GENERAL & LITERARY FICTION. The peculiar wit and imagination of Lewis Carroll are once again in evidence in The Hunting of the Snark, his epic nonsense poem which first appeared in 1876. Unlike the earlier Alice books, this is a much darker work, in which ten characters whose names begin with B, disappear, go mad and generally find themselves struggling to navigate an impossible path through a nonsensical world. Throughout the poem there is a prevailing atmosphere of disorder and chaos, heightened by Carroll's characteristic use of 'portmanteau' words (such as 'uffish', 'beamish' and 'fumious') and descriptions of grotesque creatures such as the Bandersnatch and the Jubjub bird. The meaning of the poem, and of the Snark itself, has been the subject of much debate. In his preface Carroll said 'In answer to your question, 'What did you mean the Snark was?' will you tell your friend that I meant that the Snark was a Boojum.