Plato and Aristotle, detail from Raphael’s “The School of Athens”, 1510-11. (via)
It’s fashionable in pointy-headed circles to call all Western philosophy merely footnotes to Plato but we are made of sterner stuff here at The Hunting of the Snark. We prefer to footnote the grand corpus of Western Nonsense with Plato; it seems more fitting somehow to honor thus the memory of a man who, despite having only one name himself, found a dizzying multiplicity of names for a dizzying multiplicity of things which did not actually exist; a situation remarkably similar to that of Lewis Carroll!
Editor: Your Snark GN … everybody’s name begins with the letter B which is nice, not too elitist … have you thought about having a Basketball Player … Barista … Business Development Consultant … Bratz® ? Ink-stained Wretch: Strangled groan Editor: We googled Lewis Carroll. There’s confusion about his identity, like Shakespeare, so how about a hotlink … who was the real Louis Carroll — Francis Bacon? Ink-stained Wretch: Incoherent sob Editor: The hero is killed by a Boojum, which sounds foreign … our attorneys think we should use the name Bunbury instead. It sounds really WASP and nonthreatening, like a fresh doughnut. Nobody’s burnt down an embassy over a hot doughnut … yet … Ink-stained Wretch: Effete snarling Editor: It’s a poem, let’s upgrade that, kids hate real poetry, maybe give it a kind of hip-hop jive-street smack-down feel? That would synergize great with the Basketball Player and the Barista and the Bratz®. Ink-stained Wretch: Herniated shriek Editor: We love your drawings, do you do them by hand? They’re so retro which is really hip right now, plus a retro style necessitates a retro fee. We were thinking perhaps a hand-made drawing of a xerox of a fax of a photoshopped picture of an actual cheque. Ink-stained Wretch: Meek purring
Occupy Wall Street? Get real, kids, occupy reality! Find out how with my GN version of The Hunting of the Snark at my blog or at Melville House.
You don’t need to be an artist to work in publishing, and you don’t need to be in publishing to work in DUMBO. But when you’re all of those things, you have the chance to finally confront the bane of all artists, publishers, New Yorkers, and anyone lucky/unlucky enough to be all of those things at once. I’m talking, of course, about nihilism.
The suspicion that maybe nobody listens, nobody cares, that maybe nothing you create or talk up impacts anyone, that maybe art is a lie and beauty is a superstition. And the fear that you may hit the point where you’re unable to extract more satisfaction from your art than the energy and hours it takes you to create it. Let’s call this nightmarish moment “Peak Bullshit”.
But when you’re the art director for a house of intensely focused and truly devoted publishing folks like us, you can kiss the spectre of Peak Bullshit goodbye. At Melville House your work is the guide and measurement for our readers; you’ll be working for a crew whose reputation for gorgeous and spiritually nourishing books is second to none. You can’t be new to the business; we’re looking for serious experienced applicants only. But what will be new for you are the opportunities that only we can offer, one of which is the chance to avoid Peak Bullshit once and for all.
Every one of us in the book business goes into it because we want to hold onto the idea that beauty’s a real thing and literature is more than just words on a page. Come show us you’re the same way.
They’re right about that Peak Bullshit moment … it happens to every designer and many of them never escape it. This sounds like a great gig and a great way to have a good time … ALL the time.
If you’ve ever found yourself checking out one of our book covers from across the room and thinking “I’d like to get myself all up in that creative process,” look no further. We’re seeking an experienced and passionate art director who’ll be responsible for the entire visual aesthetic of the…
Self-signal-boost - hey book designers of the internet and your compatriots, are you looking for a best-of-all-worlds job? And have given up because this city is a cold barren screamscape of resignation and defeat? Well, good news.
We’re looking for an art director who will take the visual helm of the house that’s got the best-looking list in the business. We hope it’s that art director is you. Details here.
Like Doug Funnie’s lucky hat, this job can only go to the most deserving. But they have to know about it first! So share, like, reblog, tag, send the word out!
If you like to read books while wearing clothes, may I suggest this teeshirt for your next excursion to a poetry reading at your local hipsters’ coffee-house? Simultaneously freak out your parents AND impress your few remaining friends for only $14 USD while this sale lasts … that’s cheaper than joining a cult or smoking banana peels, kids, and a heck of a lot more profitable for me! And frankly, if Pierre Menard had a beard and worked as a barista in Brooklyn, he’d be wearing this teeshirt.
"When the more courageous Victorian gentleman "came out of the closet," he often found that the contents of his closet had beaten him to it. The amorous gigantism of inanimate objects was that domestic love which dared not speak its name and an Englishman’s trouser pockets or even Gladstone bag was the scene of many a furtive, orgiastic bacchanal such as might have made Caligula blush." — Max Beerbohm
You thought Victorian literature was boring, huh? Get the salacious goods on Carrollian anapests and all the other naughty bits of my GN version of The Hunting of the Snark at my blog or at Melville House.
Each line in this drawing has been curated by an artisanal, free-range surrealist whose most recent appearance on Oprah persuaded a visibly moved Scarlett Johansson to donate the fee from her latest blockbuster film to anyone who could make it all stop.