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Blogging the Phantom

Chapter One: Is it the Ghost?

I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge of French is very, very limited, but I thought "la" meant "the." Why, then, is Carlotta called "La Carlotta" and this girl Sorelli (who is a "principal" dancer, but apparently not the prima ballerina) called "La Sorelli?" I mean, The Carlotta and The Sorelli? I guess she's not just any Sorelli, she's the Sorelli? (I'm assuming Sorelli to be the girl's surname, 'cause it sure doesn't sound like a first name.)

God spare me from misplaced quotation marks. Look at this sentence. Sorelli, who wished to be alone for a moment to "run through" the speech which she was to make to the resigning managers, looked around angrily at the mad and tumultuous crowd. I may be wrong, but I think the quotation marks around run through are completely unnecessary. Maybe grammar rules were different in 1910. I have to assume this is more a fault of the translation than what Leroux actually wrote in the original French manuscript.

If Leroux were a woman, I'd assume this Jammes was a Mary Sue. I mean, look at the description of her: "the girl with the tip-tilted nose, the forget-me-not eyes, the rose-red cheeks and the lily-white neck and shoulders." That is pure MS (or bs, depending on how you look at it), especially the eyes.

Speaking of physical descriptions, Leroux describes Meg Giry as "the girl with eyes black as sloes, hair black as ink, a swarthy complexion and a poor little skin stretched over poor little bones." That's a far cry from the fair-skinned blonde who played her in ALW's movie.

Leroux says the dancers buy each other "rhum." Is it safe to assume that's rum?

ALW's POTO movie shows Joseph Buquet as a leering drunk, who loved scaring the girls with stories about Erik. Leroux describes Buquet as "a serious, sober, steady man, very slow at imagining things." I guess Leroux wants to establish that Erik isn't just the figment of a bunch of silly girls' imaginations. But, considering Buquet's fate (which I assume is the same in the book), I prefer him to be a lecherous drunk who more or less deserves his fate.

Oh no. Please tell me that an experienced writer did not stick a footnote (about himself, natch) at the end of a page like some newbie fanfic writer. At least he didn't put it in the middle of the paragraph.

I get the feeling that the ballet brats (I love that term) are so obsessed with Erik because they've got nothing else in their lives except their dancing. Erik certainly breaks up the monotony.

Whoa! Buquet's dead, and it's only the first chapter! Didn't Leroux know anything about pacing?

After nonsense about what happened to his hanging rope, the chapter ends.