Brand : Lewis Carroll

The Hunting of the Snark

Steph parker |

Great nonsense poem with great pictures

This review is of the kindle edition of the hunting of the snark with illustrations by mahendra singh. i have always loved lewis carroll's nonsense, both the prose and the poetry and the hunting of the snark is one of the best long nonsense poems there is. this edition is excellently illustrated by mahendra singh with pen and ink drawings of the important parts of the story. there is a drawing for most verses that interprets the ideas of the verse, or verses, that it accompanies. the only problem with this excellent edition is with the lack of page breaks in the main text. this results in some of the smaller pictures appearing on different pages to their associated texts, it would be better if they were on the same page. apart from this one minor imperfection this is an excellent edition.

Bob r bogle |

But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day!

As ts eliot's a handbook of practical cats is unjustly lost in the solar glare of the wasteland and the love song of j alfred prufrock, so too this perfect gem by lewis carroll suffers unfairly because of the success of one or two other works of his which might be mentioned. i first discovered snark when i was in college, and until this morning it had been a few decades since i'd last returned to this epic tale of seafaring and monster encounters which, in its own way, is similar to tales of brave ulysses, say, or to jason questing after the golden fleece. the poetic control is exquisite, and besides, the characters names all commence with the letter "b," with the possible (though unlikely) exception of one. knowledge of the lay of the jabberwock is not essential to a full appreciation of snark, but that way lies additional insight and must be recommended; at a mere 28 lines, one really ought be able to squeeze it comfortably into one's life, besides which, it's questionable whether one can be said to have truly lived life to its full potential if one has not tripped at least one time through jabberwocky. what are you waiting for? this is a special treat! so gather up your thimbles and soap, and be off with you! [if you're unfamiliar with the giant upside down carroty flora in superabundance in baja, it's also rewarding to discover (by your own devices) the name of that strange plant, and how it came to be. this i leave as an exercise for the reader.]

Dr jacques coulardeau |

Ahead of his time

Lewis carroll is brilliant in this piece. first of all the poetical music is perfect, absolutely perfect, and yet the words don't mean much. many of these words are not even to be found in any dictionary. be it only for the music, this piece is astonishingly good. but the piece has a meaning. i will not enter the numerical value of the numbers used in the poem : 3, 42, 6, 7, 20, 10, 992, 8, and i am inclined to say etc because some are more or less hidden here and there in the lines. hunting for these numbers is like hunting for the snark, an illusion. but the general meaning of the poem is a great allegory to social and political life. a society, any society gives itself an aim, a target, a purpose and everyone is running after it without even knowing what it is. what is important in society is not what you are running after or striving for, but only the running and the striving. lewis carroll is thus extremely modern in this total lack of illusions about society, social life and politics : just wave a flag of any kind, or anything that can be used as a flag and can be waved, in front of the noses of people and they will run after it or run in the direction it indicates. they love roadsigns and social life is a set of roadsigns telling you where to go. everyone goes there, except of course the roadsigns themselves who never go in the direction they indicate. lewis carroll is thus the first post-modern poet of the twenty-first century. he just lived a little bit too early. dr jacques coulardeau