The Hunting of the Snark

The Hunting of the Snark Cover

In typical Lewis Carroll fashion, Lewis Carroll’s poem about the Snark is quite hilarious and nonsensical. The full title, “The Hunting of the Snark: an Agony in Eight Fits,” is a very fitting one, as the plot and chapter distribution do resemble the randomness of agonizing fits. Plus, the number 42 shows up three times, though one time indirectly (and yes, this was more than 100 years before the Hitchhiker’s Guide was written).

A sensible analysis by me is out of the question, so I direct you with no further delay to the poem’s full text on Project Gutenberg. If you want a non-spoiler plot summary: a group of people embark on a journey to capture a Snark. If you DO want a good analysis of it, see The Annotated Snark by Martin Gardner.

The most lol passage:

There was one who was famed for the number of things
He forgot when he entered the ship:
His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,
And the clothes he had bought for the trip.

He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
With his name painted clearly on each:
But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
They were all left behind on the beach.

The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
He had seven coats on when he came,
With three pair of boots—but the worst of it was,
He had wholly forgotten his name.

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