Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fit the Fourth, Page 27, Panel 1 … the greatest snark on earth!

Then the Banker endorsed a blank cheque (which he crossed),
And changed his loose silver for notes.
The Baker with care combed his whiskers and hair,
And shook the dust out of his coats.

The alert reader will notice that I’ve taken the liberty of transporting Lewis Carroll’s Snark Hunt into a tautological circus ring, replete with circus wagons, circus folk and their circus paraphanelia and even an audience of the requisite Chiricoid and Savinionesque mannequins and homunculi (for the latter proletariat of the surrealist hierarchy, this show, nay, any show at all, is indeed the Greatest Show on Earth!).

The more alert reader will observe that the Baker, played here by Lewis Carroll himself, is engaged in a classic bit of Victorian slapstick, involving a beard and a fork and the dust accumulated in his coat after decades of teaching Christ Church undergraduates. Although Carroll appears clean-shaven for most of this Snark Hunt, it is a little known but useful fact that this is how he looked when he was lecturing: hirsute and rather discombobulated. Any scoffers or killjoys need only refer to the Great One’s own self-portrait.

The most alert reader will immediately spot the utter absurdity of the Banker (played here by Karl Marx) endorsing a blank check and then crossing it, a bit of complex British financial skulduggery involving a stale and phlegmish sight gag redolent of the vaudevillian buffoonery of those other, less hirsute Marxists : Messers Harpo, Chico, Groucho and Zeppo.

But of course, you knew that all along, didn’t you?


  1. The box is a paradox, Marx is defying the laws of three dimensionsality by cleverly appearing in only two dimensions, and yet he is still apprently a captive. How can this be?

  2. Marx is a captive of his own bipolar dialectical materialism … the concept of 3 or more dimensions (much less the 5th Dimension!) would make his hairy German head explode.

    BTW, your artwork is rather good, my wife & I were just admiring your Hanumant drawing … of course, the mountain he carried was Mt. Mahendra but I'm too shy to mention that right now.

  3. This dioramic interpretation shows that the phenomenon is not just confined to wide open spaces (via wood_s_lot)

    (though Rilke's panther also came to mind)

  4. No doubt Rilke's panther joined forces with Blake's Tyger and Borge's Jaguar and slipped out for a night on the town bar-hopping (groan, hiss boo).

    the photo exhibition is pretty good, a genuine eye, thanks for the link! BTW, I have (finally) started on Paris Paysan, will weigh in with appropriate comments … eventually!