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Ballerinas in the dark?

If you have ever read A Series of Unfortunate Events, you might be familiar with the following passage in Book the Thirteenth:

” The phrase ‘in the dark,’ as I’m sure you know, can refer not only to one’s shadowy surroundings, but also to the shadowy secrets of which one might be unaware. Every day, the sun goes down all over these secrets, and so everyone is in the dark one way or another. If you are sunbathing in a park, for instance, but you do not know that a locked cabinet is buried fifty feet beneath your blanket, then you are in the dark, even though you are not actually in the dark, whereas if you are on a midnight hike, knowing full well that several ballerinas are following close behind you, then you are not in dark the even if you are in fact in the dark. Of course, it is quite possible to be in the dark in the dark, as well as to be not in the dark not in the dark, but there are so many secrets in the world that it is likely that you are always in the dark about one thing or another, whether you are in the dark in the dark or in the dark not in the dark, although the sun can go down so quickly that you may be in the dark about being in the dark, only to look around and find yourself no longer in the dark about being in the dark in the dark, but in the dark in the dark nonetheless, not only because of the dark, but because of the ballerinas in the dark, who are not in the dark about the dark, but also not in the dark about the locked cabinet, and you may be in the dark about the ballerinas digging up the locked cabinet in the dark, even though you are no longer in the dark about being in the dark, and so you are in fact in the dark about being in the dark, even though you are not in the dark about being in the dark, and so you may fall into the hole that the ballerinas have dug, which is dark, in the dark, in the park.” -Lemony Snicket

That is my favourite paragraph in any book I have read. To understand it better, read it another four or five times.

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One Response to “Ballerinas in the dark?”

  1. Awh, I remember reading that series. I finished it all by sixth grade. Yeah, that must be one of my favorite passages, and the other must be in The Vile Village when they talk about how people agree in large crowds and seating arrangements in a bus.


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