‘Jabberwocky’ has become the synonym of ‘Nonsense’. The fact that a poem by Lewis Carroll should become a whole metaphor for a genre of literature shows immense popularity of Nonsense dimension in our everyday real world.
Babies blabber. They use sounds and words often with no meaning at all which form important expressions of all toddlers before they acquire linguistic ability and learn to associate words with world around them. Early nursery rhymes are also essentially more about phonetics and fantasy – a play of words, sounds, imagination and humor. Maybe noir side of this fantasy is true. Maybe nursery rhymes or tales of Lewis Carroll have underlying dark meaning but yet that largely remains concealed and unknown to children who simply enjoy to repeat their rhymes and have fun imagining Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall or the cows jumping over the moon.
The little older children love to slide down burrow with Alice in to the Wonderland and enjoy all fantastical and hilarious experience of Alice in the Wonderland and other tales, poems of Lewis Carroll. Imagination is one vast river which extends from nonsense to meaningful to total abstract and absurd. From Lewis Carroll to James Joyce, many a literary giants have played with Time, Place, Words, Meanings, Sounds and Pictures imaginatively to paint a picture of alternate reality. They have twisted all known rules of language, idiom and format to create timeless masterpieces.
Appeal of Lewis Carroll is not limited to children alone. What appears nonsense on the surface has layers of deep meaning. It has kept people ranging from mathematicians, philosophers to artists and poets engaged for more than hundred years. Such imagination and indulgence in ‘Jabberwocky’ is not limited to English language alone. Each culture and language has its own ‘Nonsense’ imaginative language diet for young children where emphasis is more on the phonetics, picture and humor rather than on the meaning and reality.
‘Nonsense’ in a way is the fertile ground from where imagination and knowledge grow roots and branches. Maybe education and world of information reins in the wild imagination and fantasy. Yet human beings have an inherent urge to break down known structures, meanings and strip the world of its meaningful purpose. Be it noir, intellectual or magical all creative journeys begin from ‘nonsense’ and end in ‘abstract’. True Art often explores contradictions and dichotomies with a wit or noir wit.