Thursday, January 16, 2014

Magic: An Analysis of My Favorite Novel Quotes (Part 3)

I'm finishing up the quotes from children's novels today.  The first two parts to this currently seven-part series can be found via the label "quotes."  This quote is unique in that it is entirely dialogue.

"'Nothing changes, Rossam√ľnd.  You are my factotum, I am your mistress; the plot thickens, that is all." - Europe in Factotum

I love this quote on several levels.  Looking at it from a distance, it probably seems mundane, but having read the 2.5 books preceding the quote it's quite extraordinary.

The tone of this quote is abrupt, yet elegant, a common trait in Europe's speech.  She is a Duchess who fights monsters using levin, by the way.  The sixth and seventh words in that sentence have a huge impact on the quote, though I'll kindly step away from that matter, as it will ruin the trilogy for you.  Hopefully I haven't just done that...Anyway, the use of "factotum" and "mistress" in the quote displays (the author) D.M. Cornish's great ability to write dialect.  It gets a bit annoying at times, but here it shines.

When I saw the phrase "the plot thickens" I'm pretty sure I set my iPad mini down and simply shook my head, smiling.  It's one of the most bold declarations possible.  Yeah, it threw me out of the story, which isn't usually good, but the sheer cleverness involved saved it ten-fold.  My favorite moments in cinema, television, and novels, occur when the writer works in a writing joke seamlessly.  (Can you spot the one in The Smurfs 2?)

Writers talk about scene-and-sequel formatting on occasion.  I'm by no means an expert on the subject; however, I believe this quote can count as a sequel in and of itself.  It diffuses huge amounts of tension, while leaving a soft, tingling in the pit of your stomach.  It's showstopping for the complete opposite reason as other such quotes.

This novel is fantasy, so there's definitely a lot of literal magic involved.  I assert that this quote displays qualities of literal magic, not in a fantasy world, but in our own.

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