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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

  • Joined: 26 Sep 2005 21:25
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If you like Philippe you might enjoy reading this if you haven't already seen it: PHILIPPE: An Owner's Guide and Instruction Manual

Posted on: 23 Nov 2005 0:06
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

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Quote:

satyriasis wrote:
That's fine, stephanie. In fact, in your fanfic, Yvette's emigration to the US might have had a motivation. Why did she emigrate to the US? Because of Philippe? If you're going to write Philippe as a sort of a "sympathetic jerk" - for lack of a better term - then Yvette's emigration could be crushing for him.

Just an idea, stephanie.


Oops ... an OT discussion got merged in here. Yvette is a character from a story by Guy De Maupassant (of the same name.) She's the supposedly virtuous 18 year old daughter of a woman who runs a kind of Parisian salon / saloon/ maison de rendevous frequented by men looking for gambling, entertainment, and women who were (as GDM put it) "always accommodating."

In France, Yvette's marriage chances were about zero. In the US, she would have had a decent chance at a husband, because no one would have cared about her background, as a cute young French immigrant girl.

It is a good idea, though, although I'm kind of sympathetic to Sorelli - she has a fulltime job on her hands just keeping Phillipe's interest...

I am reading De Maupassant (thanks to Jennie mentioning him) because he's great for the 'feel' of 1880s Paris, especially in describing all the less than savory situations men of means can get into if they so desire.

All I really had in mind was some one-shot Phillipe/Sorelli fluff alternating with Phillipe complaining about his wayward little bro, and Sorelli flexing her claws in jealousy at her lover spending so much energy on another woman, no matter what the circumstances. Hope that doesn't disappoint you too much

On a de Maupassant - Phillipe note, though. One thing that I got from reading GDM is the significance of the late-night carriage ride in the Bois. Apparently it was the upper-class or upper-middle-class equivalent of going to the drive-in movie and steaming up the window, or going to "lover's lane." In the GDM novel Bel-Ami, Georges and his mistress Clothilde go for one of those late-night rides, and the narrator mentions, "The carriage rocked like a ship at sea." Then the mistress remarks, "It's actually nicer in our room," or something like that. (insert bawdy laughter here.)

IOW, when Phillipe catches Christine with Erik in a late-night carriage ride, and then tells Raoul the equivalent of, "Hey, I saw your little girlfriend out late last night in the *park* in a *carriage* with a *man,*" it meant only one thing. It probably only meant one thing to Leroux's audience as well. But as Erik tells us himself, "I take my rendevous where I can get them..."

From Phillipe's standpoint, he's trying to protect his little brother, quite justifiably. Raoul of course responds by running out the next night to the same place, and catching Christine in the same carriage on the same circuit. (Poor, unhappy Raoul...) I didn't understand the depth of his misery at that point, until I saw the "carriage ride" in its context.

Posted on: 23 Nov 2005 14:06
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
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The user's manual to Philippe was fun, thanks for the link SerpentPhantom.

Carriage rides in the Bois, oh yes indeed... *giggles wickedly at the thought*.

Stefanie, why on earth was Philippe unmarried, at the high age of 40, and all his sense of "noblesse oblige" and the importance of having an heir to inherit title & property?

It feels a bit out of character, IMO. I don't know if I'd buy the idea that he saw Raoul as his heir, I'm sure he would rather have had sons to ensure the succession "kind of thing".

It surprises me that he'd never got around to getting married. Or p'raps he had a mad wife locked away, somewhere?? That noone talked/knew about?

Quoting Stefanie here... "IOW, when Phillipe catches Christine with Erik in a late-night carriage ride, and then tells Raoul the equivalent of, "Hey, I saw your little girlfriend out late last night in the *park* in a *carriage* with a *man,*" it meant only one thing. It probably only meant one thing to Leroux's audience as well. But as Erik tells us himself, "I take my rendevous where I can get them..." "

So this means we say goodbye to our image of the fifty-year old virgin??

Posted on: 23 Nov 2005 17:07
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

  • Joined: 9 Feb 2005 2:10
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Quote:

Jennie wrote: Carriage rides in the Bois, oh yes indeed... *giggles wickedly at the thought*.

Stefanie, why on earth was Philippe unmarried, at the high age of 40, and all his sense of "noblesse oblige" and the importance of having an heir to inherit title & property?

It feels a bit out of character, IMO. I don't know if I'd buy the idea that he saw Raoul as his heir, I'm sure he would rather have had sons to ensure the succession "kind of thing".

It surprises me that he'd never got around to getting married. Or p'raps he had a mad wife locked away, somewhere?? That noone talked/knew about?


Pinning my "Free Bertha Rochester!" button onto jacket as we speak...

I *do* recall wondering, why isn't this gorgeous man married? A mad wife would explain it - they are really convenient obstacles in 19th c. fiction, aren't they?

Brainstorming here: perhaps he married some British aristocrat or American manufacturing heiress who wouldn't put up with his laissez-faire French attitudes towards "accommodating women;" she went home to daddy, leaving him high, dry, and unmarriageable, at least in France. (This would work if 1860s-1880s era France didn't recognize foreign divorces.)

Stef: But as Erik tells us himself, "I take my rendevous where I can get them..."

J: So this means we say goodbye to our image of the fifty-year old virgin??

We can only hope...

Seriously, for so long I've read Leroux through ALW's or Susan Kay's eyes, kind of "reverse-engineering" the story to fit their particular preconceptions. Reading Leroux through Maupassant's eyes is like reading a whole new story, one with "codes" that suddenly leap into meaning. ALW's creation of an entirely socially isolated man is just one particular interpretation, and it doesn't really square with Leroux.

Nor does Erik's sampling of the 'half-known life' in any way invalidate his emotional collapse at Christine's end-of-story generosity. Perhaps when Erik repeats "I want to be loved for myself," it's not just theoretical. I can believe it more if I assume that Erik directly, physically *did* know what it was like to *not* be loved for oneself. Being loved only for the money one pays, or because one provides nights at the Opera and nice dinners and carriage rides - that makes the cry more poignant, more believable.

David Staller's Phantom comes close to this. At one point he wails to the Persian, in essence, it looks like his love for Christine is going to end up like "the others." Significantly, Staller's Phantom is a former soldier as well, one who has far more control over his emotions than pretty much any other version. Probably more experience with women, too.

The Staller Phantom shows that the story works well with a man who has a "past," and even a "future." When Christine leaves him, he makes a play for the prima ballerina. This is so much more psychologically realistic, but the impact *is* still there.

Posted on: 23 Nov 2005 18:29

Edited by stefanie_bean on 23 Nov 2005 18:33:05
Edited by stefanie_bean on 23 Nov 2005 18:35:20
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

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Quote:

SerpentPhantom wrote:
If you like Philippe you might enjoy reading this if you haven't already seen it: PHILIPPE: An Owner's Guide and Instruction Manual


Just in time for Christmas! I'll put one on my list (and make sure to lock the Sorelli version in the basement.) He'd better have a great mustache and plenty of chest hair, or he's going back, though...

Posted on: 23 Nov 2005 18:37
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
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Quote:

stefanie_bean wrote:
Quote:

SerpentPhantom wrote:
If you like Philippe you might enjoy reading this if you haven't already seen it: PHILIPPE: An Owner's Guide and Instruction Manual


Just in time for Christmas! I'll put one on my list (and make sure to lock the Sorelli version in the basement.) He'd better have a great mustache and plenty of chest hair, or he's going back, though...


*falls off chair at thought of luscious moustache AND hairy chest*

Ouch Stef, don't say things like that!

Oh bummer though, in my Leroux it says abt Philippe "resté célibataire" i.e. unmarried. Hmmm, never mind I'll still vote for a secret marriage to the American heiress who doesn't want to give up the title daddy bought her. Which might help to explain P's anger at the thought of little brother contracting a mésalliance.

Posted on: 23 Nov 2005 18:50
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

  • Joined: 21 Aug 2005 2:05
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Like eriks_good_wife said: actually theres a fic with him in it. its not about him but he plays an important character.

I think the phic is called "The Angel's Salvation." Phillipe's name is spelled Felipe, but, i think it is supposed to be Phillipe. In the story, Phillipe is just like an evil-er version of Raoul. So... yeah. But i personally like Phillipe and will definitely use him in my phanfic.

Posted on: 23 Nov 2005 19:21
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

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Something else occurred to me about Phillipe. Phillipe and Erik are "paired" in a weird way throughout the story. It's almost like Erik is a parody of Phillipe. What's the French term, a "garcon manque?"

If I were seeing this story in a literature class for the first time, entirely cold, the parallelisms between Phillipe and Erik would stand out like a lighthouse in the harbor.

Phillipe, besides being an aristocrat, is a "man about town." He wears his evening dress so often that his swallow-tail coat is probably almost fused to his body (unless Sorelli and he have other things in mind.) Erik also is never caught without evening dress on.

Evening dress was significant for several reasons. You just didn't show up at a nice restaurant in your everyday clothes. As a man, you wore an elaborate (and expensive) suit of clothes somewhat the equivalent of a tuxedo today. In the de Maupassant novel Bel-Ami, the bounder Georges is too poor to afford evening dress to go to a friend's dinner party, so he rents the outfit instead. Evening dress was a kind of "ticket" into society; like the wedding garment in the Bible story, if you didn't have one, they threw you out into the "outer darkness."

Phillipe is a lady's man of wide experience. I always wondered what that weird little segue about "the ghost's lady" was all about - but it makes sense if you see Erik and Phillipe as somehow joined in the story. Erik too "takes his rendevouz where he can get them,"and his choices are a bit more limited than Phillipe's - but not entirely. As a "garcon manque" with money, the world of supper clubs, carriage rides, and even more shadowy establishments would have not been closed to him.

But he just doesn't play around the Pigalle: Phillipe has a very classy theatrical mistress, the lead ballerina, described by Leroux as dumb, voluptuous, at the peak of her talent, and exquisitely beautiful. (I for one am not convinced of the "dumb" part; it's probably an act.) Erik also wants a theatrical mistress - one whom he sees as dumb enough to believe that angel of music nonsense, (but again, isn't as dumb as she seems, as she manages to secure her own rescue), and who is also beautiful and gifted in her art. Phillipe IOW has the best dancer, and Erik wants the "best" singer.

Phillipe is wealthy. Erik is obsessed with money, not for its own sake, but because it can help him change his social position.

Erik and Phillipe also have the same aims - to break up Raoul and Christine's "affair of the heart." Obviously Erik wants Christine for himself, but I'm not so sure of the purity of Phillipe's motives either. Phillipe's motives are seen by others as murky, and when Mifroid suggests to Raoul that Phillipe himself has carried Christine off, Raoul at first believes it.

Erik kills Phillipe, and then Erik himself dies of a mysterious ailment. Yes, there's lovesickness, but one theme in "evil twin" stories is that when one twin dies, the other usually follows shortly after. Perhaps this wasn't even deliberate on the author's part, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Of course, all Phillipe's good looks, status, money, carriage, etc. can't save him when he's on Erik's turf. Erik has created a kind of play world in his own domain that mocks Phillipe's (the Opera itself is a kind of self-contained universe over which Erik rules, just as Phillipe as a powerful and compelling man wields influence in 'the world above.') In his own domain Erik is "commander."

But curiously, Erik too dies. I still think that the deaths of Erik and Phillipe are symbolically linked, and reflect some (perhaps unconscious) anxiety on the writer's part about the collapse of all these old-style nations, kingdoms, and alliances that presaged World War I.

In the aftermath of WW I, of course, both worlds collapsed - the outer world, Phillipe's world, of social prestige, power, and patriarchy became eroded by more social equality and especially women's rights. The domain of art (Erik's world) saw many classical traditions exploded by ragtime, jazz, popular music, atonal music. When both men "died," the world would never be the same again.

That's why I've written my Raoul in "Phantoms of the Past" as rootless, no longer a noble, no longer tied to the old ways. It may also be why (again, perhaps unconsciously) Leroux left Raoul and Christine's fate under such a cloud. The setting may be 1881, but the *sensibility* is far more "pre-Great War" - and the murkiness of Raoul and Christine's fate is in a way shared by a Europe on the brink of the abyss.

Posted on: 25 Nov 2005 15:41

Edited by stefanie_bean on 25 Nov 2005 16:18:50
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

  • Joined: 22 Feb 2005 20:14
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i think most ppl ignore him cuz they havent read the book

or they dont think he's that relevent to the story, cuz the story is mostly about erik and his obsession for christine and raouls only there to add to the plot and philippe isnt really that important cuz his focus is for raoul not to marry christine, and the whole story is about the wasted genius of erik not about how raoul is dealing w/ his family and his love life

Posted on: 26 Nov 2005 0:07
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
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Am re-reading Leroux with my ear's open for the possible "bat squeak" (ie inaudible sound) of Erik's sexuality and some details abt la Sorelli made me jump...

She always has a stiletto with her???? Ermmm.. has she been singing Carmen? And she lets Philippe hold her leg warmers? Because her mother was dead?

Posted on: 7 Dec 2005 14:53
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

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Quote:

Jennie wrote:
Am re-reading Leroux with my ear's open for the possible "bat squeak" (ie inaudible sound) of Erik's sexuality and some details abt la Sorelli made me jump...

She always has a stiletto with her???? Ermmm.. has she been singing Carmen? And she lets Philippe hold her leg warmers? Because her mother was dead?


The stiletto: Phillipe gave it to her. And showed her how to use it.

Of course she lets him hold her leg warmers. It's all part of her "tyranny," as Leroux says. Regular little dominatrix, that one is.

The mother was just an excuse for why she was walking on the wild side.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

(Caveat: all the above are speculations: no one needs to go rifling through Leroux looking for confirmations...

Posted on: 7 Dec 2005 21:30
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
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Quote:

stefanie_bean wrote:
Quote:

Jennie wrote:
Am re-reading Leroux with my ear's open for the possible "bat squeak" (ie inaudible sound) of Erik's sexuality and some details abt la Sorelli made me jump...

She always has a stiletto with her???? Ermmm.. has she been singing Carmen? And she lets Philippe hold her leg warmers? Because her mother was dead?


The stiletto: Phillipe gave it to her. And showed her how to use it.

Of course she lets him hold her leg warmers. It's all part of her "tyranny," as Leroux says. Regular little dominatrix, that one is.

The mother was just an excuse for why she was walking on the wild side.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

(Caveat: all the above are speculations: no one needs to go rifling through Leroux looking for confirmations...


Right. She'd need the stiletto to protect her virtue... or to quickly cut tangled corset laces... or to peel apples... or ... ooooh, how clever of her to drown him, then. If she'd stabbed him, she'd have been the prime suspect.

Not a "little" dominatrix, surely? She was tall, with a supple willowy waist. Rather Junoesque perhaps, with the most beautiful eyes in the world...

Posted on: 8 Dec 2005 16:43
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
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I didn't ignore him! he plays a major role in one of the fics i'm working on. It's called "What I Could Have Been" and it's about what would've happened if Erik wasn't disfigured. In this story, Erik is a vicomte (sp?), just like Raoul, and he and Phillipe are good friends...until Christine daae enters the picture. There! Hope I didn't give too much away.

Posted on: 15 Jan 2006 12:59
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

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I think I like it here. *dies of glee at all the in-depth, psychoanalytical discussion of Leroux* I'd dive in, but my copies of Leroux are in storage and my facts would be unsupported. :(

But to drag back the the topic at hand... *snrk* I think Philippe is ignored for the simple fact that he has nothing obvious to do with Erik. Most phans aren't going to write about the the evil twin parallels between Erik and Philippe, they're going to write about the boring, obvious, done-to-death Erik/Christine/Raoul love triangle. And with E/C/R, Philippe has no obvious place besides to occasionally pop in as the overbearing symbol of authority and lecture Raoul. Which is a shame, because there's so much more to that book than what meets the eye. We need a movement or something, like Project Vicomte, to write Leroux-based stories about anything BUT the obvious. Project Creativity, wot...

Posted on: 15 Jan 2006 16:07
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

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Hmm...that is a very good question. Personally, I like Philippe. He was one of my favorite characters when I first read the book. I thought he was awesome! I don't know why everyone leaves him out. Maybe it's because they've never read the book...? That's the main reason, I think.

Either that, or they don't think him a very important character, which isn't true at all. I think Philippe's character is much deeper than people give him credit for, something far beyond just being Raoul's older brother/mentor.

Posted on: 15 Jan 2006 16:55

Edited by Hikaru-chan on 15 Jan 2006 16:58:57
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
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Quote:

stefanie_bean wrote:
Quote:

Jennie wrote:
Am re-reading Leroux with my ear's open for the possible "bat squeak" (ie inaudible sound) of Erik's sexuality and some details abt la Sorelli made me jump...

She always has a stiletto with her???? Ermmm.. has she been singing Carmen? And she lets Philippe hold her leg warmers? Because her mother was dead?


The stiletto: Phillipe gave it to her. And showed her how to use it.

Of course she lets him hold her leg warmers. It's all part of her "tyranny," as Leroux says. Regular little dominatrix, that one is.

The mother was just an excuse for why she was walking on the wild side.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

(Caveat: all the above are speculations: no one needs to go rifling through Leroux looking for confirmations...


To anyone interested in 19th century courtesans/prostitutes in Paris, I warmly recommend "Nana" by Emile Zola. It's set in the 1860s, and tells of the rise and fall of Nana, who devours and destroys men of all ages and classes. Ranging from journalists to noblemen, via bankers and soldiers. She can't sing, she can't act, but is an astounding success when she takes her clothes off as Venus at the theatre.

Posted on: 24 Jan 2006 15:54
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
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Wow, Stefanie. That comparison between Phillipe and Erik was a really insightful and fascinating post. (And you cleared up the 'ghost's lady' thing, which has been puzzling me for ages! Here I was thinking she was some sort of spurned lover, when, really, she may just have been a prostitute...)

I laughed when I read the part about Sorelli letting Phillipe hold her leg-warmers because her mother died :)

Also, on the off-topic topic of Guy de Maupassant--are there any other French writers at that time to provide yet another viewpoint of 19th-century France?

Posted on: 30 Sep 2010 2:43
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
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There's Balzac too, of course. "Splendours and something of the Courtesans" and "Cousin Bette".

I find Zola more accessible and more fun to read though. For descriptions of the theatre and a woman's career in the theatre, read "Nana". Another book about women in Paris and their lives, in the context both of work and social life and shopping is "Au Bonheur des Dames".

Here's the blurb about it from Amazon:

Through charm, drive, and diligent effort Octave Mouret has become the director of one of the finest new department stores in Paris, Au Bonheur des Dames. Supremely aware of the power of his position, Mouret seeks to exploit the desire that his luxuriantly displayed merchandise arouses in the ladies who shop, and the aspirations of the young female assistants he employs. Charting the beginnings of the capitalist economy and bourgeois society, Zola captures in lavish detail the greedy customers and gossiping staff, and the obsession with image, fashion, and gratification that was a phenomenon of nineteenth-century French consumer society. Of all Zola's novels, this may be the one with the most relevance for our own time.


(Since this thread was started I've actually written a couple of short one-offs where Philippe figures, if anyone is interested. You can find them via the link in my siggy)

Posted on: 30 Sep 2010 3:58

Edited by Jennie on 30 Sep 2010 4:01:17
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

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I've used Philippe in my book. He's different than Leroux's character, but he's very important. It adds more dimension to Raoul for him to have an older brother.

I'm not sure why other POTO fiction writers don't include him.

Swannie

Posted on: 30 Sep 2010 4:49
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
protege
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@ Jennie: Thanks very much!

(Also, which of your stories feature Phillipe?)

I guess I kind of have a soft spot for Phillipe, although hes not one of my favourite characters. He's so interesting.

Posted on: 30 Sep 2010 6:33

Edited by safety_pin on 30 Sep 2010 6:39:55
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
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Hi there Safety-Pin, you're welcome

Philippe turns up in two of my stories, they are stand-alones but read them in this order. He doesn't appear in the first one, but it links in with the other two, and it's only a short drabble

A new acquaintance and a gift

In the catacombs

The Persian Cat

Posted on: 30 Sep 2010 7:54
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Some old stories up at:ffn.net, jennie_j
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
protege
  • Joined: 8 Jul 2010 2:19
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I've got to say, it's so weird finally interacting with people since I've been lurking for about three months :)

Thanks for the links, and I'll make sure to review!

Posted on: 30 Sep 2010 10:13
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
protege
  • Joined: 8 Jul 2010 2:19
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*double post to plug for Jennie* If anybody's reading this, go read her fics, because they're awesome. :)

Posted on: 3 Oct 2010 11:58

Edited by safety_pin on 3 Oct 2010 12:04:21
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?

  • Joined: 17 May 2009 4:40
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He isn't included becasue people write based on the movie. He's kinda in one of mine, but only in name. He' s already dead in it.

Posted on: 3 Oct 2010 13:26
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The name implies many meanings:
-awesome beyond comparison (adj.)
-stunningly handsome and suave (adj.)
-able to attract large numbers of women without using any effort (verb)
-able to do all things exceedingly
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Re: Why is it that everyone ignores Philippe de Chagny in fanfiction?
Archangel
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2006 0:37
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Yazhi_Horse is right about Philippe not showing up in many fics because the stories are ALW-inspired for the most part. However, those who write more Leroux-inspired stories have been known to include Philippe de Chagny. And as long as we're plugging stories, Philippe is in one of mine: Variations on a Theme by Leroux.

Posted on: 3 Oct 2010 14:42
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