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5/17/2020 c1 6Antiquarianne
I loved this. I have often thought about Erik's years with Garnier, and that very question: how do you manage to work with a group of people for a significant amount of time and then simply... stop? I think you did a good job of illustrating just why Erik is so difficult to get along with, in spite of whatever good intentions he may have. I also appreciate the shift he undergoes- first, wanting to leave to make things easier for his 'friends,' but then an understandable resentment once he realizes they weren't his friends at all. And then the ending seems very suitable for your Erik, in that he glamorizes his choice to leave behind his attempts at a normal life: "A beautiful body for his tortured soul. A chance to find peace."

As a side note, I also one hundred percent also subscribe to the idea that Erik's subterranean flat has its origins during his time working on the Garnier and that it saw use during the Commune. It's been part of my headcanon since the first time I read the novel.

And lastly, my favorite little tidbit: "it was his idea to create some of the walls hollow to reduce the weight, especially in the higher level." Clever logic, and I'm so glad someone realizes that a number of people would have had to been aware of Erik's 'secret passageways' during the course of construction.
3/11/2019 c1 lewovo
Wow... I just really likes your Leroux Erik, much more than any other Eriks or even your own ALW Erik(though your ALW/LND Erik certainly is also amazing). I don’t know why but it just feels like theses stories could fit right in with the novel.

Honestly, people you considered as friends who actually talk behind your back can really be painful to find out. And in Erik’s case...15 years! That’s some long term relationship!

So Erik had another man as the people person! It’s probably for the best—if one thing my business degree have teached me is one does not go far with out networking and relationships (which is unfortunate since I dislike parties and social events as much as Erik).

I have been away from Phantom fandom for quite some time (I think last time I was this interested in Phantom was end of my high school to my freshman year in college), now 2 years later when I first check FF you won’t believe how happy I am to see you updated so many amazing stories! You are my favorite writer in the Phantom fandom...and “If Love is a Flower” and “The Pug of the Opera” are still on going, yay!
4/14/2018 c1 11emeraldphan
This is an original angle, with Erik being discussed by several people who know him as someone they work with/for, not as the feared Opera Ghost. Allowing this group to be the main characters works very well, as it introduces Erik to us in a different way.
The idea of Erik being socially awkward and a bit odd, rather than scary, is something I've thought about for a while. Some of his behaviour (although not all) could be explained by Aspergers or something similar - not making small talk, not quite understanding what people are saying etc. It would certainly make him come across as odd or eccentric, especially in an environment where he's expected to attend social gatherings.

I like how Garnier defends him and points out his positive attributes and how the Opera House might not exist if Erik had not been involved.
In the context of this story, it's not surprising he turned his back on society and retreated into a world of his own creation where he wouldn't have to worry about social niceties...
4/11/2018 c1 41AmadErik
I love how Garnier accepts Erik as he is - moody, odd, ugly - but he has his merits. I never actually believed there were no people around Erik who appreciated hm as he was - he just felt that way because he did not think any of these people were honest. It is like that when you are bullied for years- you start to take compliments suspiciously after some time because you never believe they mean it because of your low self confidence.

It is again an awesome story, depicting how people feel towards him: pity, horror, discomfort, annoyance... but not really hatred.
4/9/2018 c1 4UncommonNonsenseSEM
Speaking as an autistic person myself, I've always seen a lot of autistic/Asperger traits in Erik. The lack of social ease is one of them. I'm glad that someone else does too! Of course, with Erik, the autism traits may be more neglect-induced than genetic, but who knows... autism and the genetic differences that cause other birth injuries are often linked. No one's ever provided a good medical diagnosis for Erik's facial deformity, so it really is all supposition.

The other autistic traits I see in Erik:
His obsessions - autistic special interests.
His musicality - music is a common obsession for autie types, and we're more apt to have both synesthesia and perfect pitch than non-autistics.
His attention to detail - autistics are usually detail-obsessed, often losing sight of the whole in pursuit of the pieces.
The way his manner of walking is described - autistics often have an odd walking gait.
His lack of fear of heights - a lot of us are compulsive climbers, lacking any sense of self preservation.
And of course, the social skills issues! Even as one who is over 40, I *still* have problems with social skills...

This one really hit home for me. I've overheard similar things said about me when people thought I wasn't around to hear. When it happens over and over again, year after year, it really just does become easier to give up trying to play a role that goes against all that you are, one you're never going to be good at, one that provides no reward for all that hard cognitive work. Nowadays, a lot of auties give up on having real-world friendships and socialise only online, where the lack of facial expression, vocal inflection, and body language makes it so much easier to do. But back then, the only option was to become reclusive.
Yeah... Here, Erik and I are the same.
4/9/2018 c1 45Igenlode Wordsmith
Fifteen years working on the same building... I hadn't thought about what that must be like. It's a large chunk of somebody's working career; a sizeable piece of his life. They all must have thought at some point that the new Opera House was a folly that would never be finished.

Hmm, your description of Erik's habits here seems very specific (and not closely based on Leroux); did you have a particular colleague in mind, by any chance? ;-)
Although I was amused by the idea that Erik leaves people 'notes' criticising their work and making suggestions, even at this stage in his career!

It's an interesting suggestion that Erik's violent rages with the workmen are largely simulated in an attempt to win their respect on a level that he thinks they will understand (which would suggest a certain attempt at empathy, save that the men apparently find the whole performance rather amusing!) And that he originally had a partner (who has presumably now died), thus explaining how a man whom no-one wants to employ had managed to become a successful contractor in the first place.

"Erik had rehearsed this line for days before this private party. It was not easy for Erik to ask for something" - so Erik is actually begging his colleagues for employment?

"He had not left when he seemed to do so, but stayed to hear what they said about him" - ouch, I hadn't realised he was doing that! Although those who eavesdrop to hear news of themselves tend to hear things they would rather not have known :-(

He pointed out that my wife can't dance - you have a section here where all the quotes are different, for some reason...

He asked how it was possible that the Jacobins were so slobby

("sloppy")

to miss his grandfather, which was bad enough!" Jaques insisted. Erik shook his head. He still did not know what he had done wrong then, he had asked out of genuine interest and hope for a good adventure story - yes, I can see how that question misphrased could come out sounding completely different from the way it was intended :-(

"It was all he could do for his friends, like it was all he could do for his family was to run away for good" - a nice comparison; after all, we know that he has already abandoned his home once...

It's an intriguing suggestion, too, that Erik had originally built his basement flat as temporary accommodation during the building of the Opera without any intention of spending more than the occasional night there (though I'm not convinced that he would have bothered - or managed to contrive - to keep its very existence absolutely secret for all those years merely in the name of having peace and quiet from his fellow-workers!)

And it's interesting to bring in the old legend of the animal/human guardian sacrifice buried in the foundations of a building (though I think the whole point is that the sacrifice should be ritually slain in order to bind its spirit to the building, and Erik has no intention of actually dying... yet). I like the concept that he wants to take on this thing of beauty that he has made - the building - in place of his own unsatisfactory physical body; it gives a new meaning to the concept of 'the Phantom of the Opera'.
4/9/2018 c1 MyNina
Thanks a lot for sending a message to me... otherwise I might have missed this remarkable story!
You answererd a good question why Erik would quit a job he definitely enjoyed just to live underground and lonesome... Yes, he was a genius but bis lack of social skills and empathy was definitely a problem before he became the Opera Ghost. To hear these words from his colleagues broke his heart, but they only spoke out the truth about society' s cruelty. He would never be a part of their world, and Erik knew more than enough humiliation in his life.
I absolutely adore your thoughts, especially your comparison of Erik being the human soul in the body of the Opera Garnier building... Great work!
4/8/2018 c1 52AResidentGhost
I completely understand how he feels. It is how I often have felt, especially as somrone wuth high-functioning autism, that incongruous feeling when it comes to social norms.
4/8/2018 c1 labdelmar
Poor Erik. I wasn't surprised that he was waiting outside the door. I like how you described his social ineptness. And his reactions to what he heard was fitting. It’s so sad that he misunderstood all of the relationships that he had with these people. His resignation that he doesn’t fit in is painful. That last paragraph was beautiful. This is a great Leroux prequel.
4/8/2018 c1 Leonie
Poor erik so well meaning but never really fitting in. Somehow i knew he'd be at the door listening in. I've so much empathy for him.
4/8/2018 c1 2Write-ABC
Loved it! Maybe it’s not meant to be but I interpreted this as a back story to Leroux’s Erik. Very well done. Really a great concept.
4/8/2018 c1 10angelofnight
A very different telling than Kay. Quite interesting!

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