Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Day 15 on IWTV: The women

I just finished reading Prince Lestat and wrote a review on Amazon.com. I am feeling elated because Anne Rice found my review and posted a link to it on her Page.

She had kind words for my review.

Coming now from Prince Lestat back to Interview with the Vampire, I experience an inevitable whiplash of two hundred years' character growth. Not only that, these two books were written from the points-of-view of two different characters, and Louis did view Lestat here as the antagonist. But his sense of humor is timeless.

We find Lestat in another one of his horrific antics. It is useless to ask if the Brat Prince intends to be horrific or annoying, or if he is just being himself. In the movie version, the women he invites into their hotel room were depicted as whores. At least, IMDB.com does list them as such. In the book, they are not mentioned as whores. No dismissive label with which we could generalize or disengage from them: Ah, they were slutty whores. They had it coming. Instead, Louis calls them simply, women, just as Babette was a woman, and so it leaves the judgment in to the reader's minds. Whether or not you are horrified by their murders, whether or not you empathize with them shows more about the reader. Lestat doesn't care though. He knows how to be a sexy, seductive killer. (It is Lestat who calls her 'a damned expensive whore' a little later on.)

And just when our two heroes showed hope of talking about the nature of the vampire, they end up arguing. Sigh. I can't take sides, though. Both points are valid as far as each is concerned. "Does this bring you happiness?" Lestat asks. A very important question, I think. Lestat and Louis, I needlessly point out, have differing philosophies about life and death. Naturally, they won't talk calmly about it but yell at each other.

Louis's point-of-view towards life is romantic, filled with longing. Not sentimentality, but value. Lestat has a more pragmatic view, and more aligned towards his personal happiness. I wonder whom between the two you agree with. And their philosophies affect how they define and live out their vampire nature. Feel free to comment below!

She was praying to the Virgin to save her

Turns out the women were indeed prostitutes, and this last one whom Lestat tortured (okay, toyed with, Prince, if you happen to be looking at this blog) to teach Louis a lesson -- the second whore was Catholic. So now we have three perspectives. Louis who valued human life and chose not to take it whilst glorying in his vampiric senses, Lestat who has took on the role of death-bringer and gloried in his powers of the vampire, and the superstitious sinner who was near that death. The Virgin did not help her. But I do hope God in His infinite grace welcomed her because Louis did lead her to say her last prayer. The nature of grace is that we don't deserve the forgiveness we receive when we ask for it.

In the end, Louis learns that Lestat was right all along. Louis learns this not through some intellectual discourse with his teacher, but through experiencing what Lestat described. Louis ought to be thankful that he has a teacher in Lestat. Lestat had to learn all of it on his own, because his maker, Magnus, left him alone. But I jump several novels ahead. Louis mourns again, and asks if he can go back to being human again.

Tomorrow, let's see if Louis finally reconciles himself with the reality that he can only find peace in the kill.

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