Blogue d'un québécois expatrié en Angleterre. Comme toute forme d'autobiographie est constituée d'une large part de fiction, j'ai décidé de nommer le blogue Vraie Fiction.
Friday, 15 April 2016
The coral snake analogy
At the moment, I am reading The Martini Shot by George Pelecanos, my favourite crime writer. It is a collection of short stories, mostly crime related, and so far he proved that he controls this form just as much as he controls crime novels. Among the many things I love about his writing, is that he has a way with using old archetypes and bringing them into a contemporary, realistic setting and making them fresh and relevant. In one of his short stories, When You're Hungry, the protagonist, a private investigator looking for a wealth man who faked his death to enjoy life in the tropics, makes this analogy about the mistress of his target: "When I was a child I spotted a coral snake and thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I started to follow it into the brush, when my mother slapped me very hard across the face." This is, in essence, what a femme fatale is. Someone beautiful, elegant, yet deadly and merciless, who exerts a fascination so intense than one overcomes the fear he or she may have towards the femme fatale. It is explained without even mentioning the term, by a simple analogy that works. I loved this analogy so much that I wanted to share it here. For more on femmes fatales, please read this entry on TV tropes. For more on coral snakes, please read Wikipedia. But truly, I think you have all you need to know with the analogy Pelecanos made.