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The Bad Beginning.docx

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EN 3174
Alison Halsall

The Bad Beginning Finishing up with Harry Potter  Potter emerged in the late 90s. Global entertainment powerhouses.  Written, produced from complex industry content on maximizing opportunities in the marketing industry. The Bad Beginning as a Carefully Crafted Gothic Commodity • Book-selling as a Commercial Phenomenon • Literature as commodity – POA, BB, • The Bad Beginning as a Material Object • Lemony Snicket’s Authorial “I” • Intertextual Allusions in Snicket’s First Novel • Snicket and the Child Book-Selling as a Commercial Phenomenon • Interface of literature and commodity culture – Literature as commodity • Corporatization of the children’s literature industry • Marketing and merchandising empires for Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket series • Clothing, toys, wizard wands, • Films become commericals for the book. -> 2 hour movies • Spin-off, provoked unprecedents ideas, how reading and movies are interfacing in a pragmatic level The Bad Beginning as Material Object • First published, 1999, one year after Harry Potter 1 hit the shelves • Movie in 2004, first three books. • Ironic, cynical, pessimistic views within book • It doesn’t follow common western styles, does not follow a structure, there is no happy ending. • Intriguing, reverse psychological view, perverse, smart but not overly clever • Clever advertising • Shrewd marketing • Film and television rights sold • Success in part due to narrating presence (ironic, cynical, pessimistic) • Engaging with the book, snipping the book pages. • Thicker pages, aged, quality, pages of a classical story, • Victorian front inner covers(commeo of count Olaf) to anticipate the desguises olaf uses within the novels BB as Material Object, cont. • Uncut pages typical of old, classic novels • Appears to be an artifact from a bygone age before mass-production • Paratextual elements enhance Gothic “feel” of novel • Sense of age, bygone era before mass-production • How we are introduced in the novels in this world in a materialist fashion. • Beatrice, in love with, engaged, cancelled their wedding plans and married the Beaudelaire man instead. • Lemony as a character, rather than an author Paratextual Elements – The variety of devices (titles, subtitles, prefaces, epigraphs, captions, illustrations) that help generate a reader’s first impressions. Epigraph – Usually takes the form of a quotation or motto at the beginning of a book, chapter, or poem as an indication of its theme. Dark humor, The Business of Titles – The Bad Beginning • Announces texts’ preoccupation with evil, cruelty, cynicism, pessimism • Desperate secrets of Lemony’s past • What is the nature of the shortened relations with Beatrice? • Can’t read epigraphs without laughing – darkly humorous. • “Beginning” announces that this is the first in a series of books • Book 13 is called The End – Awareness of storytelling • Similar to serialized publication of nineteenth century • Narrative – sharp, pointy, round, dangerous, angular angles • Mini illustrations of the beginning of chapters introduces us to the gothic in the novel. • Black and White remind of Edward Gory • Dreary, Dodrum drive, everything is broken, fountains don’t work, spit at you, royal gardens do not exist here anymore • Baudelaire orphans are tiny peoples in this huge illustration • Dirty, busy town • Bizarre surroundings, out of step, unsure of what to do now that their parents have left them • Dirty dark overloomingly gothic house -the shrieking shack in Harry Potter • Each book has 13 chapters except for the last book. • Taro cards, 13 with magic and cult, after book 11, danger of being formulaic, • Bad Beginning, will only gets worse from here, • Foreground a new kind of publishing that draws on the older form, moderation of modern ideas in interest of suspense • About dreadful appearances – neglect, convenient, orphans cannot touch their inheritance until Violet is of age • A series of unfortunate events – the
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