Monday, February 4, 2019

Put a sock in it, Wittgenstein, we're talking snark here!

I submit for your perusal the word uffish in the above lines. Lewis Carroll explained it thus: "it (uffish) seemed to suggest a state of mind when the voice is gruffish, the manner roughish, and the temper huffish."

This is nothing more than a clever plan (hatched, no doubt, in some "scenic" bathing machine) to explain the Origin of Language in the Human Species by means of the Clochetic Rule-of-Three!

Simply put, the learned Mister Carroll was pointing out that whatever we tell one another three times eventually does become true, that is to say, we need look no further for any linguistic First Cause than the simple observation that long ago, certain sounds became words through mere repetition. 

We might even say that sound becomes symbol through repetition, or even better, chaos becomes order through repetition. So much for the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything in It! Mister Carroll seems to have whittled it all down to a proper size, easily digestible and suitable for the masses.

Of course, there are always certain idle loafers lounging in every philosophical woodpile, hairshirt-wallahs such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, who dismissed the linguistic and logical implications of Carroll’s Clochetic Rule-of-Three by sniffing (in German, no less) that it was as if “someone were to buy several copies of the morning paper to assure himself that what it said was true.”

To which we reply: What rubbish! Quelle bêtise! Was für ein Quatsch!

NB. The plethora of doors in the above stanzel are the doors of perception, which, if cleansed, would allow everything to appear to the Snark concealed behind each of ‘em as it truly is — infinite! You do realize, don't you, that to these concealed Snarks, we are the concealed infinity behind their doors?

Monday, January 14, 2019

Night of the Snark Hunter

After a successful hunting, one is always left with the remains of the dead, even in Lewis Carroll’s genteel, literary world. In this, the frontispiece to Fit the Fourth, we see the remains of a particularly jolly hunting, stuffed and mounted upon the wall of a certain someone’s hunting lodge. 

The Bellman looks particularly splendid and lifelike and for those of you who keep track of such matters, the Snark-is-Eye Leitmotif can be discerned through the looking glass.

Look, look there, at that uppermost head in the middle … why, it’s the Boots-cum-Charles-Darwin … what grotesque sense of humor put him there? Was it one of those Literary Darwinists? — they’re all the rage now! Lurking behind every poem and novel and feuilleton, we find them ascribing the most salacious evolutionary motives to every author — and yes, every reader! Oh the times, oh, the customs, when the reader is being read, the author is being authored, and yes … the hunter is being hunted!

I could go on like this for some time now but all this thinking is a bit taxing; I‘d rather be outside in the fresh winter air, grouse-hunting from a helicopter or seal-clubbing till midnight or whatever it is that we must do for sport in these oddly unimaginative antinomian times.

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Snark in the High Castle

The last, fateful words of the Baker-AKA-Lewis-Carroll before he is obliterated by the icy glare of the Snark-As-Eye lurking in the wardrobe.

This whole Boojum business is what literary wallahs like to call a Catharsis, a purging and expelling of unsettling emotions, resulting in a post-Boojum state of relaxation, gleaming white teeth and little or no underarm perspiration. 

In this state of enlightenment all of one’s troubles softly and suddenly vanish away and one is left with only the minty fresh after-taste of … Boojum-Orientalism!

Boojum-Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the Boojum because the Boojum is weaker than the Baker, a doctrine which elides the Boojum’s difference with its weakness. . . . as a cultural apparatus Boojum-Orientalism is all aggression, activity, judgment, will-to-truth, and knowledge … the whole point about this system is not that it is a misrepresentation of some Boojumistic essence — in which I do not for a moment believe — but that it operates as representations usually do, for a purpose, according to a tendency, in a specific historical, intellectual, and even economic setting …

Yes, dear reader, aided only by my trusty power-packed pen and buckets of second-grade-fresh ink, I have created a Boojum-ridden Baker casting aside the dehumanizing gaze of the oppressive Victorian Boojum … (pauses for breath) …

… and a resurgent postcolonial Boojum reasserting his Snarkitude by rejecting the anapestic snares of the oppressive Victorian Snark Hunter … (dabs brow with gin-soaked compresses) …

… ergo, hurrah for the disappearance of the Author-Function! Hurrah for the justified tyranny of the Reader-Boojum! Hurrah for everybody! … (fans gyrating nautch girl with freshly minted rupees earned from Snark royalties).