Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's 2015! Happy New Year, everyone!

We got home from Baguio earlier today in the afternoon. I slept most of the ride home, was too tired. I feel sorry for my wife who had to drive from Rosario, La Union back to Malolos, Bulacan. I still don't know how to drive.

We parked Broom, our car, at a small hotel in Rosario, La Union, very near the boundary to Benguet province. We were not confident we could drive up Kennon's tricky zigzags. Our trip to Baguio was to satisfy Dana's wish to see "mountains" again, to celebrate our 7th anniversary (love you, Veck!), and to claim my hardcover Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Armand which I purchased from a Baguio bookseller last year.

Armand still looked brand new, but Interview's moldy. It seems denatured alcohol is the best way to treat it, according to online sources. I'm afraid I might damage the book. How about sunning it?

I'm watching a youtube video now by "Mad Maine" and she suggests killing the mildew the natural way. She suggests putting a mildewy or mouldy book into a zip lock bag, sprinkling it with baking soda, sealing the bag, and then leaving it in the freezer for a week. I think I will just try that.

But I am so happy with my purchases. I plan to continue to save money to complete my hardcover collection of Anne's books.

I wish I brought a video cam with me. I could have made an interesting documentary about my bookhunting for Anne Rice's first ed books in the Philippines.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My different editions of Interview with the Vampire

The edition I have read over and over again is a large paperback 20th anniversary edition of Interview with the Vampire published by Ballantine Books. It is now with my cousin Uriel. He has just read Claudia's Story and now he's ready for the real deal.

I also have the leatherbound edition that also contains The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned. That's the edition I am reading now, since my other book is on loan. I have since purchased online a hardbound edition of QOTD and I'm just waiting for it to be shipped.

We are going up to Baguio because I also bought from a seller there Interview with the Vampire, hardcover edition, and The Vampire Armand. I am ending my 2014 with a bang and starting 2015 with fangs!

So, to complete my hardcover collection of Anne Rice's books, I just need to find The Feast of All Saints, The Witching Hour, Blood Canticle, and Blackwood Farm. I am also looking for the first edition of The Mummy in large paperback.

Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Day 24 on IWTV: Claudia has a plan

"Locked together in hatred," was how Claudia described their trio, and Louis felt despair towards all this. Claudia had nowhere to go, and it seemed like he felt neither did he. Living alone as a mortal, in one's twilight years, awaiting death in a home for the aged... we are familiar with this in this century. Sad this image might be, but something the society has come to expect. But to live alone for all eternity?

Louis and Claudia did not yet know that there were other vampires besides them. And they were stuck with Lestat, their enigmatic, charismatic, and villainous maker. I wish I can quote in full here what Claudia said to Louis, for it was so insightful, and important regarding Louis's character and nature, and elegantly written. But I would not. I would rather that you read the novel alongside me. That you even read deeper into it, farther than my own slovenly pace, and admire it on your own. All of this beautiful insight to Louis's character amidst the image of the skull and lavender petals.

At this point it is revealed what Claudia's vampire age was: sixty-five years old, trapped forever in a young child's body. And now she connives with Louis to leave Lestat, something that Louis had often dreamed of but never thought possible.

While I feel sorry for Lestat, I side with Claudia in this. I think everyone in an abusive relationship, where one deems to make himself master and of his equals his slaves, should leave. No one deserves to be abused and used. I live in the Philippines, probably the only country in the world today where the Catholic Church holds the bastion over the government. We have no divorce laws, and "annulment" laws are only for the rich. So many abused wives (or husbands) are stuck in marriages that are better ended. But to be locked together in hatred is to be in hell on earth.

This is never an easy decision, of course. The price of liberation. But to do that, one must be free first in his own mind. Louis had always seen himself as trapped, fated unto Lestat. Claudia saw different. Claudia had a plan.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Day 23 on IWTV: Vampire Eyes

With the rising of Claudia's self-awareness came also her questions, the very same questions Louis once asked Lestat to no end. Only, of course, this time it came from Claudia's unique perspective. Even when she quotes Louis on his term "vampire eyes," Louis admits it sounded differently coming from her.

To see with vampire eyes is to look deeply into the beauty of the world and not to take anything for granted. That's how I understood it from Louis. When I read that part I took it upon myself to try to do the same with my all-too-human eyes. To look deeply into people. To really see, without the haze of prejudice clouding my vision. I also wanted to be a deep reader, something described in a Time article by Annie Murphy Paul. Claudia seems to mean vampire eyes as killer eyes: to be a true predator to the throbbing world.

So Louis takes Claudia out for a walk. White and pink oleanders shoot out from cracks in the street.

Pink Oleanders
I shudder because I know where Louis is taking Claudia. He was doing the brave thing, of showing her the truth of the past, of Claudia's death (and birth into vampire life). This honesty is never an easy thing.

How do you admit to a loved one that you have wronged her at a time that she was helpless to defend herself?

But that was exactly what Louis set out to do. And when he did he described the moment being "elastic" and "painful" and "unbearable." He became acutely aware of her, and of their surroundings, and this is the quality of clarity. Clarity often does bring pain. Pain is its price. Pain and fear.

And when Louis confessed it all, how he fed on her, and how Lestat gave her the Blood, Claudia's response was searing: "And here it is. And I hate you both."

Will there be no end to Louis's sadness and string of tragedies in his vampire life?