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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 09-20-2014 at 05:48 PM
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It's not a story of Raoul and Christine the happy couple, but a story of a strange and very unhappy man. The way it was written makes the reader feel pity for him. I think the simple answer to this question is there are readers among us who want Erik to be happy so they throw Christine at him and make them a couple.
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Name: Lynn Rossignol | Gender: Female | Age: 39 | Posts: 30 | Roses: 10
Old 09-20-2014 at 05:56 PM
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One of these days, when I am not so wrapped up in my current project, I will reread Leroux's from the beginning again. I confess that it has been at least a couple of years since I read it cover to cover. And that DOES make a difference.

There are many interpretations out there even just hovering around Leroux's without any other influence.

I believe that the relationships within the story are so much more complex than can be summed up in singular array ... I think it was left the way it was because real life isn't cut and dried. Real life love has many levels. Would throwing Christine at Erik make him happy? As I mentioned--in truth IF that is the case, then no it doesn't really. It ultimately breaks him.


"The only way to ensure a dream withstands the torrents of time is to lay the foundation in hard work and skills. Anything less and the accomplishment is not worth recognition."-Erik- from my novel ~Nightingale's Strain~
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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 09-20-2014 at 06:05 PM
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I believe that the relationships within the story are so much more complex than can be summed up in singular array ... I think it was left the way it was because real life isn't cut and dried. Real life love has many levels. Would throwing Christine at Erik make him happy? As I mentioned--in truth IF that is the case, then no it doesn't really. It ultimately breaks him.
So true. And that also means that Raoul's love would not be the easy choice either.
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Name: Lynn Rossignol | Gender: Female | Age: 39 | Posts: 30 | Roses: 10
Old 09-20-2014 at 06:26 PM
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I suppose I should probably clarify that statement typed in the wee morning hours ... as come across in juxtaposition of the complex relationships statement ...

Callously, I had intended the comparison of the relationships as stand alone (which admittedly doesn't really work). Not that I am retracting it entirely. Raoul was a stable aristocrat from an established family, he was physically attractive, and only suffered from a 'chip on the shoulder' attitude quite common in men of the era. (again, this is from my memory of having the read the original the last time several years ago) He seems rather gift wrapped as the perfect choice ... on its own he would be a dream come true. Now, we look at Erik and we have the man who taught her to unleash her natural talent to new heights, has rearranged his solitary world to make room for her (ok, yes, there is some selfishness on his part there!), ... however Erik is seriously flawed both physically and emotionally. Artistically, passionately (as any artist will tell you) there is a deep connection to one's personal muse that absolutely keys into an essence of being. Choosing him would mean accepting the challenges he faces on a daily basis ... a very abnormal life but remaining in connection to the man who inspired her.

The depth of the story to me lies in the fact that she cannot chose both ... Raoul's relationship is mundane and ordinary, but ultimately safe. Erik's is magical and inspiring, but seriously compromising.

Neither one is an easy choice due to the innate sacrifices when they are brought up against one another.


"The only way to ensure a dream withstands the torrents of time is to lay the foundation in hard work and skills. Anything less and the accomplishment is not worth recognition."-Erik- from my novel ~Nightingale's Strain~
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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 09-20-2014 at 06:38 PM
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Artistically, passionately (as any artist will tell you) there is a deep connection to one's personal muse that absolutely keys into an essence of being. Choosing him would mean accepting the challenges he faces on a daily basis ... a very abnormal life but remaining in connection to the man who inspired her.
This is interesting. It sounds more like Christine would not be choosing Erik out of love, but more as her personal muse. She would endure his abnormal life in order to maintain that deep connection with her own inner talent.
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Name: Lynn Rossignol | Gender: Female | Age: 39 | Posts: 30 | Roses: 10
Old 09-20-2014 at 06:59 PM
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Do you have any idea how deep that an artist's passion ties into their own self? It would be so much more than that. With a relationship built upon such a base it transcends the mundane ... the act of love here sustains the essence of creativity and breaths life into them.

I married my muse ... can you tell? Granted, he's not Erik! But, the depth of that relationship to an artistic spirit reaches a level that spawns more energy towards creation. <shrug> Maybe it's because I'm an artist and know so many who feel they cannot live without the affection of their muse that I cannot deny the presence of that link. Personal experience is a hard thing to ignore.


"The only way to ensure a dream withstands the torrents of time is to lay the foundation in hard work and skills. Anything less and the accomplishment is not worth recognition."-Erik- from my novel ~Nightingale's Strain~
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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 09-20-2014 at 07:38 PM
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Do you have any idea how deep that an artist's passion ties into their own self?
Um... yes I do. I am a professional artist so I think I understand your statement pretty well.

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It would be so much more than that. With a relationship built upon such a base it transcends the mundane ... the act of love here sustains the essence of creativity and breaths life into them.

I married my muse ... can you tell? Granted, he's not Erik! But, the depth of that relationship to an artistic spirit reaches a level that spawns more energy towards creation. <shrug> Maybe it's because I'm an artist and know so many who feel they cannot live without the affection of their muse that I cannot deny the presence of that link. Personal experience is a hard thing to ignore.
Not everyone falls in love with their muse though. And while you state that was a base for a relationship, it's not the only thing about your husband you fell in love with. Nor do I believe it would be the only thing to sustain your love.

I think your argument that Christine viewed Erik as her muse has merit. However, she was never able to get above and beyond that view. And his being her muse was not enough. There has to be more to the relationship that that. He wanted more. She did not. Hence, he had to force her to marry him.
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Name: Anne | Gender: Female | Posts: 66 | Roses: 10
Old 12-08-2014 at 01:33 AM
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I'll admit, I have not reread Leroux's as recently as Kay's and hers left a more dramatic impression upon me.

I did, however, reach back over my shoulder and grabbed my copy of Leroux's (I have the books out for reference purposes at the moment ... and really wish I could read French and had the original wording as I know translations muddle things). I guess in her actions--specifically how she is described in response to Raoul's 'sleeping/drugged' form upon the sofa doesn't read so much as her having truly chosen him. If she was 'acting' when Erik leaves the room there was a good time for her to show concern, if she loved Raoul THAT deeply she would be taking every chance to go to him ... and yet mysteriously there is no reaction that the Persian notes at all. It is like Raoul is not even there. Later, in Erik's tearful description of what had transpired, it did read to me as though she had indeed embraced Erik (in a way). Her actions, the expressions described in her eyes (granted, yes, I realize this is description coming from an unreliable narrator in a fit of melancholy ... but it is what Leroux gives us, which means it is left to some interpretation as to what really occurred.)

In my mind I guess I always saw her veering throughout the book towards Erik; unconscious actions, clips and phrases, even some of her discussions with Raoul seemed to reveal there was a earnest connection that she was troubled to identify/acknowledge. Something that extended beyond the revelation of what her Angel truly was. Let's face it, sometimes having feelings towards someone (even in the mundane sense) can be intimidating, especially for someone who is on the shier side.

Now, I admit, that is what I see in the words penned well over a century ago in another language with radically different rules of etiquette. It is my interpretation.
Actually, Raoul was taken prisoner. After he got well he was moved.
I'm going to have to side with Raoul. It's easy to sympathize with Erik, but ALL of Christine's actions are for his protection or her willingness to not be forced to stay down there in the book.

In ALW's, Christine kisses him out of compassion. You see, Christine is a pure, pure girl. She manipulates, yes, but it is out of good intentions. I do believe that she had the capacity to love him. However, I do not think that she was meant to for two reasons: 1 - it is a tragedy. The phantom was meant to be redeemed and left alone. Seeing as there was never a sequel written by Leroux, it was supposed to end there. The beauty in it is that Christine shows him compassion. She may not grant him a happy ending, but she gives him the love (there is more than one kind, after all) that he needs to taste all the happiness that the world can offer. Christine gets to be with the one she loves. Beautiful ending.
2 - The Phantom killed. Had he not been a liar, kidnapper, and prominently a killer, Christine might have learned to love him. But she did not, because she knew what it felt like to be lonely, and she never killed. She understands that Erik was never loved, which is why she shows him compassion, but she cannot understand his distorted soul. He wanted revenge on the world, and he killed innocent people. Christine knows what it is like to lose a loved one, and she could never learn to love someone who would cause others that same pain. Especially when he knew it was wrong. It is their hearts' intentions that set them apart, not faces.

I believe that people want Erik to be with Christine because he is so easy to relate to. Everyone has felt lonely or hurt. Raoul is not nearly as complex, yet he still messes up in the book and the ALW musical. Christine remembered Raoul after all their years apart. To me, that shows a stirring affection between the two. Following this, Raoul has to decide whether she's really worth it as he realizes what danger they are both in. In the end, he proves his love by willingly begging her (the Persian in Leroux's book) to let him die for her.
Christine shows Erik true compassion, yes. In the book, she lets him kiss her, showing him that she is sincerely going to stay. In ALW's musical, she kisses him, commiting herself to stay with him for Raoul's safety. They spend six months together in the musical, or twelve in the North American tour, or three in the movie, or two in Leroux's book. In the musical, they are almost certain that they are free, although Christine is still a little hesitant. They had time to get to know each other, and their engagement meant that much to Christine.
We see Raoul mess up, by not as impactful impulse in the novel, and by PONR in the musical, and he begs her to forgive him in the final lair. He is humbled.

Therefore, I like the ending and the story as a stand alone one. I don't really consider LND or any other sequels as THE sequels, but each as A sequel.
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