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for Horror Night in Perros Guirec

11/13/2016 c1 45Igenlode Wordsmith
Ouch - the sudden outburst of swearing on the first paragraph is quite a jolt, and feels out of character for Leroux's Erik, and out of period for this setting. (I know German has different conventions for what is considered offensive, but in English this is pretty strong language. Having Erik swearing like a docker - when in canon he reacts instead with sarcasm and cold fury - doesn't feel right at all. The worst term he ever uses in Leroux is "immense niais", his favourite insult for the Daroga, which means a simpleton, a fool without experience.)

But he has certainly trapped himself in his 'angel' role; he can't very well object to her pious duty at her father's grave, particularly after he has already told her that he was sent in response to old Daaé's request! Asking her not to indulge in an earthly love but to dedicate herself solely to music, on the other hand, is entirely justifiable within the Angel's character...
Unsurprisingly, it clearly hasn't dawned on Erik that Christine's reason for inviting Raoul to Perros-Guirec is precisely because Erik keeps complaining that she must be in love with the young man if she avoids him so diligently; she is now trying to demonstrate to the Angel that she is not in love with her childhood friend by means of deliberately *not* avoiding him, but Erik's jealousy isn't rational enough for this message to come across...

It's an interesting thought that - at this stage - Christine wouldn't recognise Erik even if she sat right opposite him on the train. She has never seen him, only heard him, after all! (Although I think she would definitely take notice of any strange man who shared the 'diligence' with her all the way from Lannion station to Perros; to make the precise same journey would be too much of a coincidence, particularly since it's not a common seaside destination in January. Raoul is the only passenger on the early-morning coach, and when asked, the driver remembers Christine - so there clearly aren't many people using this route.)

Of course, it was helpful that Erik was making this journey in the depths of winter, since he had a perfect excuse for wrapping himself up!

"seasack" - kitbag (at least, that's what sailors used to carry)

Although Erik doesn't know this, staying at the inn would have been a very bad idea, since the landlady there takes a keen interest in the affairs of her guests (and follows the progress of Raoul and Christine's relationship with considerable curiosity ;-p) And he would have ended up sharing the meal-table with Christine, as well; Christine herself takes refuge in her room to avoid having to dine downstairs with Raoul, the only other guest...
I have to say that the mind boggles at the thought of just what that meal would have been like if all three of them had been present at dinner that evening :-D

I was surprised at the idea of a church attic - old English churches generally have open vaults or triangular 'hammerbeam' timbered interiors supporting the roof rather than a flat ceiling above which an attic seems likely - but I'm not very familiar with ecclesiastical architecture... But I'm amused by Erik's immediate assessment of the concept as being a good way to hide a corpse ;-p
And I like the cab-driver's sardonic comments about corpse-faced Erik taking himself conveniently to the graveyard!

Ah, so there were *two* violins! Well, that makes sense - one expensive instrument and one of sentimental value. And naturally Christine's father would want to be buried with the one of sentimental value...

"left it in her wardroom" - her dressing-room? (The "wardroom" is the officers' communal area on board a naval vessel.)

I note that in the novel, Erik specifically promises Christine that he will play for her in Perros by her father's grave and *on her father's violin* - without Leroux giving any explanation of how he is to do this if the violin was buried in Daaé's grave! So it's not just Raoul's imagination that introduces this element; Erik actively intends it. Convincing Christine that the violin, too, has been 'taken up to heaven' by the Angel of Music provides a good explanation for how Christine could possibly imagine such a thing to be possible :-)
Though of course if you believe in miracles anything is possible - even a violin playing from under the ground...

Do I recognise the mummified bat? ;-)

Oh, I see - Erik is in the bell-tower rather than above the roof of the nave. That makes more sense, from the stories I've read about where forgotten parish records etc. get found...

"he would have a hard time fending off amorous advances of other sailors" - again, this struck me as anachronistic, since the 19th-century stereotype of sailors was of men with an overwhelming interest in women - "a wife in every port"

"When Christine came to hear Mass that day, we spoke briefly" - ah, so that explains her mysterious assertion that her father told her that Raoul would be at the inn after Mass! (Indeed, I think that must have been what Leroux intended to signify by this statement, which had always puzzled me.)

It really was very strange behaviour in Erik to go to so much trouble over the Perros-Guirec expedition; presumably he wanted to impress upon Christine his powers of being everywhere (it would never do if she got the idea that she could escape from his influence merely by leaving the Opera House!) and his supernatural musical powers. And - judging by what he said at the time - he wanted to ensure that she did not succumb to Raoul's attractions by giving her a motivation to remain "a good girl" in the hopes of hearing the Angel before she left for Paris...

It's a good point that if Raoul was cold that night, then Erik, who had been waiting in advance for Christine to arrive, must have been even colder! (Although probably better prepared.)

"If yes, she needed protection for she was easy prey for every swindler " - he is busy convincing himself that it is practically his duty to hypnotise Christine lest someone else with less pure motives should do so first :-p

Yes, it must have been very awkward for Erik to have Raoul turning up at the stroke of midnight, at precisely the moment when he had promised to play for Christine. If he fails to play, then he will shake Christine's faith in him - if he plays, then he reveals his presence to a sceptical outsider. So his only option is to try to ensnare them *both*.
"Three is one too much. One to get rid of" - foreshadowing!

"warm golden cloud of the purest joy" - we don't know what Christine heard, but Leroux tells us that Raoul associates this tune with her father's hours of sadness rather than with joy, and describes it as "cette minute funèbre et rayonnante": this doleful, glorious moment. That does seem odd, though, since it's Jesus calling for Lazarus to rise back to life...

I like the idea of the ironic reversal: that it is *Erik* who needs to be called to rise from his self-imposed grave in the depths, he who is dead to the world and she who is the promised saviour.

"I could just bury him in some grave" - probably not, as the ground is frozen solid. Erik could certainly have left him in a ditch under the snow, though ;-p

Oh, so Erik does literally chuckle; it's not just the rattling of the skulls that gives Raoul that idea!

And of *course* Erik must have been left holding the naked and vulnerable violin at this point - that explains beautifully his otherwise inexplicable desperation to run away instead of fighting back :-D Even if it wasn't actually Daaé's violin, it was clearly a high quality instrument to produce such beautiful music; he would never risk it anywhere near a fight. He has to get it safely away and out of sight.

"My best route is through the sacristy to the sacristy" - typo? (Sacristy *door* perhaps?)

Indeed, one has to ask exactly what Raoul did think he was going to achieve by confronting an intruder in a lonely place, in the middle of the night and unarmed! I suspect he just assumed that the imposter would collapse in guilt once exposed and that his righteous indignation would automatically triumph, like a householder who rushes down to catch a burglar in outrage at the invasion of his house. It doesn't occur to him for one moment that his persistence in exposing the fake might lead him into physical danger :-p

A very striking image of Raoul and Erik as archetypes of light and dark in the church...

It's a good question as to why Erik doesn't take the time to dispose of Raoul while he is helpless - but I certainly didn't expect the answer to be the Daroga! (Well, it's Erik's conscience speaking, I think - he can't be under the illusion of being watched by a statue he hasn't even noticed until afterwards - but it's interesting that it takes the form of the Persian. I wonder how the latter would feel about finding his face attributed to a blasphemous carving of the Prophet Isa? :-p)

And an interesting insight that, while a darkened church is a sinister place for Raoul to encounter Erik, it's also a difficult place for Erik to commit cold-blooded murder in. He may not attend worship, but he doesn't have the luxury of being a complete unbeliever, however much he might like to. And making Raoul a sacrifice upon that altar is a little too blasphemous even for him.
(It's ironic that while Raoul fears he has encountered the Devil at Perros, Erik's fear is that he has encountered God there!)

If Raoul suffered a concussion when he fell (rather than collapsing from the hypothermia with which he is eventually found) that would explain why he remains unconscious for so long after he passes out. But I notice that Erik does *not*, in the end, attempt to wrap him up in the aisle carpet for warmth - which makes sense, since if Raoul had subsequently been found in such a bizarre condition then I feel someone would have mentioned it in the book!

"I have no desire to fall in on the road" - fall ill?
11/3/2016 c1 11emeraldphan
Sorry about the late review! This was the perfect idea for a Halloween story and it gives us a far more realistic look at the graveyard scene than the novel does, with all of Erik's practical arrangements. It seems like he goes to a lot of trouble just to play a violin and pretend to be an angel... His appeal to Christine to save him was very moving and the comparison he makes between himself and Lazarus - a dead man - was very interesting.
And Erik's hallucinations were so well written that I could really feel his terror! He discovered some very unwelcome things about himself - his selfishness, his ability to feel afraid and alone, and most of all, that he has a conscience...
11/2/2016 c1 31Shadowcrest Nightingale
Bravo! Bravo! I enjoyed this shift in Point of View from the classic scene from Leroux's work. You did a great job explaining how things got to be where they were.

And BTW, thanks for the preview. I enjoyed the honor of being asked to beta-read!
11/2/2016 c1 MyNina
Perros Guirec from Erik' s Point of view is a very interesting idea... of course he was very angry not to forbid the trip and you described the difficulties very well. Hiding in the attic was everything but comfortable, for sure - but he did it out of love...
His thoughts during playing the violine were wonderfully written - even Raoul was a part of the show and I really could feel with Erik when he suffered from having the 'whelp' in his way!
What was the voice which prevented him from killing the boy? Did he really see hallucinations? Or was it simply his remorse which spoke to him after a state of total exhaustion?
You created an interesting story line, did a lot of Research and wrote a fascinating one-shot, this was great work!
Best regards, Nina
11/1/2016 c1 4The Mad Old THAImer
I was quite heavily blown away in the first paragraph of the actual fanfic. Cursing? Rather un-Erik in my opinion.

Ha, Erik being haunted himself. I suppose that explains why Raoul's not dead. Hallucinations...

You sure portray Erik's fears quite... well. Perhaps a bit out of character though. He also springs back quickly from said setback as well.
10/31/2016 c1 Gaby1964
In aller Kürze : Genial ! Ehrlich ! ... Du hast das Schreckgespenst erschreckt ! ... A leiwande Gschicht :)
10/31/2016 c1 10angelofnight
That was insanity at it's best!
10/31/2016 c1 16Child of Dreams
(smirking smugly)

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