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The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight…

The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits (original 1876; edition 2012)

by Lewis Carroll, Oleg Lipchenko (Illustrator)

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7712711,991 (4.05)49
Title:The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits
Authors:Lewis Carroll
Other authors:Oleg Lipchenko (Illustrator)
Info:Tundra Books (2012), Edition: Reprint, Hardcover, 48 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll (1876)


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English (24)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Peake's illustrations of this edition (ISBN: 0701106050) are detailed caricatures, grotesque and gothic while humorous and playful. An excellent complement to Carroll's verse. ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | Apr 6, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Beautiful book captures the imagination of the young reader who appreciates darker stories. Both the story and the illustrations create a mood of surreal confusion, evil, and magic-spell mystery. ( )
  technodiabla | Jul 8, 2013 |
Thoughtful, amusing surreal illustrative version (illustrated by Mahendra Singh) of Lewis Carol's epic nonsense poem. Nice volume -a lot of fun. ( )
  arthurfrayn | Jun 14, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm a big Lewis Carroll fan and this illustrated copy of The Hunting of the Snark is absolutely wonderful. It is very well put together and very attractive piece of work.
  SaraEllen | Mar 9, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"The Hunting of the Snark," Lewis Carroll's fantastically inventive, perfectly metered history of an eventful hunt, is, in the humble opinion of this English major, most certainly not a nonsense poem. That such a charge would be leveled against his work the great author foresaw, and wrote a foreword addressing the claim so that future generations would be clear upon on the subject. Alas, it seems that no one reads forewords anymore, or else readers would see the perfect sense and beauty of this epic quest. I shall attempt to elucidate, by simple literary deduction, the elegant clarity of Carroll's monumental work.

Take, for example, this recurring stanza. The sense of it should be clear to anyone who has ever taken a college English course in one of our learned universities:

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

"They sought it with thimbles" — well, as anyone knows, thimbles are a fumbling, seeking sort of thing. Just see how well you can get your finger in one and still be able to sew. Clearly it is a symbol of the difficulty of their venture. "They sought it with care" — naturally hunts are carried out with care, especially when the quarry is so dreadful. "They pursued it with forks," yes, I should imagine they did. Forks would likely prove useful, as a sort of skewering instrument. "And hope" hardly needs explanation: who sets out on a hunt without it? "They threatened its life with a railway-share" — yes indeed, only a personage such as the Banker could contemplate shares and stocks without a tremor, and Carroll is here giving us a rare insight into the personality of the hunted beast. And finally, "They charmed it with smiles and soap" — who isn't charmed by such things? My husband charms me regularly by such means. Apparently Snarks also find smiling, pleasant-smelling people as attractive as we do.

So really, after such a simple exercise it seems ridiculous that anyone could think the poem nonsense — that is, devoid of sense. There are a great many elements of sense, symbols, and semantics stuffed into it, perhaps more than is contained in the average modern misanthropy passed off as literature today. And what is more, Carroll's story rhymes. I should like to see several contemporary authors tell a sensible story in rhyming, rhythmic verse. How quickly we would spot the barrenness of their subjects!

In this lovely hardcover edition by Tundra Books, Oleg Lipchenko's beautiful sepia illustrations form a rich complement to the lavish language and ingenious storytelling of Carroll's poem. He has captured the serious mood of the piece while keeping its light dressing: an enviable feat. If I had the Bellman's bell, I would ring it to honor Mr. Lipchenko's success.

In short, "The Hunting of the Snark" is a deeply moving work that has found an enduring place in the great literary tradition of quest tales. Whether that quest was successful or not, I shall leave to future generations of critics to determine. But it does seem as if the essence of Snark (different, of course, from mere Sarcasm or Snip, those imposters) has been disseminated among many today. Perhaps we did catch it... or has it caught us? ( )
4 vote wisewoman | Feb 4, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lewis Carrollprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jansson, ToveIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peake, MervynIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geradts, EvertTranslator/Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holiday, HenryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuijper, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lipchenko, OlegIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oxenbury, HelenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanesi, RobertoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Singh, MahendraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steadman, RalphIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swain, JosephIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vos, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Haiku summary
Group with blank map seek
unknown beast: all nonsense but
it's true, it's true, it's...

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140434917, Paperback)

'They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care; They pursued it with forks and hope; They threatened its life with a railway share; They charmed it with smiles and soap'. Ever since Lewis Carroll's nonsense epic appeared in 1876, readers have joined his ten-man Snark-hunting crew and pursued the search with great enthusiasm. What are they hunting for? What is the Snark? Numerous theories have been proposed. Carroll himself provides a helpful preface to the poem and is recorded as having explained to one reader: 'In answer to your question, 'What did you mean the Snark was?' will you tell your friend that I meant that the Snark was a Boojum. I trust that she and you will now feel quite satisfied and happy'.This edition, previously published as "The Annotated Snark", reproduces the original illustrations by Henry Holiday, including the 'supressed' Boojum drawing. Martin Gardner provides an introduction, notes and bibliography, and an Appendix contains F. C. S. Schiller's "Commentary on the Snark" and J. A. Lyndon's "Fit the Seven-and-a-Halfth".

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:09 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Hunting a snark is a dangerous thing, as many people find out.

(summary from another edition)

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