valadilenne: (Valadilenne)
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She had read the same story over and over, and every book went back to the poem about the boy who slew the Jabberwock, snicker-snack.
“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.”

A writhing, creeping horror. The gray leathered shriek of death assured. The ichor-dripping lurker, the fever-dream weirding expelled from the blackness of beginning. It was a bit overdramatic, really.
The Jabberwock has always seemed a bit Lovecraftian to me. Maybe Alice will find a disguised copy of The Necronomicon in the Hare's library and summon Yog-Sothoth to fight Cthulu one day when she and the Hatter are bored. Ichor is what flows in the veins of the gods, by the way.

And in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of His Imperial Highness The Argot, He did split the northern plains from the southern capital, exclaiming upon the announcement of His proclamation, “Well, 'pon my Sam, it's a bit hard! I can't go a day without you people whingin' at me over this or that, so we'll just split the whole bloody thing, right, and--”
By The Argot, I mean Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, who is a special creation of Wodehouse's. His name is pronounced “FAN-shaw Yuke-ridge,” and like all good Wodehouse characters has a gift for argot, which is another word for slang. He was always going around saying “Well, 'pon my Sam!” and “It's a bit hard!”

before tossing it carelessly between a silver cow-shaped creamer and a stack of cruller.
Bertie Wooster experiences a nasty run-in with an antique Georgian silver cow-creamer in The Code of the Woosters, and it appears to have taken up residence here. Cruller is a type of French pastry shaped like a gearwheel:

He had a carriage clock in one hand, a brass screwdriver with a brushed handle in the other, and a host of cogs, gears, springs, screws, and a small spinny looking thing on the table.
There he goes with his fiddling and tinkering. One would suspect he'd be apt to slapdash it with butter and declare it fixed, but he's got a secret up his sleeve. And some more under his gloves.

“Ah, yes. 'Tum-tum, tum-tum, tum-tumty-tum, I slew him, tum-tum tum!' Something like that.”
He refers to the slaying of the Jabberwock, but he's quoting directly Bertie Wooster, who was referring to the poem about Edgar Aram, who murdered a man, but the body kept coming back to haunt him or something. Oddly, Bertie's supposed line from the poem never actually appears in the poem. He does like to make things up.

He pushed the clock toward her and Alice set it next to her butter knife to remember to take it home again sometime.
She had come to the table with it, trying to figure out what was wrong, and I think he just took it from her and began fussing with it. Perhaps Alice was a bit scared that he'd pour cream into it to fix it.

“...da mi basia mille, deinde centum, dein mille altera, dein secunda centum, deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum...”
Alice is right, it does sound boring, but it's one of Catullus's most articulate poems imploring Lesbia, the woman he wrote to, to quit worrying about what other people say and love him as he loves her before their time on Earth is gone, letting their passion for each other reach a fever pitch.

”I can never quite keep the numbers straight—those old counting styles positively... bruise the grey matter.” He dropped his gaze and flipped the pages in his hands quietly.
Again with the subject changing. You'd almost think he's a bit embarrassed by the implications of the subject matter.

[She] did not speak, but stared at the horns on the cow-creamer and reached for the geographical treatise again.
Woof, they're both feeling a bit distant after that.

“...tam te basia multa basiare uesano satis et super Catullo est...”
“So many kisses are enough and more than enough for mad Catullus to kiss you...” Get it? Mad? Crazy with love? I laughed.

Spring, Summer, and Autumn all had pretty red lips curved into pursed variations: pleased, sweet, and sly. Winter, who had her thin cloak-hood pulled near her face, simply stared with her pellucid blue eyes, tentatively reaching for a cold knuckled twig in the barren white landscape.
Based on Mucha's The Four Seasons. Again with the cameo. If you don't know, Jenny is Spring, Brianna is Summer, Lily is Autumn, and I'm Winter. I have no idea why these keep happening.

bare protection against Boreas's anger, and as Alice stepped just a bit closer, she could see that the white was not ice and snow, but pages, all as if torn from a book...
I miswrote the reference in the Chapter 9 supplement—Boreas is the northern wind, a very angry and tempestuous god with no mercy. The pages are all torn from casebooks, I suppose. If I were any more symbolic I'd be holding a giant set of scales with a stack of textbooks as big as I am, and a tiny little book called Sunny Disposish, and the little book would be heavier.

The woman was sitting at an ornate pier table with gold leafed lion's paws shining at the base, busied hands working over its surface.
A Thomas Tufft pier table is very rare and valuable and looks like this:

Alice wondered what thoughts circulated in the Duchess's head; what series of girls and then women she had once been comprised of.
WHO IS THE DUCHESS?! I'd like to know that myself.

There were a few disjointed gaps toward the middle of the thing, which seemed to be a painted scene of a gentleman and a lady standing rather near one another.
The puzzle is of “The Farewell” by Tissot.

“This is very important,” she said slowly. “I want you to pay attention.”
Just pointing out that she spoke in first person.

She wondered vaguely if the Hatter were upset that his gift was hid out of the sunlight; she certainly did not mean to set it to waste, only to keep it hidden so it would not spoil.
Symbolism. I'm hitting you over the head with it. BONK BONK BONK.

Was the Japanese patterned silk shaped like a gorilla now?
You know, in all truth, I put these references in for my own amusement. I never expect anyone to get them, I promise. This one I have a special affinity for. When I lived in London, there was a TV show called Green Wing--if you know what I'm talking about, it's a reference to the episode where Guy becomes roommates with Caroline and shows up in her bedroom one morning to give her breakfast in bed wearing her dressing robe, and what does she say, of course, but “You'll ruin it, you'll make it all gorilla-shaped. Take it off!” to which he replies that he's naked underneath. Oh Guy/Caroline. So much better than Mac/Caroline. Trufax:

“Ohhh, Monsieur Canard, tu as beaucoup de cadeaux!”
Oh, Mr. Duck, you have too many presents!

“Ohhhh,” said the Hare after the requisite three minutes had passed and there was a large flower undulating gently under the tea.
I meant for it to be a pun on 'under the sea,' but I don't think it worked very well.

“No,” said the Hatter in a voice of deep and pure awe that dropped into a harsh whisper. “She's making puns.” And then Alice knew by his very pleased grin that they were great friends indeed.
Ladies and gentlemen, play ball.


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May 2009

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