The Hunting of the Snark

The Hunting of the Snark


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Lewis Carroll's magnificent nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark features an unlikely cast of characters drawn from the Jabberwocky in Through the Looking Glass. This beautiful edition has an introduction by Chris Riddell and features his artwork. The Hunting of the Snark was first published by Macmillan in 1876.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781854379566
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 791,352
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 4.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: Up to 18 Years

About the Author

Lewis Carroll, the pen name for Charles Lutwidge Dodgeson, is the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-GlassChris Riddell, the 2015-2017 UK Children's Laureate, has won a number of major prizes, including the 2001 and 2004 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals. Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse won the Costa Children's Book Award 2013. His previous work for Macmillan includes the Ottoline books, The Emperor of Absurdia, and, with Paul Stewart, Muddle Earth, and the Scavenger series.

Date of Birth:

January 27, 1832

Date of Death:

January 14, 1898

Place of Birth:

Daresbury, Cheshire, England

Place of Death:

Guildford, Surrey, England


Richmond School, Christ Church College, Oxford University, B.A., 1854; M.A., 1857

Read an Excerpt

From the Foreword

There exists a certain kind of mind that is uncomfortable with ambiguity, nonsense, and the creative imagination. Such persons attempt to reduce the abstruse to some prosaic explication, which they then often insist is the only way to look at it, and surely was the original intent of the author, whose mind they know better than he or she did. This has frequently been the fate of the Snark and, for that matter, Carroll's two masterful Alice books, for those of limited intelligence (intellect, which such persons might possess in abundance, is another matter entirely) who 'read' the poem in their own idiosyncratic way. (Analogously, we in the States elected a man as our leader who sees things exactly as he wishes to see them and allows no such things as facts or truth to stand in his way.)

Contrariwise, as Tweedledee would say, more enlightened minds can rejoice in profound and perplexing-another term might be 'poetic'-works of art. Hermeneutics (the art of interpretation) can better be used to demonstrate how a text could be construed a certain way, thereby proving, with great humor and wisdom, just how infinite is its depth. Fortunately, we are in such hands with this present edition, which does not dictate but rather wittily utilizes illustrations to the poem to memorialize a moment in political time, the bewildering administration of Donald J. Trump and his cronies, by assigning caricatures of his staff to the expedition's crew.

As Ben Hecht put it in A Guide for the Bedevilled (1945), 'Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.' Already at this writing some of the persons caricatured in this edition have left the administration-Anthony Scaramucci, Reince Priebus, and Stephen K. Bannon-but that does not affect George Walker's superb caricatures, nor this edition serving as an aide-mémoire of a baffling yet historic time.

-Mark Burstein, President Emeritus of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America

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The Hunting of the Snark 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
then you need to read this poem. Having the same flavor of nonsense that you find in the poetry included in the Alice books, this poem 'in Eight Fits' satisfies the need for a third Alice book. I'd rate this as being on a par with the Alice books, and much better than the other works of Dodgson, like 'Sylvie and Bruno'. I think you should also limit your first purchase of this book to one with the original illustrations. And, remember, the Snark WAS a Boojum.
tapestry100 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿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!¿What does it all mean? No one seems to know. Not even Lewis Carroll, apparently. He claimed to have no more idea on what the poem was about than anybody else, although he did mention at one point, "...the whole book is an allegory on the search for happiness." Carroll's acme of Nonsense poetry, The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits is an experience to read. Does it make any sense? Not at all. Did I enjoy it all the same? Absolutely.This was a Christmas gift from Sarah as I'm a huge fan of Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. However, I'll admit that my reading experience with Carroll stops there, so this was a real treat to receive as I had not even heard of this book before!The poem opens with the captain of the hunt gathering his traveling companions for the voyage that will take them to the Snark, so that they may hunt it. As the poem progresses, I was left in mind of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, as we get to hear tales from most of the traveling companions. Each tale leads on to the continuing hunt for the Snark, which leaves its mark on several of the traveling companions. There are several plays on words in the poem, and we even meet a couple of familiar faces from Carroll's earlier works, such as the Bandersnatch and the Jubjub Bird.Mahendra Singh's illustrations are simply amazing. In his afterword, he explains how he used a Surrealist technique to illustrate this version of The Hunting of the Snark, a technique which I think fits the theme and tone of the poem perfectly. Singh hides jokes and visual puns in his illustrations that go along with the poems stanzas, just as Carroll hides puns, plays on words and puzzles in his poem. As I read through the poem, I would become equally involved looking at the illustrations as I was trying to figure out what it all means. I eventually gave up, and enjoyed the entire book exactly for what it is: Nonsense!Even though it took me a couple nights to read, The Hunting of the Snark is a very fast read. In fact, I read through the entire poem a second time in one sitting, making sure I was able to follow what was happening. Even though there really isn't much rhyme (no pun intended!) or reason to the flow of the story, it still makes some sort of absurd sense and follows a natural progression to its ending. What you'll get out that ending, however, will differ from person to person. Personally, I think Carroll had it right about his poem: it has something to do with the elusiveness of that one thing in life that will make you perfectly happy. You search and hunt and may never quite find it, but it's the searching and hunting that turns the journey into an adventure.Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where the cats chew beetlenut all day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is snowclan territory. Be glad blazestar hasnt seen you yet. -Shamrockleaf~deputy of snowclan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would not recomend buying this edition. It has no footnotes or illustrations. But worst of all they have left out Carroll's dedication.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago