Sunday, July 20, 2008

June 29 - July 14, 2008

The Annotated Hunting of the Snark
The Definitive Edition
Lewis Carroll
edited by Martin Gardner
introduction by Adam Gopnik

Well of course Adam Gopnik wrote the introduction to this edition of The Hunting of the Snark. That's why he's so great. He studied art history, curated one of the best exhibitions ever (High & Low at MoMA with Kirk Varnedoe) and now writes brilliant essays about children, families and books. With each new volume I read Lewis Carroll continues to amaze. While this is a short tome (despite all of the extras added to this version) of 8 fits, it covers a lot of ground. What are you searching for? How will you find it? Where will you go? The answers are only gained through life itself. The Hunting of the Snark also offers one of the most ingenious maps ever created.

A few excerpts
-xviii- Adam Gopnik- "The poem defeats any of these attempts to restrict it to a single reading... We all go out on our quests with a blank maps..."
-xxxii- Lewis Carroll in 1896, "Words mean more than we mean to express when we use them: so a whole book ought to mean a great deal more than the writer meant."
3- "Inscribed to a dear child: in memory of golden summer hours and whispers of a summer sea."
15- "What I tell you three times is true."
21- "And his enemies 'Toasted-cheese.'"
-"But his courage is perfect! And that, after all, Is the thing that one needs with a Snark."
28- "A map they [the crew] could all understand. ... 'What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators, Tropics, Zones and Meridian Lines?' So the Bellman would cry and the crew would reply, 'They are merely conventional signs!'"
-"Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes! But we've got our brave Captain to thank' (so the crew would protest) 'that he's brought us the best- A perfect and absolute blank!'"
42- saying it in other languages- "But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much) That English is what you speak!"
- (seek the Snark) "To seek it with thimbles, to seek it with care; To pursue it with forks and hope; To threaten its life with a railway share; To charm it with smiles and soap!"
-"For the Snark's a peculiar creature, that won't Be caught in a Commonplace way. Do all that you know, and try all that you don't: Not a chance must be wasted to-day!"
45- galumphing
55- (Butcher to the beaver) "It had learned in ten minutes far more than all books would have taught it in seventy years."
70- "For the Snark was a Boojum, you see."

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