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Jabberwocky - In honour of Glorious Nonsense

 
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also known as pure meaningless Drivel - or is there any meaning here...
Who are the mome raths ? Any English majors here.
"It seems very pretty," she (Alice)said when she had finished it, "but it's rather hard to understand!" (You see she didn't like to confess even to herself, that she couldn't make it out at all.) "Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas--only I don't exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that's clear, at any rate---"

Did the mome raths outgrab or outgrasse ?




JABBERWOCKY
Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.




"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"


He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.


And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!


One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.


"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.




`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
[ February 10, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
also known as pure meaningless Drivel - or is there any meaning here...
Who are the mome raths ? Any English majors here.
"It seems very pretty," she (Alice)said when she had finished it, "but it's rather hard to understand!" (You see she didn't like to confess even to herself, that she couldn't make it out at all.) "Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas--only I don't exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that's clear, at any rate---"

Did the mome raths outgrab or outgrasse ?



There is meaning in this apparent nonsense. The poem is a very short parody of the typical quest, sort of like LOTR in a 6 verses. It reads a bit like this:

"Twas brillig..."
- the world was all messed up, everyone was on edge. Black riders are seen in Hobbiton.

"Beware the Jabberwock..."
- warning from an elder that there are many dangers out there. Gandalf visits Bilbo.

"He took his vorpal sword..."
- the hero girds himself for battle, and begins the quest. Frodo heads out with ring, mithril vest and sting.

"And, as in uffish thought he stood..."
- finally he encounters the foe. Standing on Mount Doom.

"One, two! One, two! And through and through..."
- and dispatches it quickly. The ring goes in.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?..."
- and returns to rejoicing. Aragorn gets married, general feasting.

"Twas brillig..."
- a reminder for all time of how things were before the great battle. The Redbook is written.


I heard it said that this was a very clever attempt by Lewis Carroll to put adults on a child's footing with respect to language. Most young children understand most of the meaning of adult speach without really knowing half the words. Here he has achieved the same effect. It really doesn't matter what mimsy or slithy actually mean, although Humpty Dumpty does explain that slithy is "lithe and slimey", mimsy is "flimsy and miserable".
 
Helen Thomas
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That's a very neat explanation. Thanks peter.
 
Helen Thomas
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I suppose Spike Milligan was succesful in similar fashion appealing to both children and adults. It's kind of naughty humour. Adolf Hitler Dictator and Clown just makes me laugh, though in parts it's serious or sad. Gunga Din is poignant.


Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

from the man who printed a fake obituary in a newspaper in the 1970's reading 'i bet you didnt even know i was ill. so long spike, and thanks for all the fish'.Spike Milligan

The Bongaloo

"What is a Bongaloo, Daddy?"
"A Bongaloo, Son," said I,
"Is a tall bag of cheese
Plus a Chinaman's knees
And the leg of a nanny goat's eye."

"How strange is a Bongaloo, Daddy?"
"As strange as strange," I replied.
"When the sun's in the West
It appears in a vest
Sailing out with the noonday tide."

"What shape is a Bongaloo, Daddy?"
"The shape, my Son, I'll explain:
It's tall round the nose
Which continually grows
In the general direction of Spain."

'Are you sure there's a Bongaloo, Daddy?'
"Am I sure, my Son?" said I.
"Why, I've seen it, not quite
On a dark sunny night

Do you think that I'd tell you a lie?

CORONATION

Said Prince Charles
When they placed
The Crown on his head
I suppose this means
That Mummy's dead

COPULATION

Means overpopulation
If you elect me
I'd introduce - vasectomy

BABU

Babu Babu
Indian Banker
Customers say he is just a wanker
He says No no no I'm not
Just look at the money I've got
So the people saw the money he'd got
And certainly it was a lot.

GUNGA DIN

Gunga Din
Was very thin
Hardly skin and bone
He was the water carrier
To the famous seventh Queen's own
'Tho' weve flogged you
And we flayed you
By the living God that made you
You're a better man than I am Gunga Din'
Gunga Din
Was far from dim
Sued the seventh Queen's Own
To the tune if you please
Of ten thousand rupees
So now, they leave him alone
'Tho' I've flogged you
And flayed you
By the living God that made you
You are a richer man than I am Gunga Din.'

A small extract of Adolf Hitler.....

Neville Chamberlaine, who did Prime Minister impressions, flew to Berlin to achieve peace.
"Mein Fuhrer, zis is Mr Chamberlain. He is zer Prime Minister of England."
Hitler looked at a skinny man with thin neck, moustache and umbrellas.
'Are you sure, Bormann ?'
'Quite sure, Fuhrer.'
'Is he expecting rain ?'
'Ze umbrella is a symbol of peace, meiin Fuhrer.'
Chamberlaine held out a piece of paper. On it was written ,'Peace in our time.' Hitler read it.
'Ah, piss in our time!'
[ February 11, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
peter wooster
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
That's a very neat explanation. Thanks peter.



I found Professor Humpty's explanation of this. The real hint is in the line "You see, its like a portmanteau - there are two meanings packed up into one word.".

For those who don't know what a portmanteau word is, examples are "motel" or "OxBridge", they carries two meanings. So Jabberwocky is probably also a PM word, possibly meaning "crazy talk".
 
Helen Thomas
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peter, thanks. I shall read ATTLG with lots of interest now.

Spike Milligan might seem racist but I remember his delivery of his material with eyes twinkling drawing one to the humour. He was one of the Goons and appeared in a Monty Python film.
Inspector Clouseau in Shot in the Dark had another memorable Goon and is considered one of the best Pink Panther films.

Adolf Hitler Dictator and Clown never made it into film media as far as I know.

James Hilton's Lost Horizon had some gibberish , coining the word Shangri-La to mean perfection on earth.

Black Adder has found an audience again amongst younger viewers - timeless.
[ February 12, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
I got this tall by not having enough crisco in my diet as a kid. This ad looks like it had plenty of shortening:
Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop
https://coderanch.com/wiki/718759/books/Building-World-Backyard-Paul-Wheaton
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