Monday, September 21, 2009
Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Ariadne Oliver
Completing my tribute to Agatha Christie, it would be remiss of me not to mention another of my favourite characters: Ariadne Oliver.
Based on Agatha herself (as Agatha admitted in interviews), Ariadne is a fascinating insight into Agatha's own thoughts on the crime-writing genre and her fictional characters.
Eccentric, flamboyant, feisty and opinionated, Ariadne is worlds away from Miss Marple but is good friends with Poirot and assists him (in her bumbling fashion) to solve crimes with her (frequently misplaced) 'feminine intuition'. You get the feeling Agatha had a lot of fun writing this larger-than-life character who closely echoed Agatha's own thoughts and feelings on the craft of mystery writing.
My imagination conjured a large and rather dowdy woman when I was reading the books and so I loved the more glamorous interpretation the recent Poirot episodes brought to the character with Zoe Wanamaker wearing thirties-style dresses and exotic hairpieces.
Ariadne is a lovable, very human character who reveals Agatha Christie herself to us with twinkling eyes. When Ariadne berates the fans who write to her about trivial mistakes, or shrieks how much she hates her creation the Finnish detective Sven Hjerson, we can enjoy the joke.
And so three cheers for middle-aged mystery novelists struggling with weight gain and apple addictions, having to deal with the demands of publishers and over-zealous fans whilst they attempt to wrestle with plots and murder most foul.
Three cheers for Araidne Oliver and three more for the Queen of Crime herself - Agatha Christie!
“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely
miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite
certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
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