The Banker's Spectacles

• [left]: The Banker after his encounter with the Bandersnatch, depicted in a segment of Henry Holiday's illustration (woodcut by Joseph Swain for block printing) to The Banker's Fate in Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark (scanned from an 1876 edition of the book) and

• [right]: a horizontally compressed copy of The Image Breakers (1566-1568) aka Allegory of Iconoclasm, an etching by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder (British Museum, Dept. of Print and Drawings, 1933.1.1..3, see also Edward Hodnett: Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder, Utrecht 1971, pp. 25-29). I low-pass-filtered (blurred) some elements which Holiday used to construct the Banker's spectacles and (segment in left image) mirrored the "nose" about a horizontal axis.



"Flickerians" seem to be quite open to my comparisons. Most "Carrollians" I know, however, seem to be reluctant to deal with this. (When I started my comparisons in December 2008, I didn't even know the term "Carrollians".) One of them even complained I would "sully" Carroll's and Holiday's The Hunting of the Snark. But there also are some more open Carrollians, and one of them warned me jokingly, that Carroll's poem is something like the "Holy Grail" to them. Perhaps, Carrollian or not, there also is the fear to be foolded by pareidolia. That is a pity, because Holiday's pictorial citations could help to interpret what people came to call a "nonsense poem". Carroll's poem is not non-sense, but he gave it a deniable sense. That may have helped the Reverend Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and Henry Holiday to adress Victorian taboos without getting into serious trouble.


369    "The method employed I would gladly explain,

370        While I have it so clear in my head,

371    If I had but the time and you had but the brain--

372        But much yet remains to be said.


373    "In one moment I've seen what has hitherto been

374        Enveloped in absolute mystery,

375    And without extra charge I will give you at large

376        A Lesson in Natural History."


Carroll and Holiday may have had a another reason to be ambiguous: The book was sold as a book for children, even though it surely targeted adult readers too. Carroll was so afraid of scaring young readers that he inserted (on its own expense) a soothing Easter Greeting into the already printed first edition before it went to the market: "... And if I have written anything to add to those stores of innocent and healthy amusement that are laid up in books for the children I love so well, it is surely something I may hope to look back upon without shame and sorrow (as how much of life must then be recalled!) when my turn comes to walk through the valley of shadows. ..."

  • Goetz Kluge 4y

    The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared
  • Goetz Kluge 4y

    Bandersnatched by Bonnetmaker
  • François Collard 4y

    Very interesting comparison.
    As I hate bankers, financiers and traders, and I consider them the cause of most of evil, inequity and suffering in our world, the idea that their grin is made of the flesh, bones and housing of all mankind fascinates me.
  • Goetz Kluge 4y

    Hi François, Gheeraert's etching (right side) is about iconoclasm driven by overzealous people, therefore it also is about the hate which drives them to do all sorts of crazy things. Because of that I try to avoid hate. As greed is well distributed, I would not know where to start with hate. Let's leave the bankers to the Bandersnatch.

    Actually, perhaps it's "Bankersnatch": (I could not stop myself to have some fun with bankers there, even though people could get the idea that I am not serious about my comparisons. Sometimes these people are wrong.)
  • muffinn 4y

    Great work
  • François Collard 4y

    I have agreed with you nearly all my life, Goetz Kluge, but now, I think things have gone so far that irony is no longer enough, and it is time for revolution and, unfortunately, hate...
    Don't you year the Greek shouting in the streets: "κλέφτες"?
    Meanwhile, I'll vote for the Communist in 2012 for the first time in my life.
    The comparison with iconoclasm is not such a bad coincidence, for the wealthy, what do they want to sell? Icons, images, instead of the true things.
  • Goetz Kluge 4y

    Sure, hate is understandable, but usually actions driven by it just replace old problems with new problems, one of them being new hate. Hate takes the energy away which I need for thinking. If that happens, I hate myself ;-) Also, there is a long history of exploited people, who turned into exploiters (and κλέφτες) after their liberation. It simply doesn't help to hate the wealthy. - By the way, Dodgson's (Carroll's) and Holiday's Snark made me think about how they might have presented in their ballad the difference between legitimate dispute (e.g. about church issues, Darwin's findings etc.) and hateful&distructive fight. Sometimes the Snark turns into a Boojum.
  • Goetz Kluge 4y

    Trying to make Englishmen curious and curiouser:
  • Goetz Kluge 4y

  • Kathy_9 3y


    This image really is intuitive, poetic, beautiful,
    wild, imaginative, and powerful .

    I admired it in:

    North Wind's Daughter
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