'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Literary Detection

One of the pleasures of reading widely is that now & then you stumble upon the scene of a crime: you find yourself reading a particularly felicitous paragraph & realise that someone has been here before - and has found the goodies on display just too enticing to be able to resist a quick smash & grab raid. Sometimes this has been executed with the grace, subtlety and sophistication of the experienced cat-burglar. On other occasions the villains have ram-raided the text with an SUV up on the pavement & just helped themselves to whatever they could reach. An example: the Voice Of Saruman passage in Tolkien's The Two Towers has been lifted, lock stock & two smoking paragraphs, from the sequence in Hugh Walpole's Rogue Herries where Herries listens, transfixed, to a celebrity Methodist preacher in Keswick market square. The other night I found myself at the scene of another act of grand larceny while reading The Mayor Of Casterbridge. In chapter 20, Elizabeth-Jane Henchard abandons her habitual use of Wessex dialect, terrified that she will be thought common and uneducated. In short order she considers the dialect words for bumblebee ('Dumbledore') and for an obscurely sleepless night ('Hag-rid').
Well Sarge, we've no motive as yet, but this job's got Jo Rowling's fingerprints all over it . . .
Hogwart's must be located in the west country.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Lex said...

I'd always thought it was in Scotland, but what do I know?

Terrorism alert: Blog on the Run's mom and stepdad will be arriving in Ireland Saturday for a week's holiday. Secure your crockery and fine woolens.

7/9/06 11:48 am  
Anonymous Dr John said...

Virgin have won the franchise for Hogwarts Express and run it from London to Dartmoor via Glenfinnan. Having acquired a penchant for spectacular viaducts it will also take in the Forth Bridge, Ribblehead, Maidenhead and Stockport!

In any case, wizards are not constrained by Muggle details like time and space.

7/9/06 2:10 pm  
Blogger Lampy said...

Leavesden, fort william, alnwick castle, durham... the location hunters haven't stinted themselves, although the base is at leavesden.

7/9/06 9:50 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

I believe that Alnwick Castle makes much of its having been one of the locations. Wehn on holiday in Glen Coe a vew years ago with Franbkling & Eleanor we had a wonderful view of 'Hagrid's House' every morning, the set being perched above the Clachaig Inn across the glen. (Clearly major factor in film-set location is proximity to supply of good beer - the unit seemed to be fixed permanently to the bar).
And clearly Richard Branson's west coast mainline service isn't constrained by minor considerations such as 'time' either . . .

11/9/06 6:25 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Dragging this back to plagiarism - I was delighted when writing my own short book on the film *The Manchrurian Candidate* to find that in Richard Condon's original novel version the description of Johnnie Iselin's impotence with his wife (Raymond's mother) is lifted word-for-word from Robert Graves' description of Augustus's impotence with Livia in *I Claudius*!

21/9/06 8:42 pm  

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