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Irish Rogues and Fairies in Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl Books. by Don L. F. Nilsen & Alleen Pace Nilsen. The Artemis Fowl Books.

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irish rogues and fairies in eoin colfer s artemis fowl books

Irish Rogues and Fairies in Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl Books

by

Don L. F. Nilsen &

Alleen Pace Nilsen

43

the artemis fowl books
The Artemis Fowl Books
  • Beginning in 2002, Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books have been competing with J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books for the # 1 ranking in the New York Times best seller list for young readers.
  • Both of these series are Gothic fantasies involving young teenagers as their protagonists and as their audiences.

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artemis fowl the irish rogue
Artemis Fowl:The Irish Rogue
  • The Irish Rogue is not a criminal, but he is very bright and charismatic. And he is subversive.
  • Artemis Fowl is a typical Irish Rogue, in the tradition of Christy Mahon in John Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, Mr. Boyle in Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, of Finn MacCool in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and of Sebastian Dangerfield in J. P. Donleavy’s The Ginger Man.
  • Jonathan Swift was even being a bit roguish when he wrote “A Modest Proposal.”

43

slide5
Rogues are revered in Ireland, because it was the Rogues who fought back when the English were taking over Ireland.
  • Rogues break rules and laws, but it is always for the greater good, as when Artemis steals some fairy gold to help rescue his father from the Russian mafia.
  • Rogues are “entertaining and high spirited, and they diffuse violence with their use of humor. Although they are flirtatious, they seldom form any lasting alliances with women” (Nilsen 9, Waters 40).

43

slide6
Many rogues are “linked to an aristocratic figure, usually an Irish rebel chief, for whom he risks his life.
  • “The ‘rogue’ is articulate, good natured, fun loving, and [exhibits an] irrepressible élan vital” (Nilsen 74, Waters 47).
  • Rogues tend to be imaginative and resilient comic figures (Nilsen 123, Waters 77)

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eoin colfer s little people
Eoin Colfer’s Little People
  • Eoin Colfer’s little people are derived from Irish mythology and folklore.
  • In some ways, Eoin Colfer’s little people are the same as are the little people in Irish folklore.
  • But in other ways, they are very different.

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colfer s mud people
Colfer’s Mud People
  • Colfer’s “Mud People” are the same as Rowling’s “Muggles.” They’re the human beings and they include:
  • Jerbal Argon
  • Briar Cudgeon
  • Carla Frazetti
  • Loafers McGuire
  • John Spiro, and of course
  • Juliet and Domovoy Butler and
  • Artemis Fowl Junior and Senior

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visual imagery and characterization
Visual Imagery and Characterization
  • Like many fantasy writers, Eoin Colfer effectively uses visual imagery to establish his fantasy world.
  • But Eoin Colfer also uses visual imagery in explaining the characteristics of his various fantasy species as a whole,
  • And of special characters who represent these various species.

43

colfer s centaurs foaly
Colfer’s Centaurs (Foaly)
  • In Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books, the only fairies that are not “Little People” are the centaurs.
  • Like other centaurs, Colfer’s centaurs are human in front and equine in back.
  • In The Time Paradox, there is mention of a human movie about Centaurs that considers them to be “noble and sporty.” Male centaurs are “expected to take more than one bride” (24-25).

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colfer s demons
Colfer’s Demons
  • Colfer’s demons are the eighth family of the fairy people.
  • When the other fairy people were forced to live underground, the demons refused to go.
  • They live in Hybras, the city over which the sky is forever tinged with the red glow of dawn.

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colfer s dwarves
Colfer’s Dwarves
  • Colfer’s dwarves are small, compact and earthy.
  • “Dwarf males can unhinge their jaws, allowing them to ingest several pounds of earth a second.
  • This material is processed by a superefficient metabolism, stripped of any useful minerals…and ejected at the other end” (Artemis Fowl 228).
  • Chapter 6 of The Lost Colony is entitled, “Dwarf walks into a bar” (131).

43

slide14
“Dwarf hair is actually a network of living antennae, similar to feline whiskers, that can do everything from trap beetles to bounce sonar waves off a tunnel wall” (The Eternity Code 113-114).
  • The Derrière bottling plant employs Dwarfs to put bubbles in their carbonated drinks.

43

mulch diggums
Mulch Diggums
  • Mulch Diggums (a.k.a. Lance Digger, Mo Digence, and The Grouch) is a kleptomaniac dwarf who has been convicted many times for “digging and entering.”
  • He loves to unbutton his bum flap and destroy whatever is behind him with a blast of stinky air.
  • Chapter 11 of The Arctic Incident is entitled, “Mulch Ado about Nothing.”

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slide16
When it is Mulch’s job to disable a surveillance camera Mulch uses the Dwarf science of “reflexology.”
  • “‘Every part of the foot is connected to a part of the body. And it just so happens that the left little toe is connected to my----’
  • Juliet gingerly grasped the toe, its black curly hairs obligingly parting to allow her access to the joint.
  • Mulch fine tuned his aim. ‘Okay, Squeeze’” (The Eternity Code 221).

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slide17
“Juliet held her breath, and closed her fingers around the joint. The pressure sped up Mulch’s leg in a series of jolts.
  • The dwarf fought to keep his aim true in spite of his thrashings. Pressure built in his abdomen and exploded through his bum flap with a dull thump…. A missile of compressed air shot across the room, heat blur surrounding it like waves of water.
  • ‘Too much topspin,’ groaned Mulch. ‘I loaded it.’”

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slide18
“The air ball spiraled toward the ceiling, shredding layers like an onion.
  • The unlikely missile impacted against the wall a meter ahead of its target.
  • Luckily, the ricochet clipped the camera box, sending it spinning like a plate on a stick” (The Eternity Code 222).

43

colfer s elves frond grub and trouble kelp root short verbil vishby
Colfer’s Elves (Frond, Grub and Trouble Kelp, Root, Short, Verbil & Vishby)
  • Most of the LEPrecon unit are elves like Corporal Lily Frond, Corporal Grub Kelp, Captain Trouble Kelp, Commander Julius Root, Captain Holly Short, Captain Chix Verbil and Marshal Vishby.
  • Colfer’s elves can fly, and they can heal people with their blue sparks.

43

colfer s fairies
Colfer’s Fairies
  • “Fairy” is the term that Colfer uses for all of the people who live underground: the centaurs, demons, dwarfs, elves, fairies, gargoyles, gnomes, goblins, gremlins, imps, leprechauns, pixies, sprites, trolls, and warlocks.
  • The good fairies (including the centaurs, but excluding the goblins, trolls and one Pixie [Opal Koboi]) are also called “The People.”
  • There are also quaggas and krakens in Colfer’s fantasy world.
  • Fairies like to do “time stops,” and use “bio-bombs.”
  • In contrast there are the Mud People, one of whom is Artemis Fowl (a little person) and Butler (a big person).

43

colfer s gargoyles qwan
Colfer’s Gargoyles (Qwan)
  • “Qwan, who was the planet’s most experienced time-traveling fairy, wrote in his best-selling autobiography, Qwan: My Time Is Now, that, ‘riding the time stream is like flying through a dwarf’s intestine.
  • There are very nice free-flowing stretches, but then you turn a corner to find the thing backed up and putrid’” (The Time Paradox 97).
  • Qwan had started out as an Imp, but he warped into a Warlock and was enchanted into a Gargoyle.

43

colfer s gnomes
Colfer’s Gnomes
  • Colfer’s gnomes dedicated their lives to pizza. “Every year on the anniversary of Bog’s first day of business, they chartered a shuttle and took a picnic aboveground.”
  • “The picnic consisted of pizza, tuber beer and pizza-flavored ice cream.”
  • These parties took place at Stonehenge, in Wiltshire. It was at the end of an LEP chute.
  • “A gnome called Bog had realized how many tourists forgot their sandwiches on aboveground jaunts, and so had set up shop beside the terminal” (The Eternity Code 53).

43

colfer s goblins wart face
Colfer’s Goblins (Wart-Face)
  • Goblins are described as “Evolution’s little joke. Pick the dumbest creatures on the planet and give them the ability to conjure fire” (The Eternity Code 28).
  • The LEP (Lower Elements Police) are worried about the Goblins’ uprising instigated by the B’wa Kell triad. They are trying to make the Haven insecure.
  • “If even one renegade fairy got himself captured by the Mud Men, then Haven would cease to be a haven” (The Eternity Code 25).

43

slide24
“Goblins had barely enough electricity in their brains to power a ten-watt bulb” (The Arctic Incident 35).
  • “A group of goblins would corner a stray brother dwarf, pin him down, and then the leader would give him the double barrels [of a fireball] in his face” (Artemis Fowl 232)

43

colfer s gremlins
Colfer’s Gremlins
  • Colfer’s Gremlins are little people, but they are not like the gremlins of World War I, or of World War II, or of the movies that contain the name “Gremlin” in their titles.

43

colfer s imps no 1 qwan
Colfer’s Imps (No 1, Qwan)
  • Many of the chapters in The Lost Colony, are impish puns like the following:
  • Chapter 4: “Mission IMPossible”
  • Chapter 5: “IMPrisoned”
  • Chapter 8: “Sudden IMPact”
  • (84, 116, 170)

43

krakens shelly little sister
Krakens (Shelly, Little Sister)
  • “The giant sea monster that is the kraken sent its finned tentacles spiraling toward the ocean’s surface, pulling its bloated body behind.
  • Its single eye rolled manically in its socket, and its curved beak, the size of a schooner’s prow, was open wide, filtering the rushing water through to its ripplilng gills.
  • The kraken was hungry, and there was room for only one thought in its tiny brain as it sped toward the holiday ferry above.
  • Kill…Kill…KILL…” (The Time Paradox 23).

43

slide28
“The kraken is a docile creature whose main defenses are its sheer size and the bulk of shell, gas, and fat cells enclosing a melon-sized brain, which provides it with just enough intelligence to feed itself and shed its shell.
  • Underneat the crust of rock, weed, and coral, the kraken resembles nothing more than the common acorn barnacle, albeit a barnacle that could easily house an Olympic stadium or two” (The Time Paradox 30).

43

colfer s leprechauns
Colfer’s Leprechauns
  • In the underworld, it is the LEPrecon unit that must police the underworld and keep things going smoothly.
  • LEP is an acronym for “Lower Element Police.”
  • The “recon” part of the name alludes to “reconaissance.”
  • According to Colfer, “The word ‘leprechaun’ actually originated from LEPrecon” (Artemis Fowl 43).

43

colfer s pixies koboi mervall and descant brill
Colfer’s Pixies (Koboi, Mervall and Descant Brill)
  • Colfer’s Pixies are small and they have pointed ears.
  • Doodah Day was something of a legend as a fish smuggler.
  • But when he was caught by Holly Short, and entombed in Dwarf spittle, Vinaya said, “Yes. That’s Doodah Day. The fish smuggler. Quite a catch.”
  • But then she continued the fish metaphor, “You’re going to have to cut him loose, Holly. We have bigger snails to pop” (The Lost Colony 35).

43

slide31
“When a pixie was instructed to do something, you could rest assured that that thing would be done.
  • “Pixies made wonderful employees. They were methodical, patient and determined.”
  • Plus, they were cute, with their baby faces and disproportionately large heads.
  • Just looking at a pixie cheered most people up. They were walking therapy” (The Opal Deception 13).

43

colfer s quaggas
Colfer’s Quaggas
  • “It’s a quagga, he realized. Half horse, half zebra, and there hasn’t been one in captivity for a hundred years.
  • Not exactly a throroughbred stallion, but it will have to do” (The Time Paradox 298)

43

colfer s sprites
Colfer’s Sprites
  • Colfer’s sprites have the gift of tongues, and they also have a strong aversion to light.
  • They have clawlike mottled green hands.
  • They have slitted golden eyes and long hooked noses. Their ears are pointed, and some of them are addicted to alcohol.
  • Sprites only had limited healing power. They could magic away a wart, but gaping wounds were beyond them” (The Arctic Incident 28).

43

colfer s trolls
Colfer’s Trolls
  • Colfer’s bull trolls have crimson pupils and retractable claws. They have a powerful sense of smell. They have curved tusks with serrated edges.
  • “Trolls were the meanest of the deep-tunnel creatures. They wandered the labyrinth, preying on anything unlucky enough to cross their path. Their tiny brains had no room for rules or restraint” (Artemis Fowl 54).
  • According to Holly Short, “Trolls occasionally eat their mothers” (The Time Paradox 47).

43

slide35
“Because trolls are by nature tunnel creatures, they are guided as much by their sense of smell as their night vision.
  • A blinded troll can often survive for years, navigating his way to food and water supplies by smell alone.
  • Mulch’s sudden gaseous recyclings sent a million conflicting scent messages to each troll’s brain.
  • The smell was bad enough, and the wind was sufficient to blow back the troll’s deadlocks, but the combination of scents inside the dwarf gas, including clay, vegetation, insect life, and everything else Mulch had eaten over the past few days, was enough to short out the trolls’ entire nervous systems” (The Opal Deception 328-329).

43

colfer s warlocks no 1 qwan
Colfer’s Warlocks (No 1, Qwan)
  • Most of Colfer’s warlocks are medics.
  • For example, it was a “senior warlock” who treated Trouble Kelp when he was wounded (The Arctic Incident 235).
  • The reason that Imp # 1 is taking so long to warp is that unlike most imps who warp into demons, Imp # 1 is warping into a warlock.

43

slide37
Colfer’s warlocks like to form a pentagram around their target.
  • They then spread an enchanted enclosure over it, and stop time.
  • This works fine until the warlocks have to use the bathroom.
  • Many sieges were lost because a warlock had had one extra glass of wine.

43

the mud people
The Mud People
  • Colfer’s “Mud People” are the humans. They are the same as J. K. Rowling’s Muggles, and they include:
  • Domovoy Butler and
  • Artemis Fowl

43

artemis fowl
Artemis Fowl
  • Artemis Fowl (a.k.a. Constantin Bashkir, Colonel Xavier Lee, Dr. C. Nile Dementia, & Malachy Pasteur) possibly possesses the greatest human intellect of his generation.
  • In the first book, Artemis Fowl is twelve years old.
  • In the other books, he is a young teenager.
  • Therefore, in a sense, Artemis Fowl is one of the little people.

43

slide40
Whenever Artemis tells his name, the response is always, “Isn’t that a girl’s name”?
  • Artemis always replies that the name is both a girl’s name and a boy’s name.
  • The name is derived from Artemis the hunter in Greek mythology.
  • The Fowl family motto is “Aurum potestas est” (Gold is power).
  • Chapter 4 of The Arctic Incident is entitled, “Fair is Fowl” (87)

43

butler
Butler
  • Artemis Fowl has a man-servant.
  • He is a Butler, whose name is Butler.
  • Because he is also a body guard, he is huge, and he is trained in most of the martial arts.

43

slide42
“The butlers had been serving the Fowls for centuries. It had always been that way.
  • Indeed, there were several eminent linguists of the opinion that this was how the common noun had originated.” (Artemis Fowl 21).

43

en fin
!En Fin

“En fin” is the French for “finally.”

It was in the “En fin” restaurant that Jon Spiro’s group tried to kill Artemis and Butler.

43

slide44
!“It all happened in a heart beat. Spiro clicked his fingers, and every customer in En Fin drew a weapon from inside his or her coat.
  • The eighty-year-old lady suddenly looked a lot more threatening with a revolver in her bony fist. Two armed waiters emerged from the kitchen wielding folding-stock machine guns” (The Eternity Code 19).

43

slide45
!“With his last vestige of strength, Butler raised a hand. “Good-bye, Artemis,” he said. “My friend.”
  • Artemis caught the hand. The tears were streaming now. Unchecked. “Good bye, Butler.”
  • The bodyguard’s sightless eyes were calm. “Artemis, call me Domovoi.”

43

slide46
!!“The name told Artemis two things. First, his lifelong ally had been named for a Slavic guardian spirit. Second, graduates of the Madam Ko school were instructed never to reveal their first names to their Principals.”
  • “Butler would never have broken this rule…unless it no longer mattered.”
  • “Good-bye, Domovoi,” sobbed the boy. “Good-bye, my friend.”
  • “The hand dropped. Butler was gone” (The Eternity Code 44).

43

slide47
!!!On page 136 of The Eternity Code, Mulch Diggums is talking to Domovoy Butler:
  • “Glad to see you’re alive by the way, big man. There was a rumor going round the underworld that you were dead.”
  • “I was,” said Butler, “But I’m better now.”

43

bibliography
Bibliography

Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl. New York, NY: Mirimax/Hyperion, 2001.

Colfer, Eoin, Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident. New York, NY: Mirimax/Hyperion, 2002.

Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code. New York, NY: Mirimax/Hyperion, 2003.

Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony. New York, NY: Mirimax/Hyperion, 2006.

43

slide50
Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl: The Opel Deception. New York, NY: Mirimax/Hyperion, 2006.

Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox. New York, NY: Mirimax/Hyperion, 2008.

Colfer, Eoin and Andrew Donkin. Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel. New York, NY: Mirimax/Hyperion, 2007.

Harmon, William, and C. Hugh Holman. A Handbook to Literature, 7th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996.

Nilsen, Don L. F. Humor in Irish Literature. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1996.

Waters, Maureen. The Comic Irishman. Albany, NY: State Univ of New York Press, 1984.

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