an odd connection

March 21, 2007 erinstine

For the past couple of days I’ve been listening to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on audiobook (narrated by Eric Idle, hooray!).   I was driving back to work from my lunch hour dash-home-feed-the-dog-shove-something-in-my-face-dash-back to work and Mr. Idle said something in Chapter Six (“The First Two Ticket Finders”) that caught my attention.  As soon as I got back to my place of employment, I went to the shelf to grab the book to find out if I heard what I think I heard.  It is as follows:

“In far-off Russia, a woman called Charlotte Russe claimed to have found the second ticket, but it turned out to be a clever fake.”

She is never mentioned again in the book.  Charlotte Russe?  Like Charlotte Russe?   I mean,  what is that? Somebody decides to start a trendster mall store and names it after a one-line character in a Roald Dahl book?  Two people independently come up with that name, one person being an incredibly famous author and the other selling a gazillion dollars worth of stuff to preteens?   I mean, certainly the company would deny knowingly using a character from a copyright protected work, like in the Napoleon Dynamite scenario (Napoleon Dynamite was a pseudonym used by Elvis Costello on the back of the album Blood and Chocolate).  It just seems like too much of a coincidence, and if it’s not a coincidence, then why?

Entry Filed under: Books, Movies, Music, Televison

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kasia  |  March 25, 2007 at 4:17 am

    Wow. That is curious… very curious. I think it would have to be on purpose, but that leaves the “why” of it. I want to know!

  • 2. smartypants  |  March 27, 2007 at 3:58 am

    Charlotte Russe was a dessert invented by Marie Antoine Careme (ladyfingers, whipped cream, etc.), a long time before Roald Dahl wrote the book in question; maybe more likely the store was named after the dessert than the book?

  • 3. Erin  |  March 27, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Wow – you ARE a smartypants! Thank you for this info. Dahl probably named the character after the sweet too! Unfortunately this is a much less random connection now, though. :o)

  • 4. almostnatalie  |  January 6, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I just found your post while looking for which Roald Dahl book I had seen the name Charlotte Russe in. I actually don’t think the company would mind the connection and when I first stumbled upon it I figured it was purposeful since they’re trying to make fashion affordable by using cheaper materials…it kinda is a russe, you know?


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