The nonsense limerick poem Hunting of the Snark demonstrates several ironies, apparent contradictions, and hidden meanings. The quest is an analogy for scientific exploration and British empire enterprise; both could be imagined in the dock on charges of Trespass, Libel and Contempt as in Barrister’s dream. Author Lewis Carroll (1876) is the pen-name of Oxford mathematician Rev Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (d1898), who also wrote maths papers and books, and was a deacon, but not a full priest. This post applies archetypal structuralist analysis to the Snark for the first time, to demonstrate how Henry Holiday’s illustrations subconsciously express apparently different, yet structurally standard versions of universal archetypal layers. The artist added Hope and Care (or ‘With’) to the crew of ten, probably from a subconscious compulsion to complete the minimum number of characters required to express archetype.
Britain, a legacy of Rome despite her abandonment in the Dark Ages of AD 400s to rival raiders and local kings such as Arthur, regained Roman culture after the Norman conquest. The eventual nation of shopkeepers, brokers, bankers and explorers feared disorder and chaos, as psychological defense against personal annihilation (after Kelly). Religion and science have taken turns in shoring up a sense of order. Bellman’s Rule of Three; character names all starting with B; jaunty rhyme and meter; and a tragic-comic format, all attempt to impose some order  and meaning on the apparent chaos of lefend. But motifs in legend, poetry and art is never random or meaningless, and usually recurrent (Thompson1928, 1961. Uther 2011. McCormic 2011). Rigorous analyses of three illustrations below demonstrate that many features of subconscious behaviour, perception, and meaning itself is now measurable in standard terms (see also ATU catalogue legends demonstrated in afterlife themes, in three posts on Oracle of the Dead, on http://www.stoneprintjournal.wordpress.com).
Nonsense style was also used by Thomas Hood; and in Gilbert and Sullivan musicals, such as Bad Ballads; and in early movies by Charlie Chaplin. Carroll was a satirist, and keenly aware of controversies between religion and science. Snarking once described a sound, perhaps of derision. Snarky once meant snappish, sarcastic, impertinent or irreverent; but recently back-formed again to mean mocking irreverence or sarcasm. The poem may have been inspired by the violent death of Carroll’s beloved uncle, Robert Wilfred Skeffington Lutwidge, inspector of asylums, by a violent patient (Torrey et al 2001), and other personal losses.
In the plot, a crew of ten tries to hunt the Snark, easily confused with the highly dangerous Boojum. Baker may symbolise the author, with his 42 boxes after Thomas Cranmer’s 42 Articles of religion, the last on eternal damnation. Baker finds a snark but vanishes in black ash, indicating that he found a Boojum, perhaps punished as Cranmer was burned; perhaps bafflement at finding laws of nature (Cohen 1995). Banker is attacked by a Bandersnatch, pays a ransom, but loses his sanity or logic.
Unwritten rules in nature and culture
Bellman, according to Carroll’s preface, follows obscure Naval Code, pathetically reading out Admiralty Instructions which none of the crew ever understood, “but fastened anyhow across the rudder”. Rule 42, the last, is ‘No one shall speak to the Man at the Helm,’ completed by the Bellman himself with ‘and the Man at the Helm shall speak to no one’. Thus Carroll indicates that the search for unwritten, inherent rules or laws of nature and numbers are part of his theme in Snark. Collective behaviour is indeed guided by a code that many sciences suspected, but no-one understood before 2010 (Furter 2014).
The present study of recurrent features in behaviour, to reveal archetype in nature and culture (Furter 2014; 2016), was inspired partly by the Mike Batt’s musical version of Hunting of the snark. In this idiom, from our own investigations and the bearings on the charts, now we could rise to remark that we think we may be gaining on the snark! There are hints of underlying structure in all media. Discovery that the subconscious expression of archetypal structure, or mindprint, could be measured and predicted, incidentally completes the quest for inherent order; and reveals that cultural identity is as universal as mathematics.
Henry Holiday pictured fables, allegories and church windows
Henry Holiday probably alluded to animals in a 1674 print of Aesop’s Fables, illustrated by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder (British Museum; Satires 1047, reg. 1868,0808.3286), around king William III with allegorical Religion and Liberty (after Prof L Wolsogen, L; Fig 4/4). Holiday discussed with the author Carroll (Dodgson) possible allegorical depictions of Care and Hope. Holiday was also a stained glass window designer at Powell & Sons (with many designs for American churches), and friend of Rossetti. Tigertail Associates hired artist George Gennerich to restore Holiday’s wood engravings electronically, and partly colorise them.
Holiday’s Banker’s Fate illustration may refer to Image-Breakers by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder; and to William Sidney Mount’s painting, Bone Player; and to a photograph by Benjamin Duchenne used for a drawing in Charles Darwin’s Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. These visual citations together demonstrate that art design never replicates other designs; yet the illustration demonstrates again that all complex designs (of more than eleven characters) express specific, complex, universal spatial grammar, beyond the conscious capacity of any artist to learn or fake. Snark’s sections are named Fits, a pun on fitting rhymes to syllabic meters and pages. Structuralist analysis of the formerly invisible five layers of regular, universal features in the artworks, and probably in the character list, now adds another meaning to ‘fit’; artists have to ‘rhyme’ with the inherent structure in meaning and spatial relationships.
Carroll’s Easter sacrifice tragedy
Carroll re-uses a setting, some creatures, and eight portmanteau words from Carroll’s earlier poem, Jabberwocky, in his children’s novel Through the Looking-Glass (1871). The poem is dedicated to a young girl whom Carroll met at Sandown on the Isle of Wight, which he saw as an island of three monsters, “where the Jabberwock was slain”. In the first edition, he included a religious tract; An Easter Greeting to Every Child Who Loves Alice, perhaps to disguise the dark undertone of the pointless expedition, melting identity, apparently unjust punishments of life, and annihilation. Easter Greeting explores innocence and eternal life through Biblical and Romantic allusions from William Blake and William Wordsworth. Yet Easter is a spring sacrifice ritual, thus also a tragedy. Among many legacies of the Snark, are a graph theory; Snark Island in India’s Bengal Bay; Boojum Rock in Andaman and Nicobar Islands; and the excellent but failed 2-m dollar West End musical by Mike Batt.
Motley crew; it takes all types to make a story
The Hunting of the snark crew is listed here by proposed archetypal numbers and the types they probably subconsciously express in Carroll’s text; all named starting with the letter B:
2 Builder; Billiard-maker (builder), skillfull (hero). Or 9; 2v9.
2c Basket; Bandersnatch or subconscious, takes ransom and sanity (monster).
3 Queen; Butcher, math and geology, kills (sacrifice) only beavers.
4 King; Care or ‘With’, a Pandora, added by the artist.
5 Priest; Hope or Britannia, added by the artist.
6 Exile; Bellman, leader (exile).
7 Child; Broker, appraises goods, Jewish.
07g Galactic Centre; ??
9 Healer; Bonnet-maker (lid), hood-maker. Or 2; 2v9.
10 Teacher; Banker holds the crew’s money (balance, metal), loses logic.
11 Womb; Hope? or Britannia’s womb.
13 heart; Beaver (water-work), savious, makes lace.
14 Mixer; Hope? or Britannia.
15 Maker; Barrister, settles arguments.
15g Galactic Gate; Boots, cobbler (‘bag’), invisible or in a barrel (‘bag’).
Axial centre; Snark, of five signs, invisible, confused with Boojum.
04p Pig in dream, accused of deserting its sty.
11p Baker, wedding cakes, courageous, forgetful, vanishes.
Midsummer and Midwinter; Boojum, deadly illogic [3 12], invisible, confused with snark since it moves with time.
Dominant type 5 Priest, of assembly and ritual
Dominant general themes in Holiday’s illustration of Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark crew or Britannia parade, are revealed by extra features of type 5 Priest, typical of assembly, hyperactivity, ritual, ceremony (here including speeches in the text), sashes (robes) and water (implied by the naval crew); and its opposite type, 13 Heart, typical of weapons (pitchforks and a pitch fork, or tuning fork), war (implied colonisation), bravery and water-work (here implied by a beaver and anchor). This type seems appropriate to part of Rev Carroll’s own identity as a Deacon, and to the conscious theme of colonial and scientific exploration, including vague unease of venturing into foreign territories and somewhat taboo fields of science. Some authors have suggested a theme of search for happiness; or of USA independence and its motto of ‘pursuit of happiness’ as a tragedy for Britain.
Secondary general themes in the Snark parade illustration, include types 5c Basket Tail, typical of oracle, revelation (a vague monster or treasure), and maze (uncharted excursion); and 9c Basket Lid, of hats, instruments, enforcement, and metal (pitchforks, blunderbuss, anchor, sword); and 10 Teacher, of raised arms, staffs (pitchforks, anchor, blunderbuss, tripod), hunt-master (Bellman), guard, market (implied colonisation), council and school (Barrister’s toga); and type 15 Maker, of rope, order (names starting with B), bag, mace, sceptre (empire), doubling (Barrister and Banker resemblance), face (personalities as on coin ‘heads’, obverse of Britannia as ‘tails’). Missing from the illustrations are Boots the invisible cobbler, who may be a subconscious snark; and Baker, missing since attempting to unravel a conundrum; and Boojum, perhaps incomprehensible ultimate reality or archetype itself. This list below reports the characters in the parade illustration, in the standard structuralist anthropology archetypal cycle format.
Type Label; Parade character (noting archetypal features):
2 Builder; Bonnet-maker? with a fork.
3 Queen; Butcher? (sacrifice) with a chopper?
4 King; Care? in cloak.
5 Priest; Hope? or Britannia (assembly) as emblem (ritual), with anchor (hyperactive, water) and sword (weapon, of 13 opposite); her right eye.
5c Basket Tail; Bell (time, of 6v14). And anchor blade.
6 Exile; Hope? or Britannia, near the axial centre (ingress) with anchor (U-shape); her left eye. And Bellman with bell (U-shape).
7 Child; Anchor point (eyeless, rope implied), as emblem (mace).
7g Gal.Centre; Banker’s top hat (vortex). And anchor point (juncture).
9 Healer; Banker (metal) carrying (bent forward, strong) blunderbuss (metal), tripod stand (pillar) and pitch or tuning fork (metal, trance), a pun on pitchfork; his right eye.
9c Basket Lid; Banker’s glasses (disc, ‘balance’).
10 Teacher; Banker (balance, metal) or Broker (trade), with pitch-fork or tuning fork (metal, ‘balance’) raised (arm up), tripod (staff) and blunderbuss (hunt-master, guard, metal); his left eye.
11 Womb; Midriff (womb) of Hope? or Britannia (water, law), implied British lion (felid).
12 Heart; Beaver (water-work), OFF THE GRID.
13 Heart; Barrister’s chest (heart), carrying a pitchfork (weapon, war).
13c Basket Head; Barrister’s beard (weave).
14 Mixer; Anchor ring, NO EYE, nearer the centre (ingress).
15 Maker; Barrister (order) with wig (ropes), in toga (bag), carrying pitchfork (mace), striding ahead (rampant), with a large face (face), resembling Banker (doubled).
Axial centre; Unmarked as usual.
4p Gal.S.Pole; Britannia’s ear?
11p Gal.Pole; Anchor’s cross-bar ruing (juncture). And sea-star (limb-joints) at Beaver’s tail (limb-joint). And Beaver, a lace-maker (rope is more typical of 7g) carrying a microscope.
Midsummer; Britannia’s front shoulder (limb-joint).
Midwinter; Hope’s hip (limb-joint). These solstice markers are on a horizontal plane. The polar triangles place midsummer in Gemini-Taurus, implying spring and the cultural time-frame in Age Pisces-Aquarius, confirmed by the two types at top centre.
The snark crew parade analysis score is 45/68 archetypal features; 12/16 axial points; 4/4 c-type sector features; 2/2 g-gate sector features; 4/5 polar markers; 1/2 planar or cardinal orientations; 1/1 correlation with the Age, or Age prior to the work; 2/2 general themes; thus 71/100, minus 1 extra characters off the axial grid; total 70%, in the upper half of the average range of 40-80%. All structuralist features of expression are universal, and subconscious to artists, architects, builders, crafters and members of any culture.
Butcher and beaver calculate a song in Holiday’s snark art
Structuralist analysis of this illustration happens to co-incide with the theme of Butcher transcribing and calculating a Jubjub’s song, “or the sound of pencil on slate”, for his willing student Beaver. Carroll’s limerick is partly themed on a quest to find natural laws, identity and meaning. His tale has no resolution other than confirming baffling inexplicability, but his mathematics papers, and the present study, have better news. Snark episode illustrations, characters, and parts of the plot subconsciously express archetypal and thus natural and cultural order. In this context, the text acquires much more order than the rhyme, meter and plot provide.
“The thing shall be done! Bring me paper and ink, the best there is time to procure. The Beaver brought paper, portfolio, pens, and ink in unfailing supplies: while strange creepy creatures came out of their dens, and watched them with wondering eyes. So engrossed was the Butcher, he heeded them not, as he wrote with a pen in each hand, and explained all the while in a popular style, which the Beaver could well understand.”
The ‘strange creatures’ crowding into the story and the illustration repeats a motif familiar in religious art; temptation by delights and torments, usually shown with St Anthony (see a post on Oracles of the Dead Part II, on www.stoneprintjournal.wordpress.com). The illustrator was a church window designer by trade, thus well versed in religious art.
Dominant general themes in Henry Holiday’s illustration for the scene of the Butcher as author, artist and mathematician, include these types:
 4 King, of squat posture (here of nine characters), twins (here dragons, frogs, pigs, cats), rectangle (music boxes, books);
 6 Exile, of ingress (Beaver and Butcher near the centre), double-head (dragons, frogs, pigs, cats), reptile (dragons, frogs); and its opposite, 14 Mixer, of ingress (crowding in a narrow vale), transform (music to math), angel (winged rat, dragons, pigs), reptile, dance (of flying pigs);
 10 Teacher, of raised arms (here all twelve characters), metal (brass instruments, boxes), ecology (beasts), school (Butcher teaching Beaver math), carousel (dancing beasts);
 15 Maker, of order (books), doubled (dragons, pigs, frogs, cats), reptile, winged;
 2c v9c, 5c v13c Baskets, of instruments (music, writing), container (music boxes, ink-well), hat (Butcher’s beaver hat), or secret (Jubjub song and math score).
This artwork is remarkable for its general themes expressing the three known features that are ambiguous for being optional part of three or four types: reptile; winged; doubling (though it tends to take different forms in types 4, 6, 15). In addition, twinning and doubling is present in many visual citations of other artists as Kluge (2017) demonstrated. But canid of type 9, 10, 14, 15; and equid of types 3, 4, 5, are absent here. The known ambiguities are inherent in nature and culture, and appear at fixed average percentages, thus they are as archetypal and measurable as the unambiguous features, and the five layers of structure in spatial expression are.
Type Label; Maths music character (noting archetypal features):
2 Builder; Pig trumpeter A in orchestra (cluster).
2c Basket; Music box B (instrument, container) churned (arm-link) by dragon B.
3 Queen; Bellman (school).
4 KingA; Dragon B (twin), winged (‘bird’), on rock (squat) with music box (rectangle).
4 KingB; Rat flying (bird), squeezing ink.
5a Priest; Dragon (reptile, winged) with music box (hyperactive). These boxes may refer to religious articles of faith, as of Thomas Cranmer (implied priest).
5c Basket Tail; Music box A (container).
6 ExileA; Butcher (sacrifice), near the centre (ingress); inner eye, as bard, in beaver hat (sacrifice).
6 ExileB; Butcher (sacrifice), near the centre (ingress); outer eye (‘double-headed’).
7 Child; Young (juvenile) frog’s bag (bag, eyeless) with newspaper (unfold).
7g Gal.Centre; Bonnet (vortex?) on cat A.
9 Healer; Cat C tearing (strong) a bonnet.
9c Basket Lid; Books (reveal) on a war treaty (enforce) and absurdity.
10 Teacher; Ink bottle B (school).
11 WombA; Beaver’s (water) midriff (womb), bearing ink (library).
11 WombB; Beaver’s (water) midriff (womb), bearing ink (library).
13 Heart; Frog’s chest (heart), drilling (rounded, weapon).
14 MixerA; Frog (reptile); inner eye.
14 MixerB; Frog (reptile); outer eye.
15 Maker; Pig with wings (winged) playing flute (‘sceptre’).
15g Gal.Gate; Tuba (juncture, vortex).
Axial centre; Unmarked as usual.
4p Gal.S.Pole; Butcher’s upper fingers (limb-joints).
11p Gal.Pole; Beaver’s elbow (limb-joint).
Midsummer; Pig A’s hoofs (limb-joint).
Midwinter; Butcher’s jaw (limb-joint) holding quill (juncture).
The solstice markers are on the horizontal plane. The polar triangles place midsummer in 14-15 or Cancer-/Gemini; implying spring and the cultural time-frame in Age 3-2 or Aries-Pisces, confirmed by the top central position of types 3 and 4.
The analysis score in the Butcher’s math scoring illustration, is 36/68 archetypal features; 16/16 axial points; 6/4 c-type sector features; 2/2 g-gate sector features; 4/5 polar markers; 1/2 planar or cardinal orientations; 1/1 correlation with the Age, or Age prior to the work; 2/2 general themes; thus 68/100, minus 3 extra characters off the axial grid; total 65%, just above the universal average of 60%. Structuralist features of expression are universal, and subconscious to artists, architects, builders, crafters and members of any culture.
Barrister’s courtroom trial dream scene
Barrister’s courtroom trial dream illustration by Henry Holiday has only nine characters, thus fewer than eleven, and is considered a minimalist artwork, wherein some structuralist compromises, and fewer than 60% of the known archetypal features are expected. Some characters and some structuralist features are doubled, as in his Butcher music and maths lesson scene.
Main general themes in this courtroom illustration are types 10 Teacher, of arms up posture (here of five characters), hunt-master (prosecution), disc (two wigs, dram fog), council (court); and type 11 Womb, of womb (here or the sleeping Barrister), law (trial).
Type Label; Court character (noting archetypal features):
1 Builder; NO EYE, Keys (cluster, implied twist, tower, build, maze). And; NO EYE, Prosecutor’s left hand holding rolled (twisted) charge sheet (book).
2 Builder; OFF THE GRID Jailer (implied tower, build).
2c Basket; Judge’s wig (weave, shoulder-hump, hat). And bench (throne).
3 Queen; Barrister or judge (school?), representing the Crown (queen).
4 KingA; NO EYE, Prosecutor.
4 KingB; Advocate A.
5a Priest; Advocate B In tails (tailcoat head) judging (judge, assembly).
5c Basket Tail; Advocate C, between axes, as c-types are.
6 Exile; Advocate D, far from the centre (egress).
7 Child; Accused in dock (rope?).
7g Gal.Centre; Fog end (water).
8 Healer; Prosecutor’s right hand, in cloak (trance? See Tarot trump 9, Hermit in hood).
9c Basket Lid; Fog middle (lid) of a dream (reveal).
10 Teacher; Prosecutor (‘hunt-master’) with arms up (arms up) or prop (staff) holding wig (disc, council).
11 WombA; Sleeping Barrister’s (law) midriff (womb), under fog (water).
11 WombB; Sleeping Barrister’s (law) midriff (womb), under fog (water).
12 Heart; Sleeping Barrister’s chest (heart).
13c Basket Head; Sleeping Barrister’s wig (head, hat, weave).
14 Mixer; Sleeping Barrister dreaming (transform).
15 Maker; NO EYE, Hand of Bellman ringing (order, smite).
15g Gal.Gate; Bellman’s hand (limb-joint), lifting fog from sleep to waking (juncture).
Axial centre; Prosecutor’s bow knot (juncture).
4p Gal.S.Pole; Advocate A’s talking jaw (limb-joint).
11p Gal.Pole; Sleeping Barrister’s elbow (limb-joint).
Midsummer; Charge of Trespass (juncture).
Midwinter; Advocate B’s demonstrating fingers (limb-joint).
The solstice markers are on a horizontal plane. The polar triangles place midsummer in 15-1 or Gemini-Taurus; implying spring and the cultural time-frame in Age 4-5 or Pisces-Aquarius. Pisces is confirmed by the top central position of types 4A and 4B.
The analysis score in the snark courtroom scene is 21/68 archetypal features; 14/16 axial points; 8/4 c-type sector features; 3/2 g-gate sector features; 3/5 polar markers; 1/2 planar or cardinal orientations; 1/1 correlation with the Age, or Age prior to the work; 2/2 general themes; thus 53/100, minus 2 extra characters off the axial grid; total 51%, in the lower half of the universal average range of 40-80%. Structuralist features of expression are universal, and subconscious to artists, architects, builders, crafters and members of any culture.
- See a list of currently known optional archetypal features in other posts.
Some sources and references
Carroll, L. 1876. Hunting of the snark. London; McMillan
Cohen, M. N. 1995. Lewis Carroll: A Biography. Macmillan
Furter, E. 2014. Mindprint, the subconscious art code. USA: Lulu.com
Furter, E. 2015a. Gobekli Tepe, between rock art and art. Expression 8. Italy: Atelier Etno
Furter, E. 2015b. Rock art expresses cultural structure. Expression 9. Italy: Atelier Etno
Furter, E. 2016. Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities. Johannesburg: Four Equators Media
Furter, E. 2017a. Recurrent characters in rock art reveal objective meaning. Expression 16, June. Italy: Atelier Etno
Furter, E. 2017b. Stoneprint tour of Paris. Stoneprint Journal 3. USA: Lulu.com
Furter, E. 2018a. ‘Babylonian Plough List decans’. http://www.stoneprintjournal.blog
Furter, E. 2018b. Stoneprint tour of London. Stoneprint Journal 4. USA: Lulu.com
Furter, E. 2018c. Culture code in seals and ring stamps. Stoneprint Journal 5. USA, Lulu.com
Furter, E. 2019a. Rennes le Chateau stoneprint tour. Stoneprint Journal 6. USA, Lulu.com
Furter, E. 2019b. Ayahuasca artists express universal structure. DMT Times; Archetypes
Gennerich, G. 2004. Hunting of the snark illustrations restoration and coloration. Los Angeles; Tigertail Associates.
Jung, C.G. & Jaffe, A. 1965. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Random House
Jung, C.G. 1945. Philosophical tree. In Collected Works 13: Alchemical Studies
Kluge, Goetz. 2017. Nose is a nose is a nose. Knight Letter 99, December, p30-31
McCormick, C.T. 2011. Folklore, an encyclopaedia of beliefs, customs, tales, music and art. Denver, Colorado; ABC-CLIO
Neugebauer, O. & Parker, R. 1969. Egyptian astronomical texts 3; Decans, planets, constellations and zodiacs. USA: Brown Univ Press
Roche, G.T. 2018. Temptation of St Anthony; on chemical mysticism. Academia.com
Thompson, S. 1928, 1961. Motif index of folk literature. Ellis ref GR 67.T52. http://www.StorySearch
Torrey, F, and Miller, Judy. 2001. Invisible Plague: The Rise of Mental Illness from 1750 to the Present. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press
Traveler, The. 2009. DMT Nexus. https://wiki.dmt-nexus.me/Hyperspace_lexicon
Uther, H.J. 2011. Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography. Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica
Zipf, G.K. 1949. Human behavior and the principle of least effort. USA: Addison-Wesley