Bandersnatch!"

from Lewis Carroll – Jabberwocky on Rap Genius

Meaning

[Anna Richards illustration of the Bandersnatch, 1895]

In The Annotated Alice, Martin Gardner notes that “The Bandersnatch is mentioned again in Chapter 7 [of Through the Looking-Glass], and in the [Hunting of the] Snark, Fit 7, verses 3, 4, and 6.” The Banker in Snark is unable to shun this frumious beast; his encounter goes like this:

And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new
It was matter for general remark,
Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view
In his zeal to discover the Snark.

But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,
A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,
For he knew it was useless to fly.

He offered large discount—he offered a check
(Drawn “to bearer”) for seven-pounds-ten:
But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck
And grabbed at the Banker again.

Without rest or pause—while those frumious jaws
Went savagely snapping around—
He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped,
Till fainting he fell to the ground.

The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared
Led on by that fear-stricken yell:
And the Bellman remarked “It is just as I feared!"
And solemnly tolled on his bell.

Fantasy author C. S. Lewis remarked of his friend, J. R. R. Tolkien: “No one ever influenced Tolkien—you might as well try to influence a bandersnatch.

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