THE SEMANTICS AND SEMIOTICS OF SHARPENING A SPADE: A POSSIBLE EXPLANATION OF CARROLL’S THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK, LINE 273

Posted On Dec 11 2017 by

When the crew of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark is making preparations for seeking that impossible creature, we read that “the Boots and the Broker were sharpening a spade”. This action is so outlandish that the editor and commentator Martin Gardner remarks ad locum: “Why in the world were they sharpening a spade?” (Gardner 2006: 44.) The main objective of this article is to answer this question posed by Gardner. To achieve this, we will perform a philological analysis of any possible locus similis throughout Carroll’s works, and we will study all matches we will find in the …