The Jewish Secrets of Lemony Snicket - Page 2





Has the series been influenced by Jewish history?

DH: I think there is something naturally Jewish about unending misery, yes. I mean, I guess naturally but not exclusively Jewish. I’m Jewish so, by default, the characters I create are Jewish, I think. Then I think I have something of a Jewish sensibility shaped by having a Jewish upbringing and so, therefore, books that I produce would be somewhat Jewish in tone.

Are the Baudelaires Jewish?

DH: Oh yeah! Yes. The Baudelaires are Jewish! I guess we would not know for sure but we would strongly suspect it, not only from their manner but from the occasional mention of a rabbi or bar mitzvah or synagogue. The careful reader will find quite a few rabbis.

Can you tell me where?

DH: No, I don’t think I should. I think the rabbis should be for people to find.

The Strange Case of the Hidden Rabbis!

(But actually, looking for them is pretty fun. Nearly as fun as looking for the marmosets.)

I’m worried I won’t be able to find them though?

Little-known fact: rabbis are like thestrals. You can’t see them unless you’ve seen death.

(Kidding. They’re not hard to find if you’re paying attention.)

Favourite morally ambiguous characters from other series?

New Sugar Bowl Theory!


Well, it might be new. It’s new to me.I was on TvTropes, and this came up (; in short, it’s an idealistic world (less of an Utopia, more innocent/untainted), much like where The Littlest Elf (scene at the start of the ASoUE movie or mentioned…


Probably the biggest problem I have with the Series of Unfortunate Events movie was the ending.  I knew from the start that since they were trying to cram the first three books together the ending was not going to be the same as any of them.  But the ending was still supposed to be Violet’s time to shine, and I feel that the movie did her and Klaus a great disservice by more or less switching their roles in the finale.  I would honestly be fine with Klaus climbing the tower with the grappling hook as long as the film also emphasized the fact that Violet was reading the legal texts.  That would carry the message that the siblings were thinking of each other in a “what would Violet/Klaus do?”  kind of way, which was something that happened throughout the series.  The film could follow Klaus trying to climb the tower and rescue Sunny while the play was put on, maybe with the explanation that Klaus had read about grappling hooks before, only to have him save her and find that it’s too late. Violet had already signed the marriage certificate.  There would be a moment of distress while the audience is left hanging, and then it could be revealed that, through her research and ingenuity, Violet found a loophole in the law and signed with her left hand instead of her right, invalidating the marriage.  Additionally, now Count Olaf can’t threaten her into signing it again because Klaus saved Sunny already.  There, now both siblings played a role in the movie’s climax and the ending is different enough from the books that both newcomers and fans would be satisfied, and there wasn’t any need to derail anyone’s characters or pull twists out of nowhere that don’t even make any sense.

I’m not a canon purist, I realize that novel adaptions are extremely difficult, but I have my suspicions as to why Klaus was given much ore focus than Violet despite the fact that the first three books largely focus on the siblings working together and I don’t like it very much at all.  It’s also very disappointing that while the visuals and the atmosphere, especially the soundtrack, capture the books so well the characterization and acting is definitely two of the lower points of the movie.  I sometimes compare it to Legend of The Guardians, another adaption of the first three books of a series, which while not a great adaption was an okay-to-good one, for which I largely thought that the changes worked well.  

occono asked: It's a series about a young Lemony Snicket. There's no sugar bowl or baudelaires in it or most of the ASOUE stuff, just a few references to VFD and characters from ASOUE here and there.


That, too, rings sort of false to me, perhaps moreso than a straight-up expository prequel would be. Snicket himself is sort of forced into the mythology of the books, becoming a presence only when it’s vital to the Baudelaires’ story making sense. He’s commonly depicted as an intensely private person who prefers to stay as far out of the spotlight as humanly possible. Even his autobiography is heavily censored and damn near incomprehensible upon first reading. The idea that he’d write a series with the spotlight that firmly on himself seems out-of-character.


One of my favourite things about A Series of Unfortunate Events, is that Lemony Snicket told me the entire time that I’m not going to like the end. And then The End comes and I don’t like it, the author was honest and upfront about it the whole time.


So I may just be reading into things too much, but re-reading A Series of Unfortunate Events has made me see a few things I overlooked when I was like eleven.

I can’t help wondering whether Isadora Quagmire was AMAB like her brothers. There seems to be a lot of deliberation in her being IDENTICAL to Duncan when she is first introduced. She doesn’t just look kind of like him, she looks exactly like him in every way.

Identical twins/triplets/and so on are born the same gender because same egg split into two or more.

I know this doesn’t have to be realistic in fiction, but there are other indications in A Series of Unfortunate Events, that lead me to believe Isadora might have been purposefully described as identical to her brothers for that reason.

1) Almost everything is written deliberately, and with double meanings. Why not describe a character in that same style? It’s also, in my opinion a good way to highlight something important about a character without making their whole story revolve around said important thing.

2) I think there is other representation in those books. Charles and Sir, for example. I assumed they were business partners when I first read The Miserable Mill, but this time around I thought maybe they were in a relationship. Sir wouldn’t have a business partner. He would have an assistant to boss around. And he didn’t give Charles any of the money they earned. He also must have had a soft spot for Charles because he let him have a library for the employees…even if it wasn’t very good.
And then there is Count Olaf’s associate, who is probably gender neutral.

Neither of those things are specified, but highlighted in a way that doesn’t take away from the plot.

I’m probably wrong but it would be nice, I think, especially in children’s books.


i have a lot of emotions about how such a big part of asoue is about the dehumanization and exploitation of children

and i’d love asoue a lot more if it didn’t have the ‘LOL IS THAT A MAN OR WOMAN WE’LL JUST CALL THEM IT HAHA’ thing

what the hell daniel handler???

why would you care about other things but put something that toxic in a children’s book

Was that part of the dialogue? As far as I remember the narrative only ever referred to them as Olaf’s associate “who looks like neither a man nor a woman”, which I always assumed meant they were nonbinary?