Why was the French translator not allowed to contact Daniel Handler? In reference to post/154460304635/hello-sleuth-first-of-all-congrats-for-your Just curious. Also, amazing blog. I haven't been involved with the fandom in quite a long while now (I did read the first ATWQ book, I need to start again and read them all) and it's fun to see that there's still a fandom and that theories are still being made. I used to post on Egmont's Unfortunate Events site, but it's gone now, sadly.
On March 2013, I interviewed Rose-Marie Vassallo (his official French translator) along with several of my colleagues from the “La Pente Glissante” French Snicket message board. I will translate a fragment of this interview (Link) for your convenience.
Believe it or not, Daniel Handler’s agent had led us to believe [back in the early 2000′s] that he was completely unreachable! “Incommunidado”.
Oh, was that their infamous anti-marketing strategy?
Exactly. There was so much scaremongering at the time… They were afraid we were going to disrupt his work, afraid we were going to leak spoilers. But long after that [2008, when she finally met him in person], Daniel Handler told me: “What? No! How long has this been going on? This isn’t true, of course I’ll answer your questions…” And it would have helped me, too, because as time passed, each new installment in the series felt doing crosswords. I don’t know whether you’re familiar with crossword puzzles, but sometimes, your first choice fits neatly with your later deductions… But at other times, your thirteenth vertical can be completely wrong and your entire grid becomes unsolvable. And yet it seemed so right at the time! I was so afraid of encountering this sort of conundrum with “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. And at times, I very nearly escaped disaster on certain plotpoints. I’ll admit: I’ve made mistakes!
So Daniel Handler’s marketing ploy (”don’t read these books!”) ended up harming the French translation in a spectacular boomerang effect. Now that’s comedy!
I used to roam the Unfortunateevents Egmont message board too! It’s the first place I ever heard of the “Mrs Baudelaire is actually Beatrice” theory, actually. O, to be young again.