holiday saw the Bone Player in 1875 at Goupil & Cie in London (1875), I think that Holiday (similar to you) very well could have used reproductions for his fascinating allusion game. That might have been the case not only with the Bone-Player, but also when took references to paintings by Matthias Grünewald.