Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Fit One, Page Four, Panel One (Happy Snark Day!)
There was one who was famed for the number of things
He forgot when he entered the ship:
His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,
And the clothes he had bought for the trip.
We are not famed for the number of things we forget, we are infamous for remembering to introduce the penultimate crew member of the HMS Snark (still anonymous for now but stay tuned) and we have timed it perfectly for today is Snark Day, the 133rd anniversary of the day when Lewis Carroll composed the last line of the Snark. Carroll proceeded to write the remainder of the poem over the next two years, ending at the beginning on April 1st, 1876 with the publication of the Snark. While you're "digging" Marie Osmond's letter-perfect phonetic performance of Hugo Ball's Karawane in the jazzy-looking jukebox over by the soda machine to the right (plus Max Ernst's advice for troubled youth and Man Ray's home improvement tips), amaze your Snark Day date with your ink-stained grasp of all things Snarkish:
Snark Day Trivia: The Snark's last line was composed in the birthplace of P.G. Wodehouse and the final terrestrial abode of Ford Prefect — Guildford, Surrey!
Snark Day Trivia: A possible etymology for Snark is the German verb schnarren, to jar or buzz, itself cognate with the Low German snarren, to snarl. A friend of Lewis Carroll's, Beatrice Hatch, wrote in 1898 that the author had told her that Snark was a portmanteau of snail and shark. Pshaw!
Snark Day Trivia: Dante Gabriel Rossetti was convinced in his later, even less rational years, that Carroll intended the Snark to symbolize himself. Rossetti also identified himself with wombats to an unhealthy degree and eventually disinterred his wife to retrieve some poems which he had entrusted to her.
Snark Day Trivia: Today is also the feast day of Saint Arnulf of Metz, patron saint of beer brewers. So, if you don't object, my dear, we'll try a glass of bitter beer — I think it looks inviting!