Monday, February 24, 2014

I snark the body electric

We're frolicking through yet another exegesis of my Snark GN …  deep in the anapestic bowels of Fit the Second …

A wordless panel to allow the slower thinking reader time to catch up … a quick-thinking Silesian photographer, Hans Bellmer, captures the rare spectacle of a school of puppetfish (Puppespielen bellmerensis) disporting themselves in the mangrove-shoals of the River Spree while the HMS Snark heads out to sea on its final voyage … a wordless panel, as befits this wordless world we live in … Bellmer's ode to the Bellmen, a heartfelt, kinky paean from the Seafaring Bell to the Hominid Bell …

O Bellman! my Bellman! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, your bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring …

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Conqueror Snark

We're frolicking through yet another exegesis of my Snark GN …  deep in the anapestic bowels of Fit the Second …

And so, even the least of the Bellman's hopes shall be occidentally disoriented. What wind blew you hither, noble Bellman? Not the ill wind which blows no man to good. Nor that wind which is winding the watch of your wit; so that by and by it will strike.

I think this wind is what the learned scholastic Flann O'Brien would call the ultimate and inexorable and supreme pancake at the back of the whole shooting match, ie., omnium. And what is this omnium of this wind that we hear so much of on the tellyvision? It is the essential, inherent, interior essence which is hidden inside the root of the kernel of everything and it is always the same. The bane of Booja* and Bellmen alike, the curse of the drinking classes, this here omnium-wind is the wind of an indefinite divisibility.

* The nominative plural of boojum is booja, this particular species of the genus Snark being neuter in nature — Snarkus boojum. The verb itself is regular, of course: booja, boojas, boojat, boojamus, boojatis, boojant; although the correct orthography should really be BOOIVM, BOOIA, etc. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Heute zeichnen wir im Ernst!

We're frolicking through yet another exegesis of my Snark GN …  deep in the anapestic bowels of Fit the Second …

As the nurturing, endlessly comforting snows of Québec begin to numb our cerebella at chez snarque, we have ample time to reflect upon the old adage: good artists borrow; great artists steal (and never from the merely good artists). I've mercilessly looted the Belgians, French and Italians, so the inspiration for this stanzel will have to be purloined from the Germans.

Easier said than done, I soon discovered. Friedrich Nietzsche (The Bonnets) and Martin Heidegger (The Barrister) refused to countenance my scheme but Karl Marx (The Banker), that preternaturally prescient Protosurrealist, quickly came up with some snappy double-talk to justify my larcenous designs. He pointed out that crime is actually good for the likes of Lewis Carroll and his ilk (double-plus-good, in fact):

"The criminal produces not only crime but also the criminal law; he produces the professor who lectures on this law and even the inevitable textbook … the whole apparatus of the police and criminal justice … also art, literature, novels, even tragic dramas … he (the criminal) gives a new impulse to the productive forces."

That's pretty juicy stuff, say no more, Karl! Within minutes, my crack team of ninja-idiot-savant-cat-burglar-draftsmen had illicitly purloined and haphazardly reproduced this picture of a giant thumb lusting after his maternal walnut from none other than Max Ernst, the noted German surrealist and an echt bon vivant with the consummate Carrollian taste to die the day before he was born.

Of course, you, the dear reader, may ask: what's this picture got to do with a vessel being snarked in tropical climes? I can only reply: It's a fair cop, guv'nor!

NB. Max Ernst's illustrations for the Snark are dadamax-loplop-good! One may wonder what Lewis Carroll would have made of them, but by using our Protosurrealist critical apparatus we can safely say: yes.

Monday, February 3, 2014

I, Snark!

We're frolicking through yet another exegesis of my Snark GN …  deep in the anapestic bowels of Fit the Second …

Eugène Delacroix pooh-poohed maritime disasters and English literature, both of them subjects dear to the hearts of this artist and Lewis Carroll …

"… I have been reading the story of a shipwreck by Edgar Allan Poe, where the survivors remain in the most horrible and desperate situation for fifty pages on end — nothing could be more boring. Here we have an example of foreign bad taste. The English, German and other non-Latin peoples have no literature because they have no taste or proportion … they drown one beneath a flood of detail that takes away all the interest."

Later that same evening, over a beaker of pure rainwater, he tossed off this observation:

"Lord Byron praised gin as his Hippocrene, because it made him bold … happy are they who, like Voltaire and other great men, can reach a state of inspiration on fresh water and plain living."
So, you want fresh water and plain living with no details? Very well! Get on this sinking raft, Eugène! You did it for Théodore Géricault, you can do it for me! Down there in front, behind the Bellman with your arms outstretched and quit your whining, this ain't no alexandrine hémistichery — this here's Lewis Carroll! Tingle that bell!


NB. I have increased the mineral content of Delacroix's head to compensate for his natural Gallic bouyancy and to highlight his affinity for impersonating an Easter Island moia.


If you're still reading this far, I salute you and offer you some relief at last, a gallery of recent work for Adam Roberts and J.C. Valtat …  my (and the authors') homage to the Master, Jules Verne, and his original illustrators, artists such as de Neuville, Bennet and Riou, who laid the foundations of SF art. Plus, Adam and Jean Christophe's novels are both amazing, mind-twisting, print-and-paper equivalents of the Total Perspective Vortex. Can you handle them?