9 Death and Transfiguration Lane

(This was a recent item in “9 Chickweed Lane Classics” but I can’t tell what year the original publication would have been.)

So, what on earth is that “Tod and Verklarung’s” doing there? As Tod und Verklärung it is the title of an 1889 tone poem by Richard Strauss, always called in English Death and Transfiguration. Brooke McEldowney, the cartoonist, certainly intended the allusion — but in what way?

But what is it doing in Edda’s dialog? Is that supposed to be the fictively-actual name of a store in this universe? Or is it her parodic version of a different name, which her mother would recognize? And for the cartoonist, is it coming from “Abercrombie & Fitch”, or some other real store, or thin air? And are we meant to reflect on death and transfiguration?

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Here is a performance of that piece:

Or if you’re feeling very studious, here is a dissection of the music in detail: