traced back to his love of Vladimir Nabokov ...
Lemony Snicket: Interview
Philip Womack on Daniel Handler, the enigma behind Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
By Philip Womack
Published: 6:15AM GMT 08 Feb 2010
The real Lemony Snicket: Daniel Handler
Lemony Snicket is known to millions of children worldwide as the author of the Series of Unfortunate Events books, which are being published in paperback over the course of this year. In these 13 titles the narrator presents himself as a lonely journalist who has had more than his fair share of tragedy, and who spends his time reporting the terrible things (fires, shipwrecks, villains and cold cucumber soup) that happen with increasing regularity to the Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and the near-psychotic baby, Sunny.
Despite its originality, the series does have a recognisable lineage. “Roald Dahl and Edward Gorey were enormous for me as a child,” Handler says, “and when I started doing this, I definitely kept them in mind.” The self-referentiality of the books can be traced back to his love of Vladimir Nabokov. “I was a Nabokov freak,” Handler says wistfully. “There’s something about the way he writes that drags my brain right in.” He says there is something Nabokovian about Lemony Snicket. “He’s an unreliable narrator, he’s distracted by detail and digression until detail and digression become the point of the thing.” Handler has written adult (“that sounds kind of dirty”) novels under his own name, which exhibit a similar playfulness.
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Philip Womack's The Liberators is published by Bloomsbury in February 2010
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