Random Leroux questions

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Random Leroux questions

Post  Raphael on Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:51 pm

I thought I'd post an all-purpose thread for miscellaneous question people have regarding the novel. Here's mine:

La Carlotta and La Sorelli (the "La" Girls). I've read three different translations of the book, and to my knowledge, neither of these ladies was attributed a full name. I know there have been at least a couple more translations since the Leonard Wolf edition, so have any more "missing excerpts" popped up concerning Carlotta and Sorelli?

Carlotta is a relatively common first name (and allegedly the character was inspired by Marie Miolan-Carvalho), but Sorelli sounds more like a surname to me. Anyone know if she was based on an actual ballerina?

R.

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Re: Random Leroux questions

Post  operafantomet on Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:11 am

It is a habit of the artist world to either be called by ones first name or nickname. Italian Renaissance artists, for example, should always be referred to either by nickname (Bronzino, Tintoretto) or first name (Michelangelo, Tiziano). I would think the same was valid, or at least fashionable, at the Paris Opera House.

To me "La Sorelli" seems more like a nickname. But I'm thinking either Leroux messed up the grammar or added some kind of pun. "Sorella" means "sister" or "dear friend" (hereunder girlfriend). I get the feeling Leroux indicate a fringy moral on the ballerina's behalf by calling her "Sorelli", and that it wouldn't be her actual name.

In the rather faithful Mireille Ribière translation, they're also just called "Carlotta" and "Sorelli". No hint of a second name there.

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Re: Random Leroux questions

Post  Raphael on Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:27 pm

Thanks for the insight, Anéa! Hmm. For the purposes of my project, maybe I'll call her "Carmen" Sorelli or something...

R.

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Re: Random Leroux questions

Post  Callie Daae on Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:11 pm

I have a question regarding the age of the characters in the novel:


Erik aka The Phantom, is described as being in his late 40s.

Christine is 20

Raoul is 21


correct?

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Re: Random Leroux questions

Post  Raphael on Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:33 pm

Callie Daae wrote:I have a question regarding the age of the characters in the novel:


Erik aka The Phantom, is described as being in his late 40s.

Christine is 20

Raoul is 21


correct?
None of the above characters are ever referenced as being a specific age in the Leroux novel. However, the closest it does get is saying that Raoul's brother Philippe, was 41 and that Raoul was "twenty years" younger - inferring that Raoul was 21 at the time of the story (later in the book, Leroux says that Raoul is 20, so this may just be a general statement rather than a specific one).

Christine is at least older than 15, since there is a reference to critics seeing her in the conservatory at that age.

Erik's age is not mentioned at all, although from the brief description of his life, he couldn't have been a young man.

R.

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Re: Random Leroux questions

Post  LadyCDaae on Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:36 am

I seem to recall one of Leonard Wolf's annotations claiming that if you go by the historical events referenced by Leroux, Erik would most likely be in his fifties or sixties--unfortunately, I'm not in a position to check right now.

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Re: Random Leroux questions

Post  HDKingsbury on Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:46 am

Yes, some of the historical events Erik was supposed to be involved in while working for the Shah would have made him quite a bit older than 40 or even 50. I believe this is the passage you were thinking of, LadyCDaae?

"He committed a number of horrors because he seemed not to know the difference between good and evil, and participated in several important political assassinations as calmly as when, with his diabolical inventions, he fought the emir of Afghanistan, who was at war with the empire."

This would be the Afghani-Persian War of 1837. As Wolf points out, even if Erik had been in his teens at this time, he would have been pushing 60 at the very least!

And while I've been informed that L'Officier deliberately mis-translated Christine's age as being 15 and leading to the confusion that she was still in her mid teens during the events of the story (this came from someone who had been in direct communication of L'Officier, and posted this info over on phantomoftheopera.com -- but I can't recall the actual thread just now), the passage in question says that she has the heart of a 15-year-old, suggesting that she is at least several years older than that but who retained a more youthful innocence.

Myself? I always took it for granted that she was close in age to Raoul, particularly when you take into consideration their shared background stories and the time she spent studying at the Conservatory.


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Re: Random Leroux questions

Post  LadyCDaae on Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:03 pm

That's the one--thanks! I knew he was supposed to have participated in some conflict in that part of the world, but didn't have my Leroux handy.

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Re: Random Leroux questions

Post  Callie Daae on Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:22 am

Thanks Raphael!

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Re: Random Leroux questions

Post  Raphael on Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:29 pm

HDKingsbury wrote:Yes, some of the historical events Erik was supposed to be involved in while working for the Shah would have made him quite a bit older than 40 or even 50. I believe this is the passage you were thinking of, LadyCDaae?

"He committed a number of horrors because he seemed not to know the difference between good and evil, and participated in several important political assassinations as calmly as when, with his diabolical inventions, he fought the emir of Afghanistan, who was at war with the empire."

This would be the Afghani-Persian War of 1837. As Wolf points out, even if Erik had been in his teens at this time, he would have been pushing 60 at the very least!
And there go the dreams and fantasies of many a Gerik fangirl Laughing

Generally, I'm a little wary of Wolf's research since I believe he cited the Othello opera in the book as being Verdi's while Rossini's predated it. I know nothing about opera and even I managed to come up with that bit of info with little effort.

And while I've been informed that L'Officier deliberately mis-translated Christine's age as being 15 and leading to the confusion that she was still in her mid teens during the events of the story (this came from someone who had been in direct communication of L'Officier, and posted this info over on phantomoftheopera.com -- but I can't recall the actual thread just now), the passage in question says that she has the heart of a 15-year-old, suggesting that she is at least several years older than that but who retained a more youthful innocence.

Myself? I always took it for granted that she was close in age to Raoul, particularly when you take into consideration their shared background stories and the time she spent studying at the Conservatory.
Yeah, I assumed that Christie and Raoul were of the same age or just a couple years difference as well.

Okay, next random question: We know that Leroux tended to mix fantasy and reality. So was there an actual Duchess of Zurich that Christine could have performed her one and only performance outside of the Opera?

R.

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Re: Random Leroux questions

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