Sunday, August 29, 2010

You Find the Darndest Things.

Not every teenager is going to have a laughing fit over page 3 in Chapter 14 of the Series of Unfortunate Events, tucked away in the back of Chapter 13 The End. I am rather pleased with myself that she did have a laugh since it is due to my chatter about my various interests that have made her able to chuckle over this. It highlights how important it is to know the 'literary canon' since most authors are also readers and students of history. To understand some of the little jokes hidden in the text and hidden meanings, you need to read the really important stuff too.
" 'You know what 'heartbroken' means,' Sunny said, and then nodded as the baby murmured 'Abelard'. The youngest Baudelaire was best at deciphering the infant's somewhat unusual way of speaking."
I find it interesting that Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snickett) chose Abelard to mean heartbroken. Most commentators over the years have pretty much unanimously (although I do not personally know of any dissenters) agreed that Heloise was the heartbroken one. I agree with Lemony. I think Abelard was a feeling and sensitive person and was just as heartbroken as she was.

3 comments:

Kristin said...

I know Em didn't get that, even though she was much younger when she first read the series, probably in 4th grade or so. Then again, she can't understand why I laugh at stuff that's in some of her cartoons with all their references to history that kids just don't get. Phineas and Ferb, Jimmy Neutron, and The Fairly Oddparents are really good for that.

The Red Witch said...

I like it because it shows to the younger generation, who may wish to also become authors, that the writers that they admire acquainted themselves with the literary canon and they should too.

anachronist said...

Hear hear!