References mentioned in ‘’A Series of Unfortunate Events’’(SPOILERS!!)
It’s not a lie that Daniel Hadnler really likes to reference and do easter eggs of his favorite writers and artists in his book.
So i tried to find and collect some of the references mentioned in ASOUE (They are A LOT so if i forgot something tell me to add it! Also because i have read the books in greek and some of them in english, and a lot of things are lost in the translation.)
- The name Beatrice and also the name Baudelaire, are references to the ‘‘cursed poet’‘ Charles Baudelaire and his long poem ‘‘Beatrice.’‘ This is actually a reference in a reference because this poem is also a reference to Dante’s Inferno. The Baudelaire’s poem and Inferno are both about a beautiful woman, as Beatrice Baudelaire was.
- This is not exactly a reference but Lemony’s dedications to Beatrice reminds me of Shakespeare’s dedication to the ‘’Dark Lady’’ in the ‘’Sonnets’’
- The name Poe is a reference to the poet Edgar Allan Poe. Also Mr.Poe’s son names are Edgar and Albert.
- Edgar and Albert could be a reference to Edgar Alber Guest
- Eleanora Poe is also a reference to Poe’s short story ‘’Eleanora’’.
- Violet Klaus and Sunny is a reference to a real crime (i’m not sure about that) but i dont remember a lot for that.
- Briny Beach takes its name from the poem The Walrus and the Carpente by Lewis Carroll.
- One of Monty’s snakes is called Virginian Wolfsnake is an obvious allusion to writer Virginia Wolf.
- ‘‘Prospero’‘ and ‘‘Stephano’‘ are taken from Shakespeare’s ‘‘The Tempest’‘
- Also ‘’The Tempest’’ as it name says, it has a lot to do with sea and that’s why the boat to Peru is named after this specific play.
- Sunny after Monty’s murder in TRR says ‘’Ackroyd!’’, a reference to Agatha Cristie’s mystery novel ‘’The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’’
- Somewhere in TRR Lemony mentions the Cafe Kafka, named after Franz Kafka.
- The ‘’Damocles Dock’’ is a reference to Greek Mythology and the story of Damocles (Δαμοκλής in greek) is a story about Dionysus who offered to Damocles to live a day as an King. But the whole day a sword was tied with horse’s hair above his head. Yes im Greek so i know a lot about greek mythology. But also ‘’Damocles’’ today symbolises the great danger. The kids in the first illustration of the book are sitting in the dock with a sword above their heads. Brilliant! Isn’t it?
- A lot of things in TWW are allusions to Franz Kafka like the name Josephine (Josephine is also a Hurricane) and the whistling thing. I dont have read a lot of Kafka so i cant explain further.
- Shirley, the name Olaf used when he was disguised as a receptionist, is a reference to Edward Hopper’s painting ‘’office at the night’’. There’s a receptionist in the painting, Hopper’s wife (Jo) named ‘’Shirley’’.
- Dr. Georgina Orwell is one of the references i found when i was still 12. So if my 12 years old found it, im sure you did. Is obvious. Is an allusion to the writer of ‘’1984′’ George Orwell. ‘’1984′’ is actually the ‘’grand-father’’ of The Hunger Games. A dystopian society with tyrant, who sees and knows everything and everyone is (not literally) hypnotized by him. Georgina seems to know everything that happens in Patryville and she also hyptonotizes people. Also the ‘’symbol’’ of 1984 is an eye. And Georgina is an optometrist and her damn whole office is an eye.
- The eye sign with the glasses is a reference to the Great Gatsby.
Olaf’s disguise is Coach Ghengis. A nod to Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire. Olaf wears a turban; there is a tale in which Ghenghis had a dream that involved him wrapping a turban around his head. (from @carmelitaspats)
- Principal Nero is named after Emperor Nero. A Roman tyrrant. Emperor Nero also did a lot of awful concerts tho.
- Isadora and Duncan are named after Isadora Duncan. One of the most important dancers of all time.
- When Isadora introduced herself Sunny said ‘’Sapho.’’ The name of the lesbian icon poet Sapho who lived in ancient Greece. I have visit the cliff she jumped off, it was actually 40 mins away from my house. Told you, i know a lot about ancient greece.
- Mrs. Bass Mr.Remora and Mrs.Tench are named after… fishes. I think that is the first hint for the Red Fish Statue. It was hinted a lot.
- ‘‘Prufpock Prep’‘ the poem by T.S. Eliot
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
- The last illustration is a hint for the theme of the next book but also the second hint for the Red Fish Statue.
- 667 Dark Avenue. So 667 is a number after the 666, related with evil. The whole book mentions the number six a lot. There are 66 floors in the 667 building. So now you know why his name is Handler.
- Esme Squalor’s name is a reference to the ‘’For Esme with love and Squalor’’ by J.D. Salinger.
- The Vern Museum Violet wants to visit is a reference to the author Jules Vern.
- The Akhmatova Bookstore is named after Anna Akhmatova a Russian poet.
- Pincus Hospital is one of the most funny references. The hospital is named after the doctor who invited contraceptive pills. I think is funny because Sunny was born in this hospital. (so it’s obvious that Berdrand and Beatrice didnt use those pills. Ah you lovebirds)
- This is one of the easy references too. When the kids are hearing behind the apartment doors they hear someone saying ‘’Let them eat cake’’ something Marie Antoinnete said in the French Revolution when the angry mob of poor people was outside of her palace. The people were living in harsh conditions and someone of the palace said to Marie that they dont dont even have bread to eat. So Marie responded with the legendary quote ‘’Let them eat cake’’. Marie gurl THEY DONT EVEN HAVE BREAD.
- Sunny said Armani when they were messing around with Jerome’s tie. Armani is a fashion house.
- Also another one greek mythology reference! When they were trapped in the elevator Klaus said that the situation reminded him Scylla and Charybdis. Two sea monsters. So they were metaphorically ‘’trapped in the sea’’. Then Sunny said ‘’Glaucus’’ a sea god who was warning and saving sailors. Sunny also saved them from this metaphorically ‘’trapped in sea’’ situation.
- The whole Seventh Book is a reference to Poe. In principle ‘’Nevermore tree’’ is a reference to ‘’The Raven’’ a poem in which a raven repeats the word ‘’Nevermore’’. Ravens are sitting in the Nevermore tree.
- The name Detective Dupin is a reference to Poe’s character C. Auguste Dupin.
- When Hector sayin ‘’Curiousier and curiousier’‘ he is quoting Alice in Wonderland. One of Baudelaire’s favorite books as we learned.
- Heimlich Hospital is a reference to Henry Heimlich, a pshychologist.
- There are two patients named Haruki Murakami and Mikhail Bulkagov. The first one is one of today’s most important writers and the second one is a Russian Novelist.
- When Sunny is saying Orlando to describe the persong who looks neither man nor woman, is a reference to Virginia Woolf’s novel ‘’Orlando’’ in which the character (a man) becomes a woman.
- In an illustration, one of the Volunteers Fighting Disease plays a guitar with the inscription “This Volunteer fights disease.” Probably a reference to Woody Guthrie, who inscribed “This machine kills fascists” on his guitar. Realised that after i read Paper Towns.
- Hugo’s name is a reference to Victor Hugo. Hugo is also a hunchback a reference to Victor Hugo’s book The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- “Elliot” and “Beverly”, the aliases Violet and Klaus use when disguised as a two-headed freak are those of twin brothers in the David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers.
- The Mortmain Mountains is a reference to the Statutes of Mortmain.
VFD’s “the world is quiet here” is a reference to the first line of The Garden of Proserpine by Algernon Charles Swineburne: “Here where the world is quiet.” (from @antique-symbolism-main)
An excerpt of this poem also appears later in this book: “That no life lives forever / That dead men rise up never / That even the weariest river / Winds somewhere safe to sea.”
- Violet names her knot ‘’Sumac Knot’’ after a singer she likes. That’s probably the singer Yma Sumac.
- Sunny says “Matahari” to refer to her spying on Count Olaf and his troupe. Mata Hari was a female spy during the first world war.
- When the Baudelaires and Quigley Quagmire are trying to find a way to escape from the top of Mount Fraught, Sunny says Rosebud, prompting them to use the toboggan. This is a reference to the movie Citizen Kane. “Rosebud’‘ is the first and the last word of the movie . Also Olaf mentioned Citizen Kane at the netflix show in the third episode.
- Queequeg is a reference to a character from Moby Dick. Also the members of Queequeg boat are wearing a unifor with Herman Melville’s face on it. Melville is the writer of Moby Dick.
- Whidershin’s monologue is a reference to Plato.
- Gorgonian Grotto is another one reference to greek mythology. Gorgon (Γοργώ in greek) was a sea monster. A woman with snakes in her head.
- Sunny says the word ‘’Hewenkella’’ when they are trying to figure out how they will find their way in the grotto. This word is a reference to Hellen Keller a blind and deaf writer. Handler probably used that word because the kids cant saw or hear anything while they were in the grotto.
- Dewey’s name is a reference to Dewey Decimal System. Also the hotel is working with this system
- The name Denouement, is a reference to the literary term denouement, which refers to action that takes place between the falling action and the resolution of a plot. That happens a lot in that book.
- Sunny says the word "efcharisto” to Dewey. This translates to “thank you” ‘’ευχαριστώ’’ in Greek. I realised that when i read the english version. Because in the greek version Sunny is already saying ‘‘efcharisto’‘/’‘ευχαριστώ but in greek. Told you, a lot of things are lost in the translation.
- The name Ishmael is another one reference to Moby Dick, and his insistence of “Call me Ish” is a variation of the first line of Moby Dick: “Call me Ishmael.”
- All of island citizens are names after famous castaways or people associated with the sea.
- The castaways, who dress in white and whose consumption of the coconut cordial keeps them docile, are an allusion to the Lotus Eaters encountered in The Odyssey.
- The sheep strapped together are also an allusion to The Odyssey. Odysseus escapes the cylops’s cave by hiding his men under sheep that are strapped together.
- When Lemony says “…the heroine of a book much more suitable to read than this one who spends an entire afternoon eating the first bite of a bushel of apples…” he means the girl from Beezus and Ramona. Also in this book, Beezus’s real name is Beatrice.
- The scene where Ink gives the apple at Sunny is probably inspired by Bible’s scene when the snake gave the apple to Eve. But Ink saved Sunny (and the Baudelaires) and the Snake destroyed Eve.
So that’s it. Tell me if i missed any (i probably missed a lot) so i can add it! Hope you liked it and you learned new things about the references in Asoue :)