Sunday, 29 October 2017

A 'DETESTABLE' Hero? { Who is Poirot to christie vs. fans}

                                                                                                     ๐Ÿ–ณ This will HOPEFULLY be a brief post as I can't imagine being able to tell you anything you haven't already read before. Then again, who knows what might come to me in the process of committing my thoughts to this page.

   For starters, I'm going to get down to actually defining, word for word, what agatha christie  really said in her anti-Poirot rant.  *SIGH*   Alas, I can only WISH that she had uttered that vitriol in front of a room full of people.  Had that happened, I wouldn't be writing this, as her career as a mystery writer would have gone down the toilet in a huge hurry.  Especially if she'd been nervy enough to spew her hate at an event like a writer's conference or a Meet and Greet.  I'm still debating writing that story.  I've got the basic idea. Gotta work out a few kinks.

  In the meantime, let's get down to dealing with the full implication of what the woman said,  and if there was any justification for it.  Because if there was,  I really have to wonder HOW  Poirot has a fan base at all, in books or series.  ๐Ÿค”  And since Poirot obviously does have a fan base, WHY couldn't Agatha see what fans, screenwriters (for series)  and David Suchet were able to find? 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Why oh Why did I ever create 
such a DETESTABLE, Bombastic little 
creature?" 
~agatha christie on Hercule Poirot~

Is this man deserving of his
author's hatred?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   * DETESTABLE: According to the Oxford Dictionary of Current English (© 2001)  the word is defined as ' Deserving INTENSE dislike' .   And I wondered,  "could  'intense dislike'  be a synonym for HATE?"   So, I checked my Roget's International Thesaurus (© 2003)  and, sure enough, the word DETESTABLE is actually listed under "HATE" ,   as is 'dislike' . So I'm guessing INTENSE dislike would automatically qualify. 

    * Intense:  Great strength or degree. Deeply emotional.  (Collins Pocket Reference English Dictionary ©1998)  

  
 * BOMBASTICUsing  *Pompous  language. {Collins
Pocket Reference Dictionary © 1998} 

    *Pompous :  Foolishly serious and grand. Self important. (same source).


* CONCEITED (creep): Too high an opinion of oneself.          { Collins Pocket Reference English Dictionary©  1998 }


~~~~~~

     ~Hercule Poirot:  Hero or Villain?~ 

     Based on the definitions of Agatha's rant,  I reiterate... HOW did the books even have a fan-base?  If christie fans were to take idol's word as gospel, the irony is, Poirot wouldn't exist today.  His books likely wouldn't have made it passed short stories and definitely wouldn't have gotten anywhere near Murder on the Orient Express and certainly NOT Curtain . The unsolvable mystery remains that they have. The books sold well then and continue to. 
   From there, however, it gets to be even more of an intellectual tangle as some of Poirot's biggest fans are also christie LOYALISTS.  The group for whom this woman could do no wrong.  And SHE said she abhorred the very character they have taken to their hearts. So how DOES this WORK ? How can agatha LOYALISTS love her and yet also become so attached to someone she held in contempt and sniped at, with every literary opportunity?  

   Can a person be a good guy  ๐Ÿ‘ผAND a  baddie๐Ÿ‘ฟsimultaneously? NO. They can play at being one or the other for a while. In the course of time, however, the true colors would come through.  There'd be a slip up. 

     ~Enemy of my Enemy~

    Based on the ancient proverb, of two opposing sides banding together to defeat a more dangerous enemy. Russia and the U.S. joined forces in an uneasy alliance in World War 2 to defeat Hitler.  Question is, how would that old proverb be rephrased in a situation like this?  To me, agatha is an enemy of my friend, which, in turn, makes agatha my enemy. Dead or alive. I can't trust her and so I refuse to invest a second's time or a dime of my hard earned money to someone I find contemptible.

   Christie Loyalists, on the other hand,  are in a bit a bind because they love her for creating a character she wanted nothing to do with, after a while, apart from the financial benefit. Financial pleasantries aside, she would have dumped Poirot in a blink. Or would she have written him as the very villain she eventually believed him to be?  I mean, who's ever heard of a HERO who should be HATED? This is a puzzle to make lining up the colors of a Rubix Cube come off as simple as drawing a straight line with a ruler. 
       
   

     ~Stuck in the Middle with WHO?~ 

       I guess if you're a christie Loyalist, you have more options, even if you come to feel about Poirot as christie did.  You can go with Miss Marple or Tommy and Tuppence.  For those of us who love Poirot but loathe christie's mistreatment of him, we're...stuck. That is to say, how ARE Poirot fans supposed to feel about a character who's disparaged by his own creator?  Do we love him in spite of her or toss him off? " Christie hated him and she must have had her reasons. So I hate him too!"  It's a question I'd love to put to both Matthew Prichard  (christie's grandson) and David Suchet, who is deferential to that woman to a fault. Going so far as to DIPLOMATICALLY reply to a person, who questioned christie's disdain for Poirot with the reply, "I don't bite the hand that feeds me." 

I'm Agatha.
I eat Belgian detectives for breakfast.
  That's all well and good, Mr. Suchet, but what about the hand that fed HER ?  Christie didn't merely bite Poirot's HAND off, she took off his hand, from the fingertips,  clear to the body; ripping out Poirot's chest; heart and all!  
     For all of his research efforts,  that infamous quote should have been something Mr. Suchet got cleared up in his own mind before even agreeing to play a character so despised by his author, even if he was loved by so many others.  
    Near to the beginning of this post, I wrote that I was playing with an idea of a character like christie, who does rant against her own character in front of an audience.  I finally figured out where to put said idea.  The finale will result in a loss but also some long over-due justice. 

   I'm looking forward to getting to that scene. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to respectful perspectives on this literary tug of war. AM I making too much of an author's disdain for a character? As I've repeatedly pointed out, in various other posts as well as this one,  DETESTABLE is a strong word. One doesn't use it lightly.  The very definition suggests as much;  "deserving of INTENSE dislike."That's not, "I can take him or leave him"  or  "Nice guy though a pain in the butt on occasion".  
    The word DETESTABLE speaks vehemently against its subject, whether it's a habit or lifestyle choice.  In the context of her infamous written tirade,  christie didn't point out irksome habits, she referred to the man, himself ;  asking herself why she ever created him?
    Apart from her ARROGANCE in wanting to compete with Sir A.C. Doyle, I have NO idea. Taking it a step further, I wish she hadn't. Sure, we wouldn't have Poirot, but then again, Poirot wouldn't have to be connected to someone who was so hot to kill him that she didn't care who found him dead, just so long as he was found, DEAD
Hastings' sad discovery. 

     So I'll end by asking one last time,  IS Hercule Poirot deserving of hate, as christie's diatribe claims?  Should Poirot have been written out as a villain, with Chief Inspector James Japp FINALLY besting the enemy he once mistook for a friend, or is (GASP!) christie wrong? ๐Ÿ˜ฑWas Poirot entitled to the very respect he got from the series producers screenwriters and David Suchet?

  What say you?  
   Anyone up for writing that story (Japp besting  competitor/friend/enemy) . If you do, I'd love to read it!