The Northern Railway Station of the World

View previous topic View next topic Go down

The Northern Railway Station of the World

Post  ya-chai 2 on Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:39 pm

I asked this question on another forum and wanted to know what anyone thought about it here. First though, I need to quote some paragraphs from Leroux:

"The monster resumed his mask and collected his strength to leave the daroga. He told him that, when he felt his end to be very near at hand, he would send him, in gratitude for the kindness which the Persian had once shown him, that which he held dearest in the world: all Christine Daae's papers, which she had written for Raoul's benefit and left with Erik, together with a few objects belonging to her, such as a pair of gloves, a shoe-buckle and two pocket-handkerchiefs. In reply to the Persian's questions, Erik told him that the two young people, at soon as they found themselves free, had resolved to go and look for a priest in some lonely spot where they could hide their happiness and that, with this object in view, they had started from "the northern railway station of the world." Lastly, Erik relied on the Persian, as soon as he received the promised relics and papers, to inform the young couple of his death and to advertise it in the EPOQUE."

and

."...They took the train one day from "the northern railway station of the world." ...Possibly, I too shall take the train at that station, one day, and go and seek around thy lakes, O Norway, O silent Scandinavia, for the perhaps still living traces of Raoul and Christine and also of Mamma Valerius, who disappeared at the same time!."

and this:

"I have prayed over his mortal remains, that God might show him mercy notwithstanding his crimes. Yes, I am sure, quite sure that I prayed beside his body, the other day, when they took it from the spot where they were burying the phonographic records. It was his skeleton. I did not recognize it by the ugliness of the head, for all men are ugly when they have been dead as long as that, but by the plain gold ring which he wore and which Christine Daae had certainly slipped on his finger, when she came to bury him in accordance with her promise."

I had read once somewhere a fascinating post where someone equated the northern most railroad as equivalent to death. Yet in the second paragraph, Leroux seems to equate it with a place. So what exactly is it? A state of mind, an actual place, or is it death? And what do you think about Valerius? I understood she was bedridden, so how would she get to this place? If you don't believe she went with Raoul and Christine, where did she disappear to?

The third paragraph I quoted has always been an interesting one to me for a couple of reasons. Raoul is now a fugitive and forced to flee possibly for his life. I believe Leroux also mentions that Christine is implicated in all of this, so she too is forced to flee. Erik says they had started from the northernmost railway of the world, yet they came back three weeks later to bury him?

Where would they have hidden for those three weeks? I really hate to sound morbid but the thing that occurred to me is that perhaps they were caught by the police and secretly dispatched. Erik was found dead in the cellar and was buried by whoever posted his death in the paper. And on a side note, just who was the person who kept tabs on Erik to alert that papers of his death?

I always thought is strange that Leroux didn't do any further checking to find out what happened to Erik and Christine. He assumes they went to Norway and hopes to find traces of them there.....someday. That's the best he could do? By the time this book was written there were so many technological advances that could aid in locating people. Plus, Raoul's sisters were alive and might have been of help. Yet Leroux leaves the ending with a 'maybe I'll go up there someday and find traces of them'. Thoughts?

ya-chai 2

Posts : 20
Join date : 2010-05-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Northern Railway Station of the World

Post  MarySkater on Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:11 pm

Thank you for a very interesting post.

Before I ever read Phantom, I knew that there was a main railway station in Paris called "Gare du Nord" ("Station of the North") and I took the station references in Leroux to mean this station.  I hadn't noticed that he adds the term "du Monde" ("of the World").  I'm inclined to think that this was simply a more elaborate name for the station, but as you say, maybe there was also some metaphorical meaning attached to the phrase.  The De Mattos translation of Phantom uses the same words that you quoted, "the northern railway station of the world." However, the Ribiere translation leaves the phrase in French as "Gare du Nord," so I presume that she is regarding it purely as the Paris railway station, with no extra meanings attached.  Lacking any further explanation in the book, I'm inclined to agree with Ribiere.

Mamma Valerius is described as "ill and in bed" on an occasion when Raoul went to see her, but I don't think it's stated anywhere that her disability is permanent, so it's possible that by the end of the book she had recovered sufficiently to travel.

I think it may be saying too much, to say that Raoul "is now a fugitive and forced to flee."  I don't see any evidence that the police suspected him of involvement in Philippe's death; it's just gossip which links the two brothers with Christine, and it's to avoid such gossip that Raoul and Christine choose to disappear.

Regarding such questions as where did the lovers hide out for 3 weeks, so that they could then come back and bury Erik?  Or, who placed the "Erik is dead" announcement in L'Epoque?  I'm afraid the most likely answer is that Leroux couldn't be bothered to tie up all the loose ends of his story.  Those gaps are now available for any fanfiction writers who care to fill them in.

Mary

MarySkater

Posts : 50
Join date : 2014-06-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Northern Railway Station of the World

Post  LadyCDaae on Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:56 pm

Or, who placed the "Erik is dead" announcement in L'Epoque?

There, at least, Leroux does have an explanation:

[Erik] told him that, when he felt his end to be very near at hand, he would send him, in gratitude for the kindness which the Persian had once shown him, that which he held dearest in the world...Lastly, Erik relied on the Persian, as soon as he received the promised relics and papers, to inform the young couple of his death and to advertise it in the EPOQUE.

In order to hazard a guess as to where Christine and Raoul went (at least for the three-week interim) we'd have to know what the circulation of the Epoque was. Any ideas?

~LCD

LadyCDaae

Posts : 724
Join date : 2009-10-04
Age : 39
Location : Denver

View user profile http://musicalhell.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: The Northern Railway Station of the World

Post  MarySkater on Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:15 pm

LadyCDaae wrote:
Or, who placed the "Erik is dead" announcement in L'Epoque?

There, at least, Leroux does have an explanation:

~LCD

Sorry, yes, you're right, it was the Persian who was to place the announcement.  The unanswered question from that part of the story is, who was to send Christine's papers and other items to the Persian, so that he would know it was time to announce Erik's death.  I was writing from memory instead of checking. Embarassed

Mary

MarySkater

Posts : 50
Join date : 2014-06-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Northern Railway Station of the World

Post  LadyCDaae on Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:30 pm

Erik himself, once he believed his death to be imminent. (Lucky for him he was able to predict that with reasonable accuracy, and wasn't rendered immobile or unconscious before he could manage it...)

~LCD

LadyCDaae

Posts : 724
Join date : 2009-10-04
Age : 39
Location : Denver

View user profile http://musicalhell.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: The Northern Railway Station of the World

Post  ya-chai 2 on Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:26 am

I guess what I was wondering is how Erik got the relics and papers to Daroga. Wouldn't he have had to have someone deliver them since he would have been too near death to do that himself?

ya-chai 2

Posts : 20
Join date : 2010-05-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Northern Railway Station of the World

Post  ya-chai 2 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:40 am

I was looking through the original version that appeared in the paper that's in this forum and made a discovery. Leroux calls this place/state of mind "la gare du Norde du Monde". My French is really rusty, but I believe this translates to the northern railway of the world. I looked in the Epilogue to see if perhaps it was phrased differently, but he uses the exact same phrase there as well.

ya-chai 2

Posts : 20
Join date : 2010-05-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

The northern railway of the world

Post  Lynx on Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:14 am

This has always interested me. When I was young and read the book for the first time, I was innocent enough to think nothing of this northern railway. As I read it again it hit me. North in Nordic mythology is the place where the dead live. There is quite a few references to nordic mythology in the book, so this one sounds somehow spooky. Mamma Valerius was in no condition to travel to any other places but one... the place where the dead go. Makes me think that the daroga shouldn't have believed Erik.

Lynx

Posts : 3
Join date : 2015-03-17

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Northern Railway Station of the World

Post  ya-chai 2 on Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:20 pm

Lynx wrote:
"North in Nordic mythology is the place where the dead live. There is quite a few references to nordic mythology in the book, so this one sounds somehow spooky. Mamma Valerius was in no condition to travel to any other places but one... the place where the dead go. Makes me think that the daroga shouldn't have believed Erik."


I've been watching and reading the Game of Throne books, and interestingly enough, the North is also the place where the dead roam. In America it's often equated to death. I can recall some legendary characters who are known to wander in the north to this day, even though they've been dead for over a hundred years. It's odd to me that the Daroga doesn't believe Erik with regard to Philippe's death, yet he believes Raoul and Christine escaped to freedom.

It's also possible that Raoul and Christine were so scarred over their encounter with Erik that maybe they sought solace and happiness in death.

ya-chai 2

Posts : 20
Join date : 2010-05-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Northern Railway Station of the World

Post  Sponsored content Today at 1:22 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum