Saturday, October 07, 2006

22. Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket

ISBN 0 439 55488 8 - HarperCollins, 2002
The Baudelaires go under cover as freaks in Madame Lulu's Caligari Carnival. Violet and Klaus become the two headed Beverly and Eliot. I wonder if this is derived from Beverly and Elliot Mantle the identical twin doctors in the book & film Dead Ringers.
"The Mantle brothers, Elliot and Beverly (both brilliantly played by Jeremy Irons) have a thriving private practice in which they play fertility gods, working virtual miracles in enabling previously infertile women to conceive. Cronenberg has chosen their names carefully: the second definition of "mantle" in The American Heritage Dictionary, "Anything that covers, envelops or conceals", suggests the deep tensions that exist underneath the brothers' competent facade. As their first names (and an old drawing in the title sequence) indicate, the two respectively embody the masculine and feminine sides of the human personality, with Elliot being a socially adept Casanova who does the public presentations and writes the scholarly articles, while his retiring brother Beverly grinds out the difficult research and deals with the personal anxieties of their most problematic patients. They enjoy an apparently satisfying symbiotic relationship, in which they share both professional and sexual triumphs, posing as each other when convenient."
I have not been able to determine the significance of the name Chabo the Wolf Baby that Sunny is disguised as.

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