Beware the BS Boojum Snark The poem borrows occasionally from Carroll's short poem "Jabberwocky" in Through the LookingGlass (especially the poem's creatures and portmanteau words), but it is a stand-alone work, first published in 1876 by Macmillan. The illustrations were by Henry Holiday. In common with other Carroll works, the meaning of his poems has been queried and analysed in depth. One of the most comprehensive [3] gatherings of information about the poem and its meaning is The Annotated Snark by Martin Gardner. The crew consists of ten members, whose descriptions all begin with the letter B: a Bellman (the leader), a Boots, a Bonnet-maker, a Barrister, a Broker, a Billiard-marker, a Banker, a Butcher, a Baker, and a Beaver. The Boots is the only character who is not shown in any illustration in the original, a fact that has led to much speculation (see below).

Bellman Bonnet Maker Barrister Broker Billiard-Marker Banker Butcher Baker Beaver After crossing the sea guided by the Bellman's map of the Ocean—a blank sheet of paper—the hunting party arrive in a strange land. The Baker recalls that his uncle once warned him that, though catching Snarks is all well and good, you must be careful; for, if your Snark is a Boojum, then you will softly and suddenly vanish away, and never be met with again. With this in mind, they split up to hunt. Along the way, the Butcher and Beaver -previously mutually wary for the Butcher's specialty in preparing beavers- become fast friends, the Barrister falls asleep and dreams of a court trial defended by the Snark, and the Banker loses his sanity after being attacked by a frumious Bandersnatch. At the end, the Baker calls out that he has found a Snark; but when the others arrive he has mysteriously disappeared, [4]

'For the Snark was a Boojum, you see'.

Even more than in most nonsense poetry, inadequacy of language, meaning, and symbol is a recurring theme in Snark. Examples include the blank map, the Bellman's contradictory navigational orders, the Baker's name-loss and failure to settle on one replacement-name, his failing to mention his luggage, his attempt to communicate in the wrong languages, the Banker's absurd offer to protect the Beaver from being butchered by insuring it against fire and hail, the Butcher's self-nullifying arithmetical manipulations, the Court officers' unwillingness to fulfil their lawful obligations, the Banker's ridiculous attempt to bribe a predatory beast with money, and his subsequent aphasia.[5] It is disputed whether Carroll had a young audience in mind when he wrote the Snark. The ballad, like almost all of the poems in the Alice books, has no young protagonists, is rather dark, and does not end happily. In addition to the disappearance of the Baker, the Banker's loss of sanity is described in detail. Similarly, Henry Holiday's illustrations for the original edition are caricatures with disproportionate heads and unpleasant features, very different from Tenniel's illustrations of Alice. "Jabberwocky" is a nonsense verse poem written by Lewis Carroll in his 1872 novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, a sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The book tells of Alice's adventures within the back-to-front world of a looking glass. In a scene in which she is in conversation with the chess pieces White King and White Queen, Alice finds a book written in a seemingly unintelligible language. Realising that she is travelling through an inverted world, she recognises that the verse on the pages are written in mirror-writing. She holds a mirror to one of the poems, and reads the reflected verse of "Jabberwocky". She finds the nonsense verse as puzzling as the odd land she has walked into, later revealed as a dreamscape.[1] "Jabberwocky" is considered one of the greatest nonsense poems written in English.[2][3] Its playful, whimsical language has given us nonsense words and neologisms such as "galumphing" and "chortle". The concept of nonsense verse was not new to Carroll who would have known of chapbooks such as The World Turned Upside Down and stories such as "The Great Panjundrum". Nonsense existed in Shakespeare's work and was well-known in the brothers Grimm's fairytales, some of which are called lying tales or lügenmarchen.[6] Roger Lancelyn Greensuggests that "Jabberwocky" is a parody of the old German ballad "The Shepherd of the Giant Mountains" in which a shepherd kills a griffin that is attacking his sheep.[7][8][9] The ballad had been translated into English in blank verse by Lewis Carroll's cousin Menella Bute Smedley in 1846, many years before the appearance of the Alice books. [8][10] Historian Sean B. Palmer suggests that Carroll was inspired by a section from Shakespeare's Hamlet, citing the lines: "The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead/Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets" from Act I, Scene i.[11][12]

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.[1] It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world(Wonderland) populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children.[2] It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense


genre,[2][3] and its narrative course and structure have been enormously influential,[3] especially in the fantasy genre. Chapter 1 – Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice is feeling bored while sitting on the riverbank with her sister, when she notices a talking, clothed White Rabbit with a pocket watch run past. She follows it down a rabbit hole when suddenly she falls a long way to a curious hall with many locked doors of all sizes. She finds a small key to a door too small for her to fit through, but through which she sees an attractive garden. She then discovers a bottle on a table labelled "DRINK ME", the contents of which cause her to shrink too small to reach the key which she has left on the table. A cake with "EAT ME" on it causes her to grow to such a tremendous size her head hits the ceiling. Hatta, the Hatter is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the story's sequel, Through the Looking-Glass. He is often referred to as the Mad Hatter, though this term was never used by Carroll. The phrase "mad as a hatter" pre-dates Carroll's works and the characters the Hatter and the March Hare are initially referred to as "both mad" by the Cheshire Cat, with both first appearing in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in the seventh chapter titled "A Mad Tea-Party". The Hatter explains to Alice that he and the March Hare are always having tea because, when he tried to sing for the Queen of Hearts at her celebration, she sentenced him to death for "murdering the time," but he escapes decapitation. In retaliation, Time (referred to as a "Him") halts himself in respect to the Hatter, keeping him and the March Hare stuck at 6:00 forever. As such, he exclaims "Tea Time!" at random occasions. The tea party, when Alice arrives, is characterized by switching places on the table at any given time, making short, personal remarks, asking unanswerable riddles and reciting nonsensical poetry, all of which eventually drive Alice away. He appears again as a witness at the Knave of Hearts' trial, where the Queen appears to recognize him as the singer she sentenced to death, and the King also cautions him not to be nervous "or I'll have you executed on the spot." When the character makes his appearance as "Hatta" in Through the Looking-Glass, he is in trouble with the law once again. This time, however, he is not necessarily guilty: the White Queen explains that quite often subjects are punished before they commit a crime, rather than after, and sometimes they do not even commit it at all. He is also mentioned as being one of the White King's messengers, and the March Hare appears as well as "Haigha", since the King explains that he needs two messengers: "one to come, and one to go." Sir John Tenniel's illustration also depicts him as sipping from a teacup as he did in the original novel, adding weight to Carroll's hint that the two characters are very much the same. Although the name "Mad Hatter" was clearly done and inspired by the phrase "as mad as a hatter", there is some uncertainty as to the origins of this phrase.

was used in the process of curing felt used in some hats, making it impossible for hatters to avoid inhaling the mercury fumes given off during the hat making process; hatters and mill workers thus often suffered mercury poisoning, causing neurological damage, including confused speech and distorted vision. Hat making was the main trade in Stockport, near where Carroll grew up, and it was not unusual then for hatters to appear disturbed or confused; many died early as a result of mercury poisoning. However, the Hatter does not exhibit the symptoms of mercury poisoning, which include "excessive timidity, diffidence, increasing shyness, loss of self-confidence, anxiety, and a desire to 3

remain unobserved and unobtrusive."[1] The Hatter and the March Hare are initially referred to as "both mad" by the Cheshire Cat, and both first appear in the seventh chapter of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which is titled "A Mad Tea-Party".[2] What’s it all about Alfie? Go ask Alice


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