Thursday, July 20, 2006



Here are a couple of passages from Ralph McInerny, Slattery: A Soft-Boiled Detective (Waterville, Maine: Five Star, 2004), which might interest students of the classics.

Pp. 34-35:
"I've been reading Seneca."
"What do you think?"
"Smug, self-satisfied, self-congratulatory."
She nodded in apparent agreement. I had glanced at a page or two in the Penguin edition and launched these airy judgments on nothing more.
P. 175:
"We will be rich as creases." An odd phrase, one I must look up one day, to see what it means.
McInerny is of course playing with the phrase "rich as Croesus." When I read that passage, I knew I would able to find examples of "rich as creases" on Google. Sure enough, here is one, from a transcript of an Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio show:
A number of very powerful techniques and facilities and forms of software exist out there that can make a very small group very powerful in this large global world in which we live and you don't have to be as rich as creases to make <a> difference.
McInerny's mysteries are full of puns and word play. Some of his characters have aptronyms. In Slattery I noticed Auvarie and Seaman (marriage counselors) and Poppe (an exophthalmic eye doctor).

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