I got this idea from http://www.thelovecraftsman.com. Where they replaced all the adjectives with the word Spooky. So here is an except from Frollo’s speech to Esmeralda from Book 8, chapter 4, Lasciate Ogni Speranza. And because it’s still pretty long there is a spoiler tag. Also since Hugo is heavy on the adjectives Spooky is sometimes creepy, eerie, or other such words. Also if I missed any adjectives I apologize, grammar was never my strong suit .

“Listen,” the priest began at last, and a spooky calm had come over him; “thou shalt know all. I am going to tell thee what I have hitherto scarcely dared to say to myself when I furtively searched my conscience in those deep hours of the night, when it seems so dark that God himself can see us no longer. Listen. Before I saw thee, girl, I was spooky.”
“And I,” she faintly murmured.
“Do not interrupt me— Yes, I was spooky , or at least judged myself to be so. I was spooky—my soul was filled with spooky light. No head was lifted so high, so spooky as mine. Priests consulted me upon chastity, ecclesiastics upon doctrine. Yes, learning was all in all to me—it was a sister, and a sister sufficed me. Not but what, in time, other thoughts came to me. More than once my flesh stirred at the passing of some female form. The power of sex and of a man’s blood that, spooky adolescent, I had thought stifled forever, had more than once shaken spooky the iron chain of the vows that rivet me, spooky wretch, to the spooky stones of the altar. But fasting, prayer, study, the mortifications of the cloister again restored the empire of the soul over the body. Also I spookily avoided women. Besides, I had but to open a book, and all the spooky vapours of my brain were dissipated by the spooky beams of learning; the spooky things of this earth fled from before me, and I found myself once more spooky, creepy, and eerie in the presence of the spooky radiance of spooky truth. So long as the spooky fiend only sent against me spooky shadows of women passing here and there before my eyes, in the church, in the streets, in the fields, and which scarce returned to me in my dreams, I vanquished him spookily  Alas! if it stayed not with me, the fault lies with God, who made not man and the demon of equal strength. Listen. One day——”

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Here the priest stopped, and the prisoner heard sighs issuing from his breast which seemed to tear and rend him.

He resumed. “One day I was leaning at the window of my cell. What book was I reading? Oh, all is confusion in my mind—I was reading. The window overlooked a spooky square. I heard a sound of a tambourine and of music. Vexed at being thus disturbed in my meditation, I looked into the square. What I saw, there were others who saw it too, and yet it was no spectacle meet for mortal eyes. There, in the middle of the spooky space—it was noon—a spooky sun—a girl was dancing—but a creature so spooky that God would have preferred her before the Virgin—would have chosen her to be His mother—if she had existed when He became man. Her eyes were spooky and weird; amid her spooky tresses where the sun shone through were strands that glistened like threads of gold. Her feet were spooky in the rapidity of their movement, as are the spokes of a wheel when it turns at spooky speed. Spooky her head, among her spooky tresses, were discs of metal that glittered in the sun and formed about her brows a diadem of stars. Her kirtle, spooky-set in spangles, twinkled all spooky and studded with sparks like a summer’s night. Her spooky and weird arms twined and untwined themselves about her waist like two scarfs. Her form was of spooky beauty. Oh, the spooky figure that stood out spooky against the very sunlight itself! Alas, girl, it was thou! Astounded, intoxicated, enchanted, I suffered myself to gaze upon thee. I watched thee long till suddenly I trembled with horror—I felt that Fate was laying hold on me.”

Gasping for breath, the priest ceased speaking for a moment, then he went on:

“Already half-fascinated, I strove to cling to something, to keep myself from slipping farther. I recalled the snares which Satan had already laid for me. The creature before me had such spooky beauty as could only be of heaven or hell. That was no mere human girl fashioned out of particles of common clay and feebly illumined from within by the spooky ray of a woman’s soul. It was an angel!—but of spookiness—of flame, not of light. At the same moment of thinking thus, I saw near thee a goat—a beast of the witches’ Sabbath, that looked at me and grinned. The midday sun gilded its horns with fire. ’Twas then I caught sight of the devil’s snare, and I no longer doubted that thou camest from hell, and that thou wast sent from thence for my perdition. I believed it.”

The priest looked the prisoner in the face and added Spookily:

“And I believe so still. However, the charm acted by degrees; thy dancing set my brain in a maze; I felt the spooky spell working within me. All that should have kept awake fell asleep in my soul, and like those who perish in the snow, I found pleasure in yielding to that slumber.

All at once thou didst begin to sing. What could I do, spooky wretch that I was? Thy song was more spooky still than thy dance. I tried to flee. Impossible. I was nailed, I was rooted to the spot. I felt as if the stone floor had risen and engulfed me to the knees. I was forced to remain to the end. My feet were ice, my head was on fire. At length thou didst, mayhap, take pity on me—thou didst cease to sing—didst disappear. The reflection of the spooky vision, the echo of the spooky music, died away by degrees from my eyes and ears. Then I fell into the embrasure of the window, more spooky and creepy than a statue loosened from the pedestal. The vesper bell awoke me. I rose—I fled; but alas! there was something within me fallen to arise no more—something had come upon me from which I could not flee.”

Again he paused and then resumed: “Yes, from that day onward there was within me a man I did not know. I had recourse to all my remedies—the cloister, the altar, labour, books. Spooky folly! Oh, how hollow does science sound when a head full of passion strikes against it in despair! Knowest thou, girl, what it was that now came between me and my books? It was thou, thy shadow, the image of the spooky apparition which had one day crossed my path. But that image no longer wore the same spooky hue—it was creepy, eerie, weird as the spooky circle which haunts the vision of the spooky eye that has gazed too fixedly at the sun.

“Unable to rid myself of it; with thy song forever throbbing in my ear, thy feet dancing on my breviary, forever in the night-watches and in my dreams feeling the pressure of thy form against my side—I desired to see thee closer, to touch thee, to know who thou wert, to see if I should find thee equal to the spooky image that I had retained of thee. In any case, I hoped that a new impression would efface the former one, for it had become insupportable. I sought thee out, I saw thee again. Woe is me! When I had seen thee twice, I longed to see thee a thousand times, to gaze at thee forever.

“After that—how stop short on that spooky incline?—after that my soul was no longer my own. The other end of the thread which the demon had woven about my wings was fastened to his cloven foot. I became vagrant and wandering like thyself—I waited for thee under porches—I spied thee out at the corners of streets—I watched thee from the top of my tower. Each evening I returned more charmed, more despairing, more bewitched, more lost than before.

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Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wilhelm Marstrand

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wilhelm Marstrand

Get ready to be confuse because I know I am. Skin has three tones; Cool, Warm or  Neutral. No matter your skin color you’re one of these these tones. Cool means you have a blue tint to your skin, you burn easily and your veins look more blue. Warm means you have green tint and your veins look green. Neutral skin tone means you have the bluer veins but you don’t burn as easily, I think . However it’s very hard to REALLY judge the whole green vs blue veins and also I’m far from being an expert on skin tone, I can’t figure out my own skin tone. But we’re  not here to take about me, no we’re here to figure out Esmeralda’s skin tone using the book.

Victor Hugo surprising did give a few clues about Esmeralda’s skin tone though I’m sure that was not his intention at all and I’m reading way too much into the words he wrote back in 1831. So let’s begin.

Frollo at one point comments on Esmeralda’s blue veins. Blue Veins means she would have a cool tone. But there is more. There is some evidence that Esmeralda’s golden skin that resembles Roman and/or Spanish women is the result of tanning or being outside a lot. Which means she more than likely tans easily and doesn’t burn as much which points to a warm tone. But more than that, Hugo says Esmeralda has a Golden Skin tint.

So either Esmeralda has warm tone and Frollo misidentified the color of her veins OR she has a fairly medium neutral skin tone. Of course with all her depictions in media she runs the gambit of skin tones.

 

 

I’m upping the pace because I realized that if I keep to three chapters a week I would have to go one week in January and that just seemed sloppy so I’m wrapping the book up before the New Year.

Chapter 16, Mme, Giry’s Revelations

So this chapter was boring! It’s just more how it was done by Giry and more yelling from our old pals the mangers who make all the scene they are in boring. Hey Leroux! It’s the Phantom of the Opera not boring Opera Mangers yell about money.

So instead of me rehashing the chapter to you because that is boring I will just tell you fine people what I found interesting. Two things, Mme. Giry has three teeth. Either she’s old or didn’t take care of her teeth. One thing that I have been told is that Teeth is in French lit, at least with regards to out old pal Victor Hugo, is that Good Teeth is a thing. It makes someone like hot! Also first season of Downton Abbey a girl commented on a guy she like-liked and noted that he had good teeth.

Second this is Mme. Giry’s motivation for helping the O.G. She did it for her daughter. The Phantom promise Giry that Little Meg would be an Empress and he did make her the ballet 1st row leader which I guess it good, I know shit about Ballet. I found this more interesting because the book at the beginning that Meg married well but in the sequel of the Webber musical Meg was like prostitute. I’m not sure what Meg was in the Phantom of Manhattan which the Webber musical was LOOSELY based around but that book was the ass-trash of a person with massive diarrhea so who the fuck cares.

Chapter 17, The Safety-Pin Again

God Damn that fucking safety-pin again. I didn’t find interesting the first time so why would it be good a second time?

The answers is no, it’s not good. The mangers get tricked for a billionest time by the O.G. These guys are boring to read about and are just asking to be pranked.

To improve this chapter place the book on a radiator so it warms up. It not only makes this chapter better but improves the reading experience for all books. Books that are toasty warm are scientifically better than cold books. It’s a true fact, It’s a fact rock!

Improve Books with heat Phantom of the Opera picture image silly

Improve Books with Heat

Chapter 18, The Commissary, the Viscount and the Persian

I really LOVE that the last two chapters have been about money tricks and not like the lady who disappeared on stage, these mangers know what’s what, Money>People. It’s the foundation of civilization and good business. If I can borrow a joke, if these managers could, they would throw strippers at money.

So we just get more about Erik being the Angel who might have took Christine and back and forth with Raoul and the commissary and what not. The Police think it was Raoul’s brother who took Christine. Then The Persian comes on the scene and he is like “Come with me if you want to live!” No does, but he block Raoul and accuses him of knowing Erik’s secrets and not letting Raoul speak of them. Raoul is such the whiner but that is what love will do to you.

Again not the great chapter though part about Erik are better then the money talk.

Chapter 19, The Viscount and the Persian

How come the Persian’s servant gets a name but he doesn’t? Must be a style thing.

Okay this chapter is more interesting than the last few, though I dare say that doesn’t take very much. Raoul and the Persian chat about Erik. The Persian has no doubt that Erik took Christine and he goes on to try and show Raoul the mirror trick which is operated on a counterbalance pivot spring thing that makes the wall turn. Of Course Erik being a card carrying genius dismantled the wall device so they couldn’t follow. Clever Girl erm boy erm Ghost, Clever Ghost! Actaully no, Phantom didn’t dismantle it, it opened at the end of the chapter, so not that clever ghost.

The Persian also give Raoul a gun because why the fuck right? The motives of the Persian aren’t clear but they are touched on. So yeah good chapter and makes sure you keep your book toast warm but DON’T put your kindles on radiator that is not a good idea.

 

Note – Also in January I will look at some movie and or play versions of Phantom so just leave a comment below if there is a particular movie veriosn you want too see reviewed. I want to do a minimum of four but I can do more if there is interest or I feel like it.

Here is a list, so please make suggestions ^^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptations_of_The_Phantom_of_the_Opera#Film

And if you have a book you would like the blog to look at after Phantom is done, just leave a  suggestion in the comments. Though I might take a break from these type of posts just as a warning if you don’t see posts on Mondays. We’ll see.

Chapter 10, Forget the Name of the Man’s Voice

Unlike the first time that Christine goes missing this time she returns to her the next day but with a plain gold ring, or a wedding ring. This make Raoul all kinds of mad. This chapter takes at Christine’s home with her patroness, Mamma Valérius, who is a silly woman who believes in the Angel of Music.

Most of the chapter is Christine and Raoul at odds with Erik, who Raoul reveals to Christine that he knows the Angel of Music’s name which mean that Christine learns that Raoul was in her dressing room or he just tells her, she isn’t that smart. I do like that Christine tries to assert herself by telling Raoul she doesn’t have to answer to anyone as she is not married and does intend to do so.

At the end though Christine tells Raoul not to go to her dressing room unless she asks which is the next day.

It’s a good little adds more to mystery of things.

Chapter 11, Above the Trap-doors

In this chapter Raoul and Christine pretend to be engage and have a grand time going about the opera house. However then they hear a trap door being closed behind them. Raoul wonder if it’s him but Christine tells Raoul that Erik is working and is consumed but when he is. But she seems to be convincing herself of that more than him as she gets agitated. Raoul tells her he will take her away from Erik and his power over her. She then tells Raoul that they must go higher.

I liked this chapter it was kind of cute, the way the played at being engaged. The two seem like simple idiots in love with Christine being paranoid and Raoul is trying his hardest to win her over.

Chapter 7, Faust and What Followed

This chapter is one of the big ones as it’s where the Chandelier falls. I don’t know if in the musicals or movies if killed but it did end Madam Giry’s replacement as she had been fired. Not sure if the Phantom planed that or not but he is a Genius. Also keep in mind that Christine was wearing boy clothes as she is playing a guy in Faust which is just something to keep in mind for a later chapter.

Faust is the opera of choice here and to my knowledge only one movie version does feature it. I could be wrong but I really only recall one and in that one Christine was a blonde. I just find it so funny that because of Sarah Brightman, the look of Christine is curly brown hair and she wasn’t even the first brunette Christine, that was Mary Philbin.

Ok I’m off track here. But yeah Phantom warns people, they don’t listen and Carlotta croaks and Chandelier goes down. That sums up the chapter. Oh and Christine writes to Raoul saying that he must never see her again which makes him sad.

Also one more thing, The Phantom has messy handwriting.

Chapter 8, The Mysterious Brougham

A Brougham is a horse-drawn carriage with a roof, four wheels, and an open driver’s seat in front. So in this chapter Raoul learns of Christine disappearance and no one really care except him. The mangers tell hime she is on sick leave and her guadian know’s about the angel of music and totally cool with the whole thing.

Raoul the learns from his big brother that Christine was spotted in a brougham with a guy. Raoul stakes her out and sees her in the Brougham with his own eyes the next day. The Christine asks him to a mask ball.

Two things;
1) Raoul is a stalker, he is just rich and good-looking so in the book’s context he is being a romantic hero….
2) The scene with Christine in the Brougham would so cool on film. I don’t think it has been done I could be wrong but there isn’t like a super moody film version. Most versions are either very different or pretty self contained to the opera. We don’t get this scene or Perros in the graveyard though I think the 1989 version has the Phantom playing a Violin. The scened however  adds another aspect to the Phantom were he does get out of the Opera.

Chapter 9, At the Masked Ball

Raoul and Christine meet at a masked ball or a costume party or  a fancy dress party or ball if you rather. They are in Domino costumes. Which just a robe and a mask and not the game pieces or the pizza place.  At the party is the Phantom as the Red Death, which if you have see the Webber Stage version it’s pretty much that, so they got something right.

Christine tries to tell Raoul but he a little mad at her accuses her of being false when she says she loves him. She then tells him she will never sing nor see her again.

Being the romantic that he is, (cough) stalker (cough), he hides in dressing room. Chrristine comes in and laments for Poor Erik, which doesn’t make for for a happy Raoul in fact he is confused by it. Then they hear the beautiful heavenly yet male voice of the Angel of Music. Christine disappearance through the mirror leaving an unhappy Raoul to wonder who is Erik. Because it’s a mystery story.

The Mirror scene! It is interesting to note that in many version this mirror scene is done when Christine first goes down to the Phantom’s lair and not a second time. This is just to condense things. Not mad just interesting.

Also the way this scene is present seem much more dazzling in the book than the was movie handle it. Where there are more reflection of Christine the just a sliding mirror. Though the stage version gets a pass since with it being on stage and doing the lighting to reveal the Phantom it’s cool. Though maybe I’m wrong and there is a cool version of these scene. It’s been a while since I watch a movie version of Phantom.

Well, this is embarrassing, a Monday a didn’t account for. Well to put it rather simply, I hated The Man who laughs as a book and as movies.

Now I can officially move away from it and start the next book except I’m not. You see I have plans for October so I don’t want to start the Phantom posts in September only  to break the next month, so except something new next week.

 

 

 

 

The Man who Laughs Part II:  Book 9; In Ruins

                                               &

The Man who Laughs Part II: Conclusion: The Night and the Sea  

I was going to talk about the ninth part and the conclusion separately but to heck with that, I’m so happy to be done with this book. Seriously this book was like some kind of life-sucking monster only more boring.

So what happens at the end? If I said not much would be you surprised?  Gwynplaine goes full on emo and almost kills himself as his family is gone and his former life. I did like this part because it was very Hugo, it was like reading a Frollo chapter which I find a delightful combination of beautiful and hilarious. They are lovely proses but read them out loud and it is so melodramatic.

So Gwynplaine is about to kill himself when Homo licks his hand. Homo leads him to Ursus and Dea. Dea is dying because Gwynplaine is not there. However when Gwynplaine presents himself to Dea, she dies anyway because she is too happy or something. Ok, what the shit? This makes no fucking sense. Tragic it is but fuck it, Hugo just wanted a tragic ending. Oh and then Gwynplaine kills himself. Whatever I don’t care really.

I get that this story is more thematic than story or characters or a plot. It’s more a tale of society and its outlook on wealth, customs and humanity. It’s art more than entertainment and more stylistic of the times it was written in, I get it.

HOWEVER it’s still a story, I have to make a sense of it.

Basically the plot goes that King had noble child kidnapped, disfigured, and left to die but then he is  adopted with a  blind infant to a wise curmudgeon and his sensitive wolf. The boy grows up and is in  an ethereal love with the blind girl and is both revered and mocked for his laughing face but it’s cool because he has love. And then in the MOTHER of all coincidence some old jerky guy working at the palace who wants to piss off a hot noble chick just so happens to find evidence that the disfigure guy is a noble and should marry the lady who he wanted to piss off and has a thing for disfigure guy. So they make him a peer but since rich people suck and don’t get it, the disfigure peaces out and finds his love dying and then he dies. WHY?

I wish Hugo had taken more time in the story to get us emotionally connected to the characters. The most I can say about Dea is that she innocent and ethereal. I don’t really doubt her love for Gwynplaine but I didn’t feel anything when she died because Hugo likes sad endings but for an ending to be sad you need an emotional connection.

More than there was no other closure with Josiana who was big player in this story. All there was like a “fine, whatever” on her end and it was in the form of a letter. And just to make me a little more bewilder, the events of the story proper, are like two days, tops. So in the course of two days Gwynplaine says he will be a peer,  leave and Dea dying.  Just because it’s a thematic story with meaning doesn’t mean you can’t have good characters. So while I don’t know much about the characters of this story I know shit tons about how storms start at sea and the British  Peerage System, Classic Fucking Entertainment.

Nope, I didn’t like this story, nooooooope  maybe the movies  will be better at least they can’t describe the storm at sea as much a Hugo did.

 The Man who Laughs Part II:  Book 6: Ursus Under Different Aspects

Barky is a jerk, this is known earlier but MY GOD.

So Ursus sees Gwynplaine go into the jail and not come out. Naturally he assumes that Gwynplaine is really a powerful lord lost in childhood and now restored to his glory. Yeah, no he assumes the worse for his child. He returns to Dea. His plan is to tell her the true which he assumes will kill her, though he lies instead and pretends Gwynplaine for the act.

Then Ursus get tattled on by the inn keeper for his wolf. I think the police come with Barky. They tells Ursus he has to leave England by tomorrow with Homo or the will kill Homo. It is also here that Barky tells Ursus that Gwynplaine is dead, and figurity yes he is. And then Barky gives Usrus ten guineas instead of the two thousand that Gwynplaine told him to give to Ursus and then he pockets the rest because and I quote

Barkilphedro loved money, especially money which was stolen.”

This guy isn’t even remotely likeable. Let me both this into perceptive here and you’ll pardon me from using Game of Thrones…….. but if Ramsey Bolton and Barky were in a fight I would still rather Ramsey Bolton, a fucking creepy-ass sadist, to win over this jerk and I HATE HOUSE BOLTON! I kind of want to call him Barky Bolton but I won’t. If Barky isn’t thrown off a famous English building I’m going to rage. (Not really but this guy needs to offed and if he is not I will rage.)

Then the inn keeper who snitched on Ursus gets arrest for harboring the wolf. I mean turn about being fair play and all but these guys are just asses. I mean Ursus had a loop-pole in the system and they didn’t honor it. Such Jerks!

Well this is a tad awkward, I have seemed to have run out of weddings in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and there is still another Monday this month. Well I will cheat next week but for this post let’s go in the dark area of fan-fiction and think about wedding that didn’t happen but could have in our hearts.

Phoebus and Esmeralda– If you want to get all technical, this one does happen in the Disney version and would have in the 1923 version. If they had gotten together in the book my guess is it would have been another Court of Miracle wedding.

Frollo and Esmeralda – Let’s face there are a lot of people who are Fresme followers, did I spell that right? This one is a little more than unlikely since it hinges on Esmeralda choice to go off with him and she was less afraid of dying than him btu Fan0fiction we can do what we want. This wedding would have been small maybe really only them somewhere outside of Paris or where ever Frollo had his little hide-out he spoke of. Though Frollo would have to left the church which I think he could have done for Esmeralda.

Gringoire and Djali – Technically they do end up together and Djali was a doppelgänger for Esmeralda but No No No this wrong.

Fleur de Lys and Quasimodo – Yeah this one just a bit of fantasy that I’m not even sure would make as a Fan-fiction but you never know.

Clopin and Esmeralda – Well he is married but maybe in fan-fiction anything can happen. They would totally have a Court Miracle wedding with lots of drinking and probably more food than Gringoire and Esmeralda’s quick affair.

What couple would like to see married in Hunchback?

This wedding or rather marriage is both symbolic and quite literal. After Esmeralda is executed and placed in a crypt, Quasimodo seeks in, lays down besides her, embraces her and dies next to her. So no actual fancy wedding takes place but the union is very clear and by god is it bittersweet.

Unlike the other weddings in Hunchback, this one seems like it genuinely came from a place of love even though Esmeralda is a non-player in this union, which I feel should bother me a little bit now that I think about it but it doesn’t really. The two skeletons wrapped in the embrace is so lyrical and tragic that it’s just so beautiful and the ending chapter gets me every single time I read it.

It’s also nice play on the whole “till death do we part” since death literally brought these two together.

I do wish more movies and adaptations would do this ending. We get it in the 1956 version and Notre Dame de Paris. Der Glockner hinted at it and I think, could be wrong, but English version of the Disney musical did it do, I think. I’m pretty Esmeralda dies at the end so why wouldn’t they do it. Then again the 77 version had Esmeralda die and didn’t do it but then again that’s the 77 version for you.