Goethe Before Carroll

Goethe writes (Faust, 1808, trans. Walter Kaufmann):

Seht, da kommt der Dudelsack!
Es ist die Seifenblase.
Hört den Schneckeschnickeschnack
Durch seine strumpfe Nase.

Now the bagpipe’s joining in,
A soap bubble it blows;
Hear the snicker-snacking din
Come through his blunted nose.


Carroll follows (Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, 1871):

Jabberwocky

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

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.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Goethe was writing well before Carroll, raising the questions: Is snicker-snack onomatopoeia? Was Carroll referencing Goethe? Or are both possible?

 

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