I was introduced to Lewis Caroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark” years ago. It has since remained one of my favourite metaphors to describe what research is, could or should be.
An improbable crew sets forth on an impossible voyage to find an inconceivable creature, using a blank sheet of paper as a map. (Partly paraphrased from Martin Gardner: The Annotated Snark)
This is Snark hunting at its best, flavoured with a indecent amount of absurd humour.
In his unequaled nonsensical style, Lewis Caroll creates the perfect metaphor for the ongoing quest after some mythical goal that somebody sets for himself. At the same time it carries in itself the failure to take that quest completely seriously, or reversely formulated: the promise not to take oneself too seriously.
It is this same uncharted territory that I will be exploring in this blog. Knowing that it is a vain effort to try to map it all, knowing that the mythical beast I’m looking for is probably as elusive as Lewis Caroll’s Snark.