Saturday, December 13, 2014

Day 19 on IWTV: Claudia's enigma

"Our life was much changed with Mademoiselle Claudia," said Louis. Claudia leaves an indelible mark on Louis heart, and this carries on for the rest of the novel. I must admit, on my heart, too. Claudia was truly a remarkable vampire. In many ways, she is more a vampire than Louis could ever be: ruthless in the kill, seductive, insatiable. She is truly Lestat's daughter. That's how I see Claudia. More Lestat's daughter than Louis's. More Louis's lover than daughter. But I jump ahead.

Claudia is a newborn vampire, and already she adapts to this vampire life more easily and readily than Louis did. She was not so traumatized by her Mamma's death as Louis was by Paul's passing. She had not much memory of human life to have any of Louis's regrets and clinging--or detached respect, as he would put it.

But Louis did see himself as Claudia's father, naturally, in the first years of her vampire life.

Louis's love for Claudia is unique as Lestat's. It is hard to sum up, but Rice draws it beautifully when she tells us how these two male vampires interact with her. Louis was nurturing, Lestat was proud and ambitious. Lestat brought Claudia to cemeteries and showed her victims of the plague, dead and dying. And he says that Claudia will never die, that her body will always be fresh and alive and stay always as is. He says it as a blessing, but as with all blessings, there is a dark side to it, which Claudia fully experiences.

I highly recommend that you get for yourself a copy of the graphic novel Interview with the Vampire: Claudia's Story by artist Ashley Marie Witter. You can follow her Twitter @TazyCrazy.

During her early years Claudia didn't speak. And during this time, Lestat finally rubbed off on Louis, and Louis began hunting humans. He did not lose his Louis-ness even though he's moved to humans from animals, I think. He still was, in essence, the same. The revulsion to killing, was still there, deep inside, but he would finish off his victims before he allowed it to arise. He killed differently from Lestat or Claudia. Only his melancholy has abated considerably, and he credits it not only to the kill, but to the joy of seeing the teeming life of humans around him. He was becoming more and more detached. This is very important character development.

The three of them went to the theatre often, to see operas and Shakespeare, and in this I envy them greatly. I wish I could afford to see as many plays and musicals as possible, and I find this more valuable than the furniture and carpets Lestat imported. Louis loved books and often read to Claudia. What a beautiful life, really! A romantic, fairy tale life!

Claudia learned to love human art and music and literature, an influence of Louis. Claudia learned to love the seduction of the kill, obviously a trait inherited from Lestat. Louis, of course, never forgot it was he who drew Claudia's blood. Claudia chose to sleep in his coffin with him.

But of course, the story does not end here for them. And Claudia's mind, though retaining her five-year-old body, matured and became a woman's. And soon she would voice out her opinions, her mind, her fiery intellect. And she wanted her own coffin. She wanted to see a coffin built for a child. And there are little things more tragic on this earth than a child's coffin.

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