Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Joy of joys, pt. II

As you may have noticed from the Joys of Text blurb (in the column to the right), I was recently reading the third book in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unoftunate Events. It's mildly embarassing to get wrapped up in children's lit, but these books are so witty and charming that I can't help it. I tried the Harry Potter books, but J.K. Rowling's bland/clunky writing just kills them for me. Mr. Snicket (aka Daniel Handler, who is an auxillary member of The Magnetic Fields), on the other hand, does not have this problem. His writing is authoritative and wry.
One of my favorite bits of the third book (entitled The Wide Window) is the discussion near the end of the end of the book, wherein the good author tries to figure out if there's a moral to this story:

[I]t would be difficult for me to tell you what the moral of this story is. In some stories, it's easy. The moral of "The Three Bears," for instance, is "Never break into someone's house." The moral of "Snow White" is "Never eat apples." The moral of World War One is "Never assasinate Archduke Ferdinand."

I had always wondered just what the moral of World War One was. Mr. Snicket solved that one for me.


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