Friday, January 24, 2014

"Stinking" Haggis

A printed verse on haggis.Burns night is upon us--when all good Scots toast the great Bard and recite "To a Haggis" before plunging a knife into the "Great Chieftan o' the Puddin-race!" Among the most recited of Burns's poems, "To a Haggis" did not appear in the the famous Kilmarnock edition of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (Kilmarnock: John Wilson, 1786). It first appeared in the Caledonian Mercury, but then was collected into the second and third editions of Poems in 1787.

A printed page of verse with the title "To a Haggis."The type for the third edition was completely reset. In the process, a curious typo appeared. In "To a Haggis," the word skinking (meaning watery) was changed to "stinking." Surely not what Burns had in mind, but fitting to those of us less accustomed to the pudding. To quote the glossary to the third edition: Haggis, a kind of pudding boiled in the stomach of a cow or sheep."

A title page for "Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect."
To see the famous Kilmarnock edition, ask for Burns PR4300 1786 .K4 Copy 2. For the "stinking" Haggis, ask for Burns PR4300 1787 .E42.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Not the Pumpkin

A cover for the Jack-O-Lantern, showing a cartoon of Diogenes.The Jack-O'-Lantern is Dartmouth's long running humor magazine. First issued in March 1909, the magazine's alumni include notables such as Ted Geisel (before he was Dr. Seuss), Buck Henry, Budd Schulberg and Chris Miller (of Animal House fame).

According to a letter from founding member William Atwood (class of 1909), at the time that the Jack-O was established, "Dartmouth was a small but rapidly growing institution, perhaps feeling in its adolescence a bit of unadmitted awe - 'inferiority complex' had complexes then been invented." Atwood goes on to write that "no doubt it was a spirit of emulation that prompted us to establish Jack-O'Lantern, as well as the fact that since Hanover was devoid of movies, television, radio, autos and other forms of vicarious self-improvement, the students were of necessity forced to create their own entertainment."

Rauner holds a complete run of the Jack-O, including the famous first issue of Stockman's Dogs from 1934 - the image of two dogs talking to one another has become a staple of the magazine and appears frequently, though the caption changes with the times. In addition to the print version, Rauner has a selection of original artwork by Jack Rose (class of 1928) from the mid 1920s including covers, inserts, and other images that have graced the pages of the Jack-O. We also have Dudley Redfield's artwork for the masthead from 1910.

A cartoon of a tall man in a coat and a short man in a dark fur.
"Campus Smoothie and Loaded for Bear"
March, 1926
A cartoon of a smoking man walking outdoors with a second man in a Dartmouth sweater.
"After Class"
Bim - What Day is Today?
Bo - Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
November, 1924
 Ask for the Vertical File "Jack-O'-Lantern" and Iconography 302, 1407 and 1589. The print editions are available in the Rauner Reading Room (Ref LH1.D3 J3).