Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Fit the Fourth, Page 25, Panel 3 … when they talk’d of their Raphaels, Correggios & stuff, he shifted his boojum & only took snuff
"’Tis a pitiful tale," said the Bellman, whose face
Had grown longer at every word:
"But, now that you’ve stated the whole of your case,
More debate would be simply absurd.
There comes a time when even poets such as the Talented Mister Lewis Carroll draw a blank, as the saying goes. Yet such deficiencies seem to have not bothered him a jot or tottle in the long run; he simply brewed up a fresh pot of tea, chewed reflectively upon his quid of paan and sooner or later, he would come up with the poetical goods and fend off the Boojums at the door.
However, when an ink-slinging wretch such as I draws a blank, adverse professional consequences can result. Drawing a blank may be suitable behaviour for those blessed artistes who frolic in the Elysian Fields of MOMA or the Tate but for us illustrative hacks bent over our drawing boards in the sweaty back-forty of Dante’s Inferno (Circle 8, Subsection 5, Barrators and Flatulants) such antics are the stuff of which bankruptcies are made of.
When deadlines press and the ol’ brainbox is running on fumes, remember the scuola metafisica’s dictum to draw only that which cannot be seen. The main thing is to keep one's pen busy, just bash on regardless, no thinking required … always bear in mind the words of a certain master debater and politician who once declared that he did not care what the facts were.
Who can argue with that, eh?
The Lewis Carroll Society of North America has very kindly invited me to give a talk about this version of the Snark at their next meeting in NYC, October 25th, 2008. For further details, download the indicated PDF in the Meeting Section of the LCSNA site. The event has several other very interesting speakers scheduled and promises to be a rare treat for all concerned. As for myself, I am having Gussie Fink-Nottle-type anxieties of the Market Snodsbury Grammar School+cheap gin+orange juice species, but I'm sure that the good people of the LCSNA know what they're doing under the circs.