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).