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Lemony Snicket and Time

I set out to create the most comprehensive timeline possible for dealing with Lemony Snicket's life, this of course proved very problematic first of all due to Mr. Snicket's lack of references to dates, indeed, before too long when I sat about my apartment having moved the furniture to make a nice large space (the table had already proved inadequate), I found myself wishing that Mr. Snicket dated all his life facts using Mayan calenderical glyphs--something I assure you I have never wished before. The Mayans were very meticulous about dating their inscriptions and employed a number of different time/calender systems such that it is easy to know exactly when something happened in the Mayan world. Of course deciphering Mayan glyphs is something I find particularly hard since I have always been horrible at reading other people's hand writing and all of the Mayan dates are hand written.  Regrettably, the nature of Mr. Snickets works did not allow him to be as chronologically conscious as the Mayans.

But far more troubling than large piles of note cards with few, if any dates, was the fact that Mr. Snicket wrote on more than one level of time. What I mean by this is that, the dates of publication are hard dates, the events in the books have to have taken place before the book was published, however, Mr. Snicket also uses some of his later works to communicate with his sister, even though he referenced knowing things that happened long after the events of previous books, too long after to reconcile the two. I will give specific examples of this later on, but, basically, he wrote The Carnivorous Carnival when his sister was alive and able to be communicated with via print, and yet, wrote The Miserable Mill  knowing that neither he nor the Baudelaires would ever see Sir's face and wrote The Austere Academy after Prufrock Prep had been closed, something that did not happen until after The Penultimate Peril. While some would dismiss these contrary facts as due to the fact that Mr. Snicket's research could never be perfect or complete (or silly things like that he is not real and nor are any of the things in his books), I have come up with an alternative point of view, the two layered time point of view.

I will work along the theory that most facts about Lemony Snicket (and the Baudelaires) can be ordered along The Immersed Character time, that is, with the events all happening rather recently in Mr. Snicket's life and without his knowing what ultimately happened in the course of his writing. The second level I am calling Quasi-Omniscient Narrator time which refers to instances when Mr. Snicket writes from a time long removed from the events of his story and knows things beyond the reasonable means of a man frantically researching under distress in the midst of an unfolding story (like whether or not The Baudelaire's ever saw Sir's face).