Inamorata Question #16 ~ Ernst Stanlowe

by Joseph Gangemi

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QueenofKings
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Unread postby QueenofKings » Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:13 pm

This is off-topic a bit, but interesting.

Wordsmith.org has an anagram function. You can put in any name or combination of words and it gives you a list of anagrams for names. So I put in my name. And a few of my friends' names and some musicians' names and some funny anagrams came up. All the names I put in had at the least 5 anagrams and at most, hundreds. Then I typed in Johnny Depp.
No anagrams.

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Unread postby bluebird » Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:51 am

I was at work when I saw this question this morning...and, I deliberately didn't read any of the answers/theories all day....because I knew I needed to keep a clear head...Good thing I waited 'til now!!! Convoluted is the right word. :eyebrow:
I really wish I knew what role Ernst was supposed to have played in the book. He appeared, confused us, then was gone. :-?

QofK ~~ am I surprised there is no anagram for Johnny Depp? Nope. He is truly one of a kind.

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Unread postby dharma_bum » Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:57 am

Gilly, I agree the unfinished nature of these character make them very mutable… like ghosts themselves.

I think that Stanlowe was who he claimed to be and the Mina was manipulating him to get her revenge on Crawley. I think she may have been feeding him the drugs. Gangemi suggests that he ended up as the gardener in her new life—Freudian or literal, I can’t decide.

That leaves Walter… and this is where my theory of his spirit as Mina’s invention to exact her revenge unravels a bit. Crawley has outward disdain for Walter’s sexual orientation and confirms to Finch that Walter’s openly gay behavior got him into trouble as a flesh and blood person. Why did Gangemi create a character whose sole purpose was to blow apart that aspect of Walter’s persona? It was an easy way to discredit Mina’s mediumship, but it meant Crawley was someone involved in the hoax. I guess I imagine Crawley and Mina complicit long enough for Mina to really screw with him.

I'm so confused... everyone's theories makes sense.
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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:11 am

QueenofKings wrote:This is off-topic a bit, but interesting.

Wordsmith.org has an anagram function. You can put in any name or combination of words and it gives you a list of anagrams for names. So I put in my name. And a few of my friends' names and some musicians' names and some funny anagrams came up. All the names I put in had at the least 5 anagrams and at most, hundreds. Then I typed in Johnny Depp.
No anagrams.


That's pretty weird, QofK! Image
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:17 am

I'm confused, too, Dharma! But very thought-provoking theories, everyone! :applause:

Bix, I agree with you, that Stanlowe would not be in cahoots with Creepy Crawley :lol: because he resents him so.

And Betty Sue I like your idea of Mina/Walter leading Finch to Stanlowe.

I’m still thinking about the anagram.
:-?
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:18 am

I'm thinking the anagram might be a good question for Gangemi. :-?
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Unread postby Bix » Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:44 pm

I absolutely think we should ask Gangemi about the anagram. I would like to ask him about Stanlowe as well. So, if anyone can think of clearer, more intelligent wording than, "So what's with Stanlowe?", please let me know. :blush:
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Unread postby ThirdArm » Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:53 pm

I don't have anything new or insightful to add, but just to agree with what's been said. The anagram is the big puzzler for me. It was put out there and not resolved. He doesn't refer to it again, so that would be a good question for the author.

I particularly like the idea that Stanlowe started the fire in order to disappear. I also think that the pidgeon was there in order to lead Finch to Stanlowe, although as I was reading that part, I thought that it would be much harder in reality to track down the bird in a big city with lots of tall buildings.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:49 pm

Charlotte, that thought crossed my mind too, about the tall buildings and I am warming to the thought that Stanlowe might have started the fire himself too. :cool:

Bix, that is a perfectly good question!
:lol:
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Unread postby nebraska » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:08 am

:banghead: I think I am completely confused and befuddled. When I read the book, I took Stanlowe pretty much for what he was presented to be......Mina's drug-addled lunatic ex-husband. The fact that she was taking care of him was one redeeming factor in Mina's favor -- I guess I hadn't realized how little I thought of Mina until her "kindness" to Stanlowe made me feel a bit of tenderness for her.

The whole pigeon thing seemed out of place somehow. And the Stanlowe episode was strange. It seemed to me that he had been brought into the story to give Finch a vivd account of Crawley's evil.

Now I don't know what to think!

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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:36 am

the whole book is befuddling and confusing I think this is Gangemi in a way showing us how the whole thing is confusing and befuddling so you really don't know what is real what is not and what really is going on, clever? maybe, intriguing certainly ,and is certainly a way of capturing his audience, perhaps very much like the illusionists.

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Unread postby Liz » Sat Feb 18, 2006 11:53 am

Gilbert's Girl wrote:the whole book is befuddling and confusing I think this is Gangemi in a way showing us how the whole thing is confusing and befuddling so you really don't know what is real what is not and what really is going on, clever? maybe, intriguing certainly ,and is certainly a way of capturing his audience, perhaps very much like the illusionists.


It could be just as simple as that, GG. :thumbsup:
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Unread postby suec » Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:42 pm

I think that Stanlowe could have started the fire. But I am more inclined to believe that it really was an accident. So Finch believes that it was because of him that the fire was started - but what of that? He is a flawed narrator. We are told that the official decision is that it was an accident, too. Really, I think it is a narrative device of the author, to faciliate the meeting beteen Finch and Patterson; Finch confides in him with alarming and incredible speed; and a new theory is offered, with a new avenue of research for Finch. So, the fire works as a structural device in the same way that the release of the rats do earlier in the novel, paving the way for Finch to meet McLaughlin. The fact theat the fire provides something else to mull over is a bonus, for Gangemi.
As for the anagram: to me it is just one more really irritating clue shouting at the top of its voice and leading nowhere. Another coincidence. OK, so it stretches the bounds of credulity, I admit, but Walter and Ernst are/were two real people. So, if we are to assume that they are now the same, then it must be because Stanlowe is impersonating him. I find that hard to believe. He is so risky and undependable as an accomplice. So, I read the anagram in the context of how it is presented to us: in a list of futile points and failures, from failing to learn about Mina, to learning that there is no Book of Stanlowe. I am not surprised he doesn't give it much thought.
But then, when it comes to Stanlowe, Finch appears to be - not quite at his best, shall I say. There is that interview, where he finally has Stanlowe talking, and what does he do? Gives him a good kicking and runs away. After preferring to inspect the pigeons in the meantime, too. After all, they are so much more informative than Mina's ex! He reports Stanlowe's comments, describing Crawley but adds 'all but twirling his waxed mustache'; this is the evil villain of melodrama. Then when he finally has Stanlowe talking at length, he dismisses it as 'a gibbering rant' and a 'lunatic vision of infanticide and sexual enslavement'. It may just that, of course, but this is the man who has already compared Stanlowe's trance with Mina's, who already knows something about the workings of the unconscious when people are in such a state. And what about the evidence of his own eyes, that he is ever so ready to blurt out to Patterson, without a moment's hesitation, of the cigarette burns? (Something else I am struggling to believe, but never mind.)

What is Stanlowe's role in the novel?

1) to provide information about Crawley - albeit from an extremely subjective, biased point of view?
2) To make it all more puzzling for the reader to sort out what is happening?
3) a structual device to lead into the next theory?
4) to show what an absolutely useless investigator Finch is?

All of the above, possibly (and I'm not even touching the issue of his possible 'presence' in the photo). I can't quite bring myself to believe that he is the accomplice, though. I can't see him succeeding at it, or Crawley allowing it. However, somewhere along the line in this book - at several points in fact - disbelief has to be suspended. It is just a question of where, what we choose to believe.
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Unread postby Bix » Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:44 pm

Wow, suec! :notworthy: As always, I am in awe of the way your mind works and your ability to verbalize your thoughts so clearly. (I just wish we had a little better idea of how you really feel about Finch! :rotflmao:)
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:51 pm

Bix wrote:Wow, suec! :notworthy: As always, I am in awe of the way your mind works and your ability to verbalize your thoughts so clearly. (I just wish we had a little better idea of how you really feel about Finch! :rotflmao:)


I agree! Great analyzing and summing up, suec! And I've always liked Finch but had forgotten how frustrated I was that he didn't pepper Stanlowe with questions instead of visiting the pigeons!! :banghead:
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