Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

by Kyril Bonfiglioli

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Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:43 pm

How did Charlie’s ornate and often highly regionalized language affect your mental picture of him?
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Re: Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

Unread postby marija » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:01 pm

When I read the book ,my imagination of Mortdecai was , that he is an English Aristocrat. I was not surprised ,as I watched the movie(trailers) and saw the character and how did Johnny figured out it. :mortdecai1:
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Re: Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

Unread postby moviemom » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:52 pm

I had an entirely different voice in my head, except for the accent, which was pretty close. But, now that I've heard Johnny's take, that's the one I hear now and it works better.
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Re: Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

Unread postby shaman-art » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:51 am

Tough question for me since English is not my native language, but right from the first lines the picture I had in mind was a British snob. Pure cliché.

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Re: Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:16 pm

I love words! So reading Charlie's wordy ramblings were delightful to me, even though with all the Britishisms he used I didn't understand half of what he said. There was a lyrical quality to it all. I suppose this is part of why I chose Charlie instead of Bond, his continual jabbering makes him seem more hot air than snob.

One of the favorite friends I ever had was a retired Air Force pilot who had been raised in a home where they dressed for dinner, went to a military boarding school, and was proper and correct in most every way. Colonel "B" slipped big complicated words into his everyday conversations with ease and grace, and I loved to talk with him because of that. Like everything else when I read, I think perhaps a little of that experience colored my reaction to Charlie. :mortdecaiheart:

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Re: Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:37 pm

I enjoyed the lyrical tone of it, as well. I liked the juxtaposition between Charlie's language and Jock's.

I thought Charlie was an aristocrat wanna-be, using words and phrases that sounded high-toned and fancy, but were actually made up or butchered versions of the real words/phrases. I thought Joanna actually was more snobbish and upper-crust with her language. Jock was the extreme opposite with gutter language and slang. All of this was balanced by the other characters, who were more "normal" speaking.

It made for a more interesting read.

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Re: Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:44 pm

Once he began using pretentious words (around Chapter 3) I found him to be quite annoying. He was relatively entertaining up until then. But after I got the rhythm down (about half way through the book) I began to ease up on my opinion, and just learned to enjoy his unique personality.

As far as a mental picture, I saw a snobby, upper class Brit from the 70s. Someone who was impressed with himself and his self-importance and someone who had little patience for most other people…..except for Jock and Johanna.

Bonfiglioli (more than Charlie) liked to throw around references to people and books that might be over the head of the average Joe. I’m not sure what that says about Bonfiglioli. I’m thinking he was not pretentious, as Charlie was. But I was annoyed with him for making me work so hard to read this book.
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Re: Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:52 pm

SnoopyDances wrote:I thought Charlie was an aristocrat wanna-be, using words and phrases that sounded high-toned and fancy, but were actually made up or butchered versions of the real words/phrases.

Excellent point! I had taken it as a reflection on Bonfiglioli as opposed to a reflection on Charlie. But that could have been Bonfiglioli's purpose -- to aid in creating a picture of Charlie.
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Re: Mortdecai Discussion Question #2: Words, words, words!

Unread postby fireflydances » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:20 pm

I thought the vocabulary was part of the fun. It was the first thing I fell in love with because it was so pompous etc. Very endearing little man our Charlie. I think Bonfiglioli also did for fun. It's an arch way of speaking that makes a man somewhat absurd, you can't help but chuckle, and it pokes fun at people who worry about things like peerage, which is Charlie. I also think that Bonfiglioli was a word lover, a digger into obscurity and references etc. Former English major who works in antiques.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies


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