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?