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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: It's not so much distance I craved: Edit Log

Tol Eressea

Jun 18 2007, 6:04pm

Views: 3433
It's not so much distance I craved

as invention and looking at the world through the eyes of the beautiful Elves. Their viewpoint is so different from ours and so noble. Another story I liked for similar reasons was Anne Rice’s early Vampire Chronicles. (The vampires aren't all noble, but they certainly are exceptional.) One passage that comes to mind takes place at the very beginning of Interview with the Vampire when Lestat has just made Louis a vampire. Louis describes the death of his human nature as he becomes a vampire (If I have the cheek to quote Anne Rice in a forum about Tolkien, that’s my affair.) ;o)

"It was as if I had only just been able to see colors and shapes for the first time. I was so enthralled with the buttons on Lestat's black coat that I looked at nothing else for a long time. Then Lestat began to laugh, and I heard his laughter as I had never heard anything before. His heart I still heard like the beating of a drum, and now came this metallic laughter. It was confusing, each sound running into the next sound, like the mingling reverberations of bells, until I learned to separate the sounds, and then they overlapped, each soft but distinct, increasing but discrete peals of laughter." The vampire smiled with delight. "Peals of bells.

"'Stop looking at my buttons,' "Lestat said. 'Go out there into the trees. Rid yourself of all the human waste in your body, and don't fall so madly in love with the night that you lose your way!'

"That, of course, was a wise command. When I saw the moon on the flagstones, I became so enamored with it that I must have spent an hour there. I passed my bother's oratory without so much as a thought of him, and standing among the cottonwood and oaks, I heard the night as if it were a chorus of whispering women, all beckoning me to their breasts."

Another passage I love is from The Vampire Lestat. Lestat has just awoken in New Orleans in the 1980s after going underground in the 1920s and describes this new world:

"The dark dreary industrial world that I'd gone to sleep on had burnt itself out finally, and the old bourgeois prudery and conformity had lost their hold on the American mind.

"People were adventurous and erotic again the way they'd been in the old days, before the great middle-class revolutions of the late 1700s. They even looked the way they had in those times.

"The men didn't wear the Sam Spade uniform of shirt, tie, gray suit, and gray hat any longer. Once again, they constumed themselves in velvet and silk and brilliant colors if they felt like it. They did not have to clip their hair like Roman soldiers anymore; they wore it any length they desired.

"And the women – ah, the women were glorious, naked in the spring warmth as they'd been under the Egyptian pharaohs, in skimpy short skirts and tuniclike dresses, or wearing men's pants and shirts skintight over ther curvaceous bodies if they pleased. They painted, and decked themselves out in gold and silver, even to walk to the grocery store. Or they went fresh scrubbed and without ornament – it didn't matter.. They curled their hair like Marie Antoinette or cut it off or let it blow free."

Her book The Mummy also has some fascinating passages from the mummy's viewpoint. There’s such wonder in it and such a different viewpoint from that of mundane humans. Plus, the vampires have their own history alongside that of humans which Anne Rice slowly reveals as the reader progresses through the books, like the payoff you get from reading Tokien's backstory.

When I was looking for my copy of the Anne Rice book my eyes happened to light on The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I got a similar enjoyment out of it. While the characters in it (except for the narrator) are clearly human, their intelligence and their membership in high society also removes them from the mundane world. I started to look for a good quote from it, but it's been a long time since I last read it so that would take more time than I have at the moment.

Thanks for giving me an excuse to ramble.


Coming up with reasons for changing my nick from GaladrielTX to Galadriel wore me out.

(This post was edited by Galadriel on Jun 18 2007, 6:06pm)

Edit Log:
Post edited by GaladrielTX (Tol Eressea) on Jun 18 2007, 6:05pm
Post edited by GaladrielTX (Tol Eressea) on Jun 18 2007, 6:06pm

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