Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 18 on IWTV: The scene break

There is a break in the text here. There is a gap, a space, and the first letter of the next paragraph is set in a bigger font. In fiction typography this is called a scene break, and denotes a jump in time or space in the narrative.

We are following two narratives in the novel. One is Louis and the boy interviewer (Daniel Malloy) in a room on Divisadero Street. The other narrative, the heart of it, is of course Louis's  story.

The structure of Interview is set in four parts. There are scene breaks, but no chapter breaks. I think this is to mimic the flow of one whole night's conversation between Daniel and Louis. At this point in the interview it was about ten p.m. The break after the creation of Claudia invites us to pause and contemplate this startling event. A child vampire! A strange phenomenon.

I think this is the third such scene break in the text so far, though I will not keep tab. If memory serves right, the first scene break was just after Louis became a vampire, and also sometime during the story of Babette.

For the next paragraphs Louis talks of Lestat being a man-of-action, reckless, thoughtless in his deeds. He says his actions are always rooted in revenge. Daniel and Louis were trying for a short bit to figure out why Lestat brought the child Claudia into the Night. Oh, if only we could ask Lestat himself what his intentions were! But this again is one of the reasons Interview is a great novel of our time. It sets itself apart in the history of Gothic literature. Suddenly, the vampire is on center stage, on spotlight. The vampire is the unlikely hero and villain. Vampires were, before Interview, several versions of Dracula. Now we are given the vampire's point-of-view. We are asked to examine his motives: both Louis's and Lestat's.

I just found out through the Lestat Book Coven that there is a manga based on Interview with the Vampire. I'm going to read it now. If you're interested in the art, click here.

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