The Ginger Man Question #19 - Merry Fraud

by J.P. Donleavy

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

The Ginger Man Question #19 - Merry Fraud

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:25 am

What is the symbolism of “merry fraud” on pg. 343.
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.

User avatar
Gilbert's Girl
Posts: 162968
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:14 am
Location: UK

Status: Offline

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:35 am

I wish you wouldn't do that, I don't have the book :-/ will wait to see everyones wonderful answers :cloud9:

Charlene
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: VA

Status: Offline

Unread postby Charlene » Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:46 am

I can't wrap my mind around that passage either...but if I was to take a stab at it, it would be something done that was knowlingly deceitful but all in good fun. Of course, knowing the character, it was probably only "fun" for him, and hurtful to others.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:36 am

Sorry guys. If it had been just one paragraph I could type up that would explain this, I would have. I even looked at it again this morning to see if I could. I think it requires reading a couple pages prior.

Try to keep that library book longer if you can from now on, GG. I have this tendency to renew library books as long as they will allow me. And if I have to return it, I go back and check it out again the next day.
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.

User avatar
Bix
Posts: 687
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:14 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Status: Offline

Unread postby Bix » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:40 am

I think the "Merry fraud, sir" is just the butler's way of showing that he had listened to and appreciated Sebastian's rant on Christmas being a fraud. So instead of saying "Merry Christmas" as he hands S the host's gift of brandy and bacon (also suggested by the rant, I think), he says "Merry fraud". Or is that too simplistic?
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

User avatar
SamIam
Posts: 1120
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:15 am
Location: making grilled cheese
Contact:

Status: Offline

Unread postby SamIam » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:01 am

I get it now. It was the butler referring to Sebastien because he wasn't really sincere in giving him a gift so instead of merry christmas he said merry fraud.
Ambition without inspiration is like a boat on dry land.

the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:44 am

Sounds like a good explanation to me, Bix. :cool: Any other ideas out there?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

User avatar
Gilbert's Girl
Posts: 162968
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:14 am
Location: UK

Status: Offline

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:47 am

Liz wrote:Sorry guys. If it had been just one paragraph I could type up that would explain this, I would have. I even looked at it again this morning to see if I could. I think it requires reading a couple pages prior.

Try to keep that library book longer if you can from now on, GG. I have this tendency to renew library books as long as they will allow me. And if I have to return it, I go back and check it out again the next day.


Not sure if I was able as it was reserved and not a t my local library. At least Chocolat is my own :lol:

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:48 pm

Bix wrote:I think the "Merry fraud, sir" is just the butler's way of showing that he had listened to and appreciated Sebastian's rant on Christmas being a fraud. So instead of saying "Merry Christmas" as he hands S the host's gift of brandy and bacon (also suggested by the rant, I think), he says "Merry fraud". Or is that too simplistic?


It could be just as simple as that. :eyebrow:
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.

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:01 pm

Simple is good now and then! :-)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

User avatar
stroch
Posts: 1307
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:41 pm
Location: New Orleans

Status: Offline

Unread postby stroch » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:06 pm

I took it as a greeting in kind also; it reminded me of the Festivus for the rest of us episode of Seinfield.

The novel is full of these characters who have one or two lines which ratify SD's behavior. I can't find the right word for what I mean, but they are like a mini chorus. in counterpoint to the masses of outraged citizens that chase him down for his behavior. They are cast as admirers, I think.

I know that references like that brought me up short the first time I read the book. I despised SD, and couldn't imagine anyone finding anything to applaud.
I'll buy you the hat....a really big one.
St. Roch -- patron saint of pilgrims

User avatar
Bix
Posts: 687
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:14 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Status: Offline

Unread postby Bix » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:00 pm

It occurs to me that there may be a great deal of irony in the "Merry fraud" also, in that Sebastian has just been raving about Christmas being a fraud and the British hiding bacon in their basements and beef in their attics or whatever - and he doesn't miss a beat accepting the Christmas gifts of his host.
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Sat Apr 22, 2006 2:19 am

Bix wrote:It occurs to me that there may be a great deal of irony in the "Merry fraud" also, in that Sebastian has just been raving about Christmas being a fraud and the British hiding bacon in their basements and beef in their attics or whatever - and he doesn't miss a beat accepting the Christmas gifts of his host.


He's consistent. :lol:
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.

User avatar
Endora
Posts: 16370
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:03 pm
Location: Darkest UK~ Down in Albion

Status: Offline

Unread postby Endora » Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:09 am

Liz wrote:
Bix wrote:It occurs to me that there may be a great deal of irony in the "Merry fraud" also, in that Sebastian has just been raving about Christmas being a fraud and the British hiding bacon in their basements and beef in their attics or whatever - and he doesn't miss a beat accepting the Christmas gifts of his host.


He's consistent. :lol:


Absolutely. When I re-read the chapter, that was what struck me. He takes without recourse to conscience, and is quite content to lambast the institution of Christmas, then take the gift. But perhaps that's existentialism, when all said and done. But more evidence of the world having to revolve around Sebastian.

And another thought. Sebastian is a famous catholic martyr. Did JPD choose the name as it has associations with some sort of pious suffering?
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:36 am

Here is a profile of St. Sebastian:


Son of a wealthy Roman family. Educated in Milan. Officer of the Imperial Roman army, and captain of the guard. Favorite of Diocletian. During Diocletian's persecution of the Christians, Sebastian visited them in prison, bringing supplies and comfort. Reported to have healed the wife of a brother soldier by making the Sign of the Cross over her. Converted soldiers and a governor.

Charged as a Christian, Sebastian was tied to a tree, shot with arrows, and left for dead. He survived, recovered, and returned to preach to Diocletian. The emperor then had him beaten to death.

During the 14th century, the random nature of infection with the Black Death caused people to liken the plague to their villages being shot by an army of nature's archers. In desparation they prayed for the intercession of a saint associated with archers, and Saint Sebastian became associated with the plague.


Source:
http://www.catholic-forum.com/saintS/saints03.htm
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


Return to “The Ginger Man”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest