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A few words with Lemony Snicket

The AV Club: Why do you continue telling such tragic and sordid tales? Wouldn't you be happier doing something else with your time?

Lemony Snicket: I made a solemn vow to research and summarize the entire Baudelaire case, and no amount of misery, horror, shame or tedium can dissuade me.

AVC: You've often urged your readers to find better books to read instead of yours. Could you suggest some specific ones they might like?

LS: It is difficult to recommend books to people I do not know, but I am unaware of any reader who would not benefit from reading (or rereading) Dino Buzzati's The Bears' Famous Invasion Of Sicily and Vladimir Nabokov's Invitation To A Beheading.

AVC: How did you first meet and form a partnership with your associate Daniel Handler?

LS: When circumstances prevented me from upholding certain promotional and rhetorical commitments, I found a writer who could more or less impersonate me, or at least impersonate impersonating me, impersonally.

AVC: Mr. Handler plays an instrument and makes audio recordings with bands, but says he does not have a musical career. Do you play an instrument, or have a musical career?

LS: I am attempting to learn the theremin.

AVC: What do you intend to do once the story of the Baudelaire orphans is complete?

LS: Indulge in a snifter of brandy before turning my attention to other pressing matters.

AVC: You've said you have difficulty getting messages out to your allies. Would you like to take advantage of this space to communicate anything to them?

LS: Then—in my childhood—in the dawn

Of a most stormy life—was drawn

From ev'ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still—

AVC: Your books have been banned in some schools. Do you have any comment?

LS: Instead of selectively banned, I think my books should be universally discouraged.