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Re: Killing women?

  • Joined: 5 Jun 2005 14:28
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Quote:

stefanie_bean wrote:
Has anyone read an older book by John Fowles called "The Collector?" It's a horrifyingly morbid tale about a young, demented man who collects butterflies - and decides to add a beautiful young woman to his assemblage.


I read it last summer, found it in the local library and read it during night that I didn't get to sleep. I picked it because it was "advertised" as an retelling of Beauty and the Beast, or something. I'd have to say that I found it quite grey book, i.e. I don't have nor bad nor good things to say about it. I don't find it worth reading.
Anyway, I agree that The Collector has some things common with Poto. What ever the protagonist is called, he prepares everything well for Marianne(?) to enter his home, just like Erik has everything in order for Christine. His attitude towards Marianne is calm and yet he is insecure what truly to do with her. Like I've always thought that in ALW movie when Christine faints in the lair, she does kind of a favor to Erik, who doesn't seem to know what to do with her: talk, seduce her... But if Christine would fall very ill like Marianne, I believe Erik would do his utmost to find help for her. The Collector doesn't, and quite soon after Marianne's death he's planning to find a new item for himself. Though Erik my have coolly 'collected' relationships with woman before, Christine is the woman above anyone else.

Posted on: 6 Jan 2006 10:53
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Re: Killing women?

  • Joined: 9 Feb 2005 2:10
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Quote:

Cecilia wrote:
I read it last summer, found it in the local library and read it during night that I didn't get to sleep. I picked it because it was "advertised" as an retelling of Beauty and the Beast, or something. ...


Whoa - that's a strange marketing take on "The Collector." I think I will go back and read it, specifically looking for "Phantomesque" elements. As I recall, it was the "collector's" cold, implacable imperviousness to any sort of morality that made the book so creepy. Erik in Leroux (to me) shows the same pattern - the entire lack of understanding that there's anything wrong with peeping, stalking, ultimately kidnapping (and threatening to kill) the girl you love.

Interestingly, the David Staller version of POTO hints at the same thing as Fowle's book - he has tried this stunt with "the others" before, and at the end moves on to approach one of the ballerinas after Christine has left.

Posted on: 7 Jan 2006 13:52
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Re: Killing women?

  • Joined: 8 May 2005 9:08
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Dernhelm76 said, Quote:
I can't imagine him luring women to his home for a quick strangle over tea and crumpets. Plus, what girl in her right mind would ever go wandering in the cellars? And what chance would said girl have of discovering him if he didn't want them to? I would say the likelihood of him bringing girls down to his swingingly morbid bachelor pad is about nil. Christine in my opinion is a complete fluke in this regard.


I hadn't quite imagined "a quick strangle over tea and crumpets," but that's very picturesque, now that you mention it.

Actually, I would think that women would venture down to the cellars occasionally. Leroux depicts the Opera House as teeming with employees who virtually lived there. I imagine many of them went exploring from time to time. Christine seemed to know the place well--the upper reaches, at least. And some of the thousands of opera or ballet fans also might be inclined to explore the place. Perhaps couples would venture below looking for privacy (Erik sees them--phic plot idea 35a) or the ballet rats would dare each other to explore the cellars.

The shadow in the felt hat patrolled the cellars and returned lost people to safety, suggesting that such a lost person was not a rare occurrence. Most often it would not be a young woman, but then again, since "women are so curious," I think it would happen now and again.

I believe the shadow in the felt hat was one of Erik's guises. This mysterious character had the semi-official sanction of the management, and he also could divert people from Erik's lair. By being the shadow, Erik kept tabs on those who explored the cellars without revealing more of his identity. And perhaps that way he also quickly knew when a young woman ventured below unattended...

Posted on: 7 Jan 2006 18:26
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Re: Killing women?
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  • Joined: 21 Feb 2005 13:26
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Tea and crumpets? Never! Erik's a Frenchman, not a Brit!
Oysters and champagne more like. Mais oui. Or a chicken wing and the infamous Tokay.

(that was my frivolous post of the week, I promise to be more serious in future)

Posted on: 7 Jan 2006 18:29
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Re: Killing women?

  • Joined: 8 May 2005 9:08
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We get a frivolous post of the week? Goody! Here's mine.

(Compared to my post, Jennie, yours is substantial.)

Okay, okay, I promise to have been more substantial in the past.

Posted on: 7 Jan 2006 21:41

Edited by GlovedHand on 7 Jan 2006 21:45:52
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Re: Killing women?

  • Joined: 9 Feb 2005 23:07
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Quote:

Jennie wrote:
Tea and crumpets? Never! Erik's a Frenchman, not a Brit!
Oysters and champagne more like. Mais oui. Or a chicken wing and the infamous Tokay.

(that was my frivolous post of the week, I promise to be more serious in future)


Quite right. He would have had something much more culterally appropriate. However, it wasn't necessarily the items themselves, but the tongue-in-cheek imagery they conjured in my besieged brain. Tea and crumpets just conveys a feeling of sophisticated geniality as contrasted with the brutality of strangulation which the chicken wing and Tokay doesn't quite cover. (Glad you enjoyed it my dear Gloved Hand.)

Strangely enough, this strangulation theme has put me in mind of the poem "Porphyrias Lover." In this particular rather disturbing work it describes two lovers in front of a fire. The woman expresses a desire that their lives never change that they might always be thus together. To accede to her wishes her sweetheart very thoughtfully strangles her with her own beautiful blond tresses. The end of the piece talks about how they are still sitting by the fire after what one can only assume is an extended period of time. Dead wife anyone? Sorry, odd connection but it just happened to pop up there.

Posted on: 9 Jan 2006 19:54
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Re: Killing women?

  • Joined: 9 Feb 2005 23:07
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Quote:

Actually, I would think that women would venture down to the cellars occasionally. Leroux depicts the Opera House as teeming with employees who virtually lived there. I imagine many of them went exploring from time to time. Christine seemed to know the place well--the upper reaches, at least. And some of the thousands of opera or ballet fans also might be inclined to explore the place. Perhaps couples would venture below looking for privacy (Erik sees them--phic plot idea 35a) or the ballet rats would dare each other to explore the cellars.

The shadow in the felt hat patrolled the cellars and returned lost people to safety, suggesting that such a lost person was not a rare occurrence. Most often it would not be a young woman, but then again, since "women are so curious," I think it would happen now and again.

I believe the shadow in the felt hat was one of Erik's guises. This mysterious character had the semi-official sanction of the management, and he also could divert people from Erik's lair. By being the shadow, Erik kept tabs on those who explored the cellars without revealing more of his identity. And perhaps that way he also quickly knew when a young woman ventured below unattended...


Agreed that this is an altogether possible scenario. He would know who is employed doing what where. I have no doubt that he would have known exactly which women would be missed and with which he could safely abscond. That is not why I don't think it likely. Throughout Leroux he is paranoid about people (any people) discovering his home. I don't see him bringing anybody down to risk discovery without a dang good reason. And though I could see him trying to acquire a woman's company in this way once or twice, I don't think it would be a habitual thing. Erik is brilliant and would not continue in a line of action which would be fruitless. Let's see, I abduct woman, she sees me, she screams, I silence her, then I have to clean up the mess. After about the third time (if that long) I would think he would have understood that this type of courtship just doesn't have the desired results. Plus, if he had done that a few times, I surmise that he would have been able to accomplish his objectives with Christine in a much more practiced or successful manner. Practice does make perfect, you know.

Posted on: 9 Jan 2006 20:07
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Re: Killing women?

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The poem "Porphyria's Lover"; Erik--a serial killer?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ (the squigglies...they're back!)

Dernhelm76 said,
Quote:
Strangely enough, this strangulation theme has put me in mind of the poem "Porphyrias Lover." In this particular rather disturbing work it describes two lovers in front of a fire. The woman expresses a desire that their lives never change that they might always be thus together. To accede to her wishes her sweetheart very thoughtfully strangles her with her own beautiful blond tresses. The end of the piece talks about how they are still sitting by the fire after what one can only assume is an extended period of time. Dead wife anyone? Sorry, odd connection but it just happened to pop up there.
Not an odd connection at all! This poem--so appropriate to this thread--has already been discussed on the "Erik's library" thread. Apolloswings (now known as Rossignol) proposed several poems, including Quote:
3.Robert Browning- a contemporary of Tennyson, he wrote a poem called Porphyria's Lover that is, to say the least, very dark.
I was inspired to read the poem, and commented on it as follows,
Quote:
Wow--"Porphyria's Lover" by Browning is mega-creepy! For those of you who haven't read it, it's about a man whose lover visits him and offers herself to him with utmost devotion, and at the moment that he knows she is truly his...he strangles her, and proceeds to sit admiringly with her corpse, admiring her beauty and the preservation of her love! (shiver, shiver) Erik, of course, did the opposite; at the moment that he understood Christine was truly his, he gave her her freedom to leave him. But I do picture Erik reading such a poem--much in the way we read horror fiction--to experience in a distanced way actions that might be bizarrely intriguing, but that we would never do ourselves.
I think that back then I had a more complimentary view of Erik's character.

Dernhelm, as for your arguments about the unlikelihood of Erik frequently preying on women, Quote:
Throughout Leroux he is paranoid about people (any people) discovering his home. I don't see him bringing anybody down to risk discovery without a dang good reason. And though I could see him trying to acquire a woman's company in this way once or twice, I don't think it would be a habitual thing. Erik is brilliant and would not continue in a line of action which would be fruitless. Let's see, I abduct woman, she sees me, she screams, I silence her, then I have to clean up the mess. After about the third time (if that long) I would think he would have understood that this type of courtship just doesn't have the desired results. Plus, if he had done that a few times, I surmise that he would have been able to accomplish his objectives with Christine in a much more practiced or successful manner. Practice does make perfect, you know.
I have to say I agree with you that such incidents would not be frequent. (Dern it, you argued that well!) So he's not a large-scale serial killer. But I think he might have an occasional gruesome incident of that sort in his past.

Posted on: 10 Jan 2006 12:23
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Re: Killing women?

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Months ago, GlovedHand wrote: Quote:
Wow--"Porphyria's Lover" ... about a man whose lover visits him and offers herself to him with utmost devotion, and at the moment that he knows she is truly his...he strangles her, and proceeds to sit admiringly with her corpse, admiring her beauty and the preservation of her love! (shiver, shiver) Erik, of course, did the opposite; at the moment that he understood Christine was truly his, he gave her her freedom to leave him. But I do picture Erik reading such a poem--much in the way we read horror fiction--to experience in a distanced way actions that might be bizarrely intriguing, but that we would never do ourselves.
Then, GH said in revision: "I think that back then I had a more complimentary view of Erik's character."

Yes, Erik gives Christine back, but further reading of the first time Christine sees Erik's room, and hears DJT, just gives me this "Hannibal-Lector-ish" feeling that Erik's nattering on about "enlarging the coffin when we've come to the end of our love," and dying when he finishes DJT, have really sinister emotions behind them. It seems to me that even before he met Christine, Erik planned to kill himself at the conclusion of DJT, and "take it to the grave with him."

I think after he meets Christine, but while still in that "angel of music" phase, he is planning and preparing some kind of love relationship with her - but doesn't expect her to live through it, either because his "monsterness" is so all-pervasive that it kills her, or because he himself is going to kill her, Porphyria-style. After all, that kind of "dead wife" won't ever get old, talk back, argue, rip off your mask, lose her voice or her looks, etc. She also won't criticize your sexual performance, or compare you to other lovers, or make you feel really, really ugly and full of self-hate.

Like you, GH, the more time I spend with Leroux's Erik, the more the marshmallow creme washes off.

Quote:
I have to say I agree with you that such incidents would not be frequent. (Dern it, you argued that well!) So he's not a large-scale serial killer. But I think he might have an occasional gruesome incident of that sort in his past.


Well, Erik didn't work on DJT all that often, either. But when he did, he was intense about it.

Usually serial killers don't just grab people randomly and drag them off screaming. (That's more Hollywood than anything else.) They are very hard to catch for several reasons; one is their (usually) above-average intelligence. Another reason they persist at large for so long is because they *lure* their victims - they appear harmless to them, and they get very good at either winning their confidence, or luring them so quickly that no one literally notices that they've disappeared.

The Persian is highly suspicious of Erik, even before Erik has regular visits from Christine. I don't think he's just musing over Erik's old contract killings for the Shah. Something weird is going on down there in the fifth cellar, and probably has been ever since Erik took up residence.

Posted on: 10 Jan 2006 21:23
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Re: Killing women?

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Considering the sheer number of "occasional gruesome incidents" of various types in his life perpetuated against him and others, I concede that it is possible that strangling women by accident would actually seem to be one of the more benign actions he has taken. (Odd thought, that.) Oh, and I lost track of the Erik library after a while. It got too big for his home to contain or my brain to keep track of. (Strangely enough, I actually like that creepy poem. Everyone else in my English class hated it at the time, but after some heated discussion, I concluded they just didn't understand the concepts involved.)

Posted on: 10 Jan 2006 21:26
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Re: Killing women?

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Quote:

Dernhelm76 wrote:Throughout Leroux he is paranoid about people (any people) discovering his home. I don't see him bringing anybody down to risk discovery without a dang good reason.


I don't see him fouling his own nest, either. The cellars were a very large place, the communard cells and tunnels probably like honeycombs all through the other side, away from Erik's home. Many people could have disappeared down there, and probably did.

Personally, I don't see Erik as setting out deliberately to kill women. However, I can see him meaning something very horrible by "If a woman has seen my face, she stays with me [forever?]"

Posted on: 12 Jan 2006 23:03
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Re: Killing women?

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I think Erik definetly would hesitate before killing a women, but maybe it depends on who the woman is. Like take for instance, the conceirge who took Mdm. Giry's place. She ugly and unwanted and he probably didnt think twice about killing her. While as a young girl like christine or someone who doesnt usually cause trouble might recieve pity and be spared.

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Posted on: 14 Jan 2006 2:10
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Re: Killing women?

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Quote:

phantom_admirer wrote:
I think Erik definetly would hesitate before killing a women, but maybe it depends on who the woman is. Like take for instance, the conceirge who took Mdm. Giry's place. She ugly and unwanted and he probably didnt think twice about killing her. While as a young girl like christine or someone who doesnt usually cause trouble might recieve pity and be spared.

4evr Erik's phan
BCJ


The person who took Madame Giry's place was doing her job and did not deserve to die. She was just in the wrong place in the wrong time. I don't think Erik exactly knew where the chadelier would fall...and it was just ironic (Leroux planned it this way) that the conceirge would be the only one killed. Erik like other people have mentioned was like a snake...he only bothered you if you bothered him. I think that would include women.

Posted on: 14 Jan 2006 3:17
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Re: Killing women?

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Quote:

sabrinafair2 wrote:
Quote:

phantom_admirer wrote:
I think Erik definetly would hesitate before killing a women, but maybe it depends on who the woman is. Like take for instance, the conceirge who took Mdm. Giry's place. She ugly and unwanted and he probably didnt think twice about killing her. While as a young girl like christine or someone who doesnt usually cause trouble might recieve pity and be spared.

4evr Erik's phan
BCJ


The person who took Madame Giry's place was doing her job and did not deserve to die. She was just in the wrong place in the wrong time. I don't think Erik exactly knew where the chadelier would fall...and it was just ironic (Leroux planned it this way) that the conceirge would be the only one killed. Erik like other people have mentioned was like a snake...he only bothered you if you bothered him. I think that would include women.


Thats a good point. And probably the most releastic one also. thanks

4evr Erik's phan,
Bethany

Posted on: 21 Jan 2006 3:53
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Re: Killing women?

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Well, Erik didn't work on DJT all that often, either. But when he did, he was intense about it.

Usually serial killers don't just grab people randomly and drag them off screaming. (That's more Hollywood than anything else.) They are very hard to catch for several reasons; one is their (usually) above-average intelligence. Another reason they persist at large for so long is because they *lure* their victims - they appear harmless to them, and they get very good at either winning their confidence, or luring them so quickly that no one literally notices that they've disappeared.

The Persian is highly suspicious of Erik, even before Erik has regular visits from Christine. I don't think he's just musing over Erik's old contract killings for the Shah. Something weird is going on down there in the fifth cellar, and probably has been ever since Erik took up residence.


True, the sign of a truly successful serial killer is their ability to blend in and appear harmless. In fact, I was watching a documentary the other day about a man who admitted to killing at least sixty people; more than the Green River Killer, Bunde or any other more nefarious individuals. He was at large for so long because he appeared completely mundane.

So, to point out the blatantly obvious, how the heck does Erik accomplish that? Blend in? Look harmless? You have got to be kidding! One glance at him is enough to send most people scurrying for cover. And I think even somebody half blind would be able to pick him out in a police line up. His only recourse is not to be seen at all, which is why he resorts to using his voice on poor, gullible Christine in the first place.

Something weird in the fifth cellar? You mean other than the fact that a rather eccentric, at times volatile, deformed genius lives there? Of course the Persian is keeping close tabs on Erik (or trying to). Whether there is anything truly sinister going on or not, the Persian has to some extent accepted responsibility for Erik's future behavior. He is going to attempt to make sure Erik abides by his promises. Being familiar with Erik's past record he is merely leery about leaving him alone.

Posted on: 23 Jan 2006 22:33
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Re: Killing women?

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Quote:

Dernhelm76 wrote:
Quote:


True, the sign of a truly successful serial killer is their ability to blend in and appear harmless. ... So, to point out the blatantly obvious, how the heck does Erik accomplish that? Blend in? Look harmless? You have got to be kidding! One glance at him is enough to send most people scurrying for cover.


But that's not exactly what's going on. Erik *is* able to move about in society - he's been a successful contractor (which involves managing workers and obtaining contracts - not exactly possible if you terrify people beyond reason.) He dons his fake nose/mustache and goes out shopping. He goes out for carriage rides, and there's no reason to suspect he started that only for Christine. He even crashes the managers' farewell dinner party and manages to not get himself thrown out.

But even if Erik were to find it difficult to conceal himself, what he would lack in camouflage, he would make up for in stealth, skill, and speed.

There's always the other point that GlovedHand brought up awhile ago - that "The Shade" was actually one of Erik's personae. If Erik as "the Shade" had the run of the cellars with tacit approval of the managers, that would put him in semi-official "contact" with a lot of lost, wandering people - perfect targets of opportunity, if he were so inclined.

Posted on: 24 Jan 2006 1:58
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Re: Killing women?

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Quote:

stefanie_bean wrote:
Quote:

Dernhelm76 wrote:
Quote:


True, the sign of a truly successful serial killer is their ability to blend in and appear harmless. ... So, to point out the blatantly obvious, how the heck does Erik accomplish that? Blend in? Look harmless? You have got to be kidding! One glance at him is enough to send most people scurrying for cover.


But that's not exactly what's going on. Erik *is* able to move about in society - he's been a successful contractor (which involves managing workers and obtaining contracts - not exactly possible if you terrify people beyond reason.) He dons his fake nose/mustache and goes out shopping. He goes out for carriage rides, and there's no reason to suspect he started that only for Christine. He even crashes the managers' farewell dinner party and manages to not get himself thrown out.

But even if Erik were to find it difficult to conceal himself, what he would lack in camouflage, he would make up for in stealth, skill, and speed.

There's always the other point that GlovedHand brought up awhile ago - that "The Shade" was actually one of Erik's personae. If Erik as "the Shade" had the run of the cellars with tacit approval of the managers, that would put him in semi-official "contact" with a lot of lost, wandering people - perfect targets of opportunity, if he were so inclined.


Perhaps I was a little inarticulate before. Let me clarify my previous statement. My point was that most serial killers are able to go unnoticed because they are almost completely unremarkable both in appearance and behavior. Erik is neither. Even with the fake nose/mustache he looks "like death warmed over, " and is "barely tolerable." Therefore anytime he is seen he is bound to be noticed. And though he may mask some of his various eccentricities, I think he certainly has mannerisms and patterns of speech which are memorable as well. Therefore he must use other means to conceal himself, ennabling him to be seen only when he wishes. (However, I did just have an interesting thought. If he indeed appears deathly ill, others might view him as harmless or even pitiable, especially if he were to acquire a cane and affect a marked stoop.)

The comment I made earlier of people fleeing in terror was a bit drastic, but I was picturing Erik strolling through the Paris streets sans mask. In his natural state there is no possible way he could go unremarked. In fact, he states in the book that he has made a mask to make him look like other men so that, "they will not even look at me." One would suppose he has received many such "looks" in his life, and may even be irritated by the attention.

True, as the shade, if indeed it was Erik, he would be allowed many opportunities to cause discrete mayhem. However, would there by many people worth exploiting wandering about the cellars? It isn't as if anyone lost down there would have anything worth taking in the conventional sense. But then Erik isn't conventional, so who knows.

Posted on: 24 Jan 2006 22:07
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Re: Killing women?

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Quote:

Dernhelm76 wrote:
True, as the shade, if indeed it was Erik, he would be allowed many opportunities to cause discrete mayhem. However, would there by many people worth exploiting wandering about the cellars? It isn't as if anyone lost down there would have anything worth taking in the conventional sense. But then Erik isn't conventional, so who knows.


Serial killers also use disguises (John Gacy, who liked to dress up as a white-faced clown) or work with extreme speed and skill (the fictional Jame Gumb in Thomas Harris's Silence of the Lambs.)

It depends on what Erik might have been looking for. Young dustmaid meeting a stablehand for a tryst in the lower cellar, gets lost? Shudder.

Posted on: 25 Jan 2006 13:52

Edited by stefanie_bean on 25 Jan 2006 13:56:22
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http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4803765/1/Kristina_A_Fantasy

Phantoms of the Past (Leroux-based, complete)
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2625688/1/Phantoms_of_the_Past

Blog: http://stefanie-bean.livejournal.com/
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Re: Killing women?

  • Joined: 23 Oct 2005 21:04
  • Posts: 163
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I don't think Erik's a woman killer. I think he is just very unhappy with himself.

Posted on: 25 Jan 2006 22:05
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Re: Killing women?

  • Joined: 14 Jan 2006 23:11
  • Posts: 275
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You're right. He doesn't actually think to himself, "Hmm, I think I'll kill someone today." , it just happens. Like Joseph Boquet (sp?). He intrudes on the one thing most precious to Erik: his privacy, and therefore is killed. Erik didn't plan on killing him. Erik kills him for the same reason Erik has a whole country out to get him: he knew too much. And I don't think that Erik would so readily kill a woman than a man. The woman that took Mme. Giry's place was just an accident. Other than that, it only mentions men that Erik killed. I don't like to believe that Erik is a monster.

Posted on: 25 Jan 2006 22:14
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Don't hate what your eyes don't love, listen and the night will set you free

My heart is on my sleeve, I wear it like a bruise, a blackeye. My badge, my weakness.

Love my twin.
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