If in the show Oberyn doesn’t say any of the:
- "If you die before you say her name, ser, I will hunt you through all seven hells."
- Elia Martell, Princess of Dorne.
- Elia Martell, Princess of Dorne, you raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children.
- I came to hear confess
I will cry.
But if show!Oberyn says them, I will cry.
Fredric March and Gary Cooper reach across the boundaries of time to flirt with us from the Paramount lot.
Si ce n’est celle d’un tigre dans la jungle…
quoted in Melville, Le Samouraï, 1967 (via coffeeandlemon)
Why so serious?
Hi Anon! Thanks for your question. You may be thinking about the bogus Renata de Waele “account” of a deformed musical genius named “Eric” who fell in love with the opera singer “Christine Dahe.” This is, however, all a load of hooey. Sorry to break it to you, but Erik was never real. No matter how much Gaston Leroux may have claimed that Erik was a real person, he was a fictional character.
That said, Leroux used a literary technique called “faction” (fact + fiction) to write The Phantom of the Opera, and so there are some events in his novel that were inspired by actual occurrences, like the chandelier accident that happened on 20 May, 1896 (more than 15 years after Phantom is supposedly set), where a counterweight from the chandelier (though not the whole chandelier itself) fell into the audience, killing a woman and injuring several other people.
On 21 May, 1896, Le Matin, the Parisian daily newspaper where Leroux was then employed, ran the following headline (you can read the full article here). The victim’s name is listed as Mme Chaumet in Le Matin, though in Le Figaro, her name is listed as both Mme Chaumet and Mme Chaumeil — in the same edition!
(Could it be that the French have as much difficulty spelling their language as I do?)
Leroux borrowed this wording when he wrote the headline for the concierge’s death in Le Fantôme de l’Opéra (in italics below):
Though, being Leroux, he significantly exaggerated the weight of the chandelier debris, increasing its weight from five hundred kilos, to two hundred thousand kilos!
Another instance of faction in Leroux’s narrative is his character, the Persian. The Persian was based on a real man, Mohammed Ismaël Khan (who went by Ismaël), who was famous in Paris for frequenting the Opera House and wearing his signature astrakhan hat. He even lived on the Rue de Rivoli (#204, to be exact), facing the Tuileries, just as Leroux described. You can read about Ismaël (in French) in this piece extracted from the book, Les célébrités de la rue, and you can read more about him in the Revue encyclopédique. The researcher extraordinaire, Scorp, has also written about the Persian in his recent article on Phantom, which you can purchase here.
However, this Persian never visited the Opéra Garnier, as Leroux wrote, because he died in 1868 at the age of 82, seven years before the Opéra Garnier was inaugurated. Instead, Ismaël frequented the previous Opera House, the Salle Le Peletier.
As for Erik, however, there is no evidence that Leroux was basing him on a real person (like he did the Persian).
Furthermore, Leroux’s original readership would have recognized immediately that Leroux’s novel was a work of fiction. Le Fantôme de l’Opéra was first published as a feuilleton (serialized novel) in the Parisian daily newspaper, Le Gaulois. As a feuilleton, it was understood to be a work of fiction; factual accounts were not printed in the feuilleton section. It was actually rather avant-garde for Leroux, a former journalist, to be presenting a faux-factual “dear reader” narrative, presented as an extended journalistic account, in the feuilleton section of an actual journal. It was ingenious for a literary work, and was yet another way in which Leroux stretched, subverted, and played with the accepted tropes of his media.
However, once Le Fantôme de l’Opéra was published as a book, it lost this additional layer of meaning, and the story became more “real” than Leroux had initially intended. However, Leroux was more than willing to capitalize on this misconception, like in a promotional piece that he wrote for the upcoming Lon Chaney movie, where he reiterated the “truth” of his story. You can read an English translation of this piece here. There is nothing to suggest, however, that this piece was anything but tongue in cheek; Leroux was simply playing along with the popular notions that had begun to surround his book, as Erik transitioned from the world of clear fiction to the world of ambiguous, potential reality. The fact that some people still believe that Erik actually lived is proof of the power of Leroux’s narrative. It is the ultimate illusion; Leroux’s final magic trick. And I think that Leroux would get a good chuckle if he knew that even today people were still debating the veracity of his novel.