From November 6th to November 19th, 667 Dark Avenue invites all the fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events to do a re-reading of The Bad Beginning while we get ourselves ready for the Netflix show.
The main idea is to share interesting facts and phrases, stuff we would like to see in the Netflix show, analyse the plot, mention details about the characters and the story, etc.
It would be particularly interesting to have international readers talking about how they translated stuff in their respective languages: words definitions, linguistic games, phrases, intertextualities, etc. We know the ASOUE fanbase is big and vast, and it includes Spanish, French, Portuguese and German readers at the very least.
We'll have a Special Penthouse Day on November 20th to do a live chat session about the book and discuss the most interesting stuff mentioned during these two weeks.
Unfortunately, I only have the first two books (and the seventh, but that seems irrelevant) in Danish, but I guess it would be fun to read those and just switch to the English ones after that. It's actually been a long time since I read the translations, so maybe I'll notice something new now that I've read the original texts a few times more.
Is there a schedule for when we can post about which chapters, or can I just write about anything I want from TBB from the 6th?
"Spoiler-free" might well need a little context. I think it's important with ASoUE to be aware of the events of both future chapters and future books so that there can be discussion both on foreshadowing and on inconsistencies with subsequently-established facts. On the other hand, if you just mean "only discuss TBB in the TBB thread," that would be a different matter.
We may also wish to remember the Rare Edition Author's Notes, posted here on 667, which have a more specific relationship with foreshadowing and inconsistency.
That's why I brought them up now. I can see that they're not part of the "pure" TBB experience, having not been written until around the time of TSS (the Rare Edition supposedly came out the same day), but I'm in favour; they're part of TBB, you couldn't reread them anywhere else, and, most importantly, Netflix's TBB adaptation is the earliest point at which they could take the notes into consideration.
I'm sure we can. Zortegus has set today's date for the beginning of the process, and while I trust him to start each thread, I imagine he's quite content for us to begin our reading and discussions when we're ready.
Post by Linda Rhaldeen on Nov 6, 2016 15:18:00 GMT -5
Yeah he was up very late travelling last night and is probably busy doing real-life stuff today.
I am not doing the reread since I reread all the books (including TUA and TBL) from about May to August but they're still fresher in my mind than than they were prior to that. One thing that stuck out to me that I had not previously remembered since it is not emphasized as much in the later books is Olaf's over fondness for wine.
I will send a fully-armed battalion to remind you of my love.
One of my main recollections of the first book is that it's a lot - well, "grittier" might be a word for it - than the succeeding books; grittier and less comic. Snicket's style settles into more or less its subsequently-recognisable form in TWW and TMM, but TBB in particular is a bit of an oddball entry in the series. One thing that I also think is worth noting in this respect is that, despite Olaf being a count, it's never stated that his house is a mansion or indeed anything above the usual size; the existence of the tower suggests that it's a little bigger than the average home, but it makes me wonder if Handler wasn't entirely sure what level of fantasy he wanted to pitch the book at.
Post by Hermes (or Herms) on Nov 6, 2016 16:28:54 GMT -5
Yes, the grittiness is noticeable - though of course there are elements of absurdity: the marriage plot is rather weird when you think about it. And Olaf's fondness for wine is indeed striking - I think it comes back in one of the later books, but most of the time it fades away.
Regarding Olaf's house, from the description in Ch. 2 I would have guessed it was quite small - it has just two windows (facing the street, presumably), and the tower is said to be above the windows, implying they are quite close together - however in Ch. 3 we are told 'Count Olaf's house was quite large'. I think what we see in the trailer is fair - it is indeed quite large, but not enormous (clearly not on the scale of 6687 Dark Avenue).
It never becomes clear just what is meant by Olaf being a count. Klaus's surprise that he is also an actor suggests that 'count' is seen as a job, or at least a position with responsibilities - as 'duchess' clearly is in Winnipeg - though in fact even in Britain, where peers still have some constitutional functions, many of them have other jobs, and indeed I know of at least two who are actors. ATWQ rather suggests that his family was wealthy quite recently, if he attended Wade Academy.
'Mrs Poe purchased clothing for the orphans that was in grotesque colours'. Ha!
The other thing that struck me in the early chapters was the way the character of the orphans was established by what they were doing at Briny Beach. It's particularly notable that Klaus is a polymath - he knows both the difference between crocodiles and alligators, and who killed Julius Caesar. The difference between him and Violet is not a difference between arts and sciences, but rather between pure and applied - he learns, she creates. Sunny is rather a one-note character at this point, but I guess that's inevitable.
'The difference between the two sides of the schism is that one side puts out fires, and the other starts them' - Klaus Baudelaire.
I believe I have observed in the past that Sunny is almost more of a plot device in TBB, and might be safely replaced with a puppy, or an antique vase (or a clock). Handler quickly figures out how to get a bit more out of her - perhaps, sometimes, too much (but we can save that discussion for a later book).
I believe I have observed in the past that Sunny is almost more of a plot device in TBB, and might be safely replaced with a puppy, or an antique vase (or a clock).
Posting that link has made you indirectly responsible for me seeing the portmanteau 'Violaf'. Just in case you'd care to know.
Apropos of nothing, does anyone know where the coloured illustration in the banner in the first post comes from? Has it been coloured by Helquist himself, or did someone from 667 do it? Either way, it's beautiful and makes me long for a comic book adaptation.