This is the actual law:
In the original French: https://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/
(Section relevant to Gustave's situation: VII.I.2 "De la paternité et de la filiation" ) 312. L’enfant conçu pendant le mariage, a pour père le mari. [...] 313.
Le mari ne pourra, en alléguant son impuissance naturelle, désavouer l’enfant : il ne pourra le désavouer même pour cause d’adultère, à moins que la naissance ne lui ait été cachée...)
And that really is it for the moment, I hope, although concert No. 2 was so delayed from the original schedule that we've got another one due in a couple of months...
Fan-fiction progress:( Read more... )
We also have a summary, provisionally at least, and about six hundred words of beginning (two days' concentrated work; at this rate, the story is going to take some time...)
Apparently I made several wrong assumptions so far as the WW1 stuff goes, partly due to cursory reading of inaccurate sources; there was no 'second wave' call-up of older men, so Raoul would have been involved right from the start. After several days' panic I worked out that the dates are about right for him to be on leave (assuming he's an officer; the first leave didn't come through for the general troops until considerably later), although this of course has knock-on effects on everything else. Gustave is rather further away from official call-up age (twenty in France) than I had imagined, although rather closer in reality than the official dates would suggest. And there was no American equivalent of the VAD for untrained women :-(
I hope I don't find any more nasty holes after I've written the material...
At any rate, I've got a framework for the beginning (Raoul with his old uniform from the Reserves, writing his second letter and getting flashes back from the first letter), an opening for the carriage scene (scratches from Meg--rumours about Gustave--future children--Christine with the Phantom--but he put her there), and the essential New Backstory for their estrangement and the gambling, as required for every LND story :-p
(He had married a woman, not an opera--he had denied her nothing in those days--when she wanted to go back to the stage, the child had affected her voice--gradual alienation from the avoidance of caresses that could go no further--cousin Rodolphe de Sessaies went to Monte Carlo--Christine encouraged him to go with them--a drunken girl staked her pearl necklet and he won it against his watch--to give to Christine, like a boy with a fairing--things were better for a while, and he went again, but it didn't stop there. He was a rich man, after all, richer than Rodolphe--he could afford to lose--and then he couldn't)
Then Gustave wakes to ask again about Christine -- she will hate me. Back to letter.
As I said, apparently I am writing this story, like it or not! So it looks as if I need to work out the deal with the Phantom (always my weak point).
I'd have to be careful, because this is actually a plotline I've seen done in fan-fiction, albeit in a somewhat different vein. ( plot elements so far )
( Notes on French Army in WW1 )
Just spent the evening compiling the various 'discussions' that I'd had via fanfiction.net about Teach Me to Live as a respose to receiving further reviews on the story, only to discover that I'd already posted just such a compilation on this site two years ago -- the top entry under the tag-link above -- and included more material there! (The confusion is caused by the fact that I had already cut and pasted sections from earlier detailed review replies into later ones, so there is a certain amount of overlap and differing content depending on which replies I'd originally sourced my analysis from...)
I've now uploaded a combined edition to my website along with a copy of the story itself, though I don't plan to alter the version of the page here; the formatting is too different, and altering it would be a nightmare totally disproportionate to the usefulness of the exercise. Ironically, the one time that article would have come in useful -- when I was responding to those fresh reviews -- I'd forgotten I had it!
At least it provided me with the impetus actually to archive another story on my own site instead of relying on fanfiction.net, although to be honest on past history the latter is probably more likely to stay up for longer. However, I'm totally out of sync now: at a quick count I currently have five POTO/LND stories uploaded there versus 22 on FFnet. The latter is a slightly scary total (albeit including two translations plus two as-yet unfinished works) to contemplate; I really don't remember writing that many! I think the spate of 'one-shots' rather than multi-chapter stories over the last year has skewed it a bit, and of course that total also includes one story about Joseph Buquet and one about Piangi: they're not *all* about Raoul de Chagny. Not quite.
I came across the New York Times report on the real first night at the new Manhattan Opera, which ironically enough makes it plain that my hypothesis about the Opera House not being ready and the gala having to be postponed would have been entirely historically apt -- it wasn't really ready for the grand opening as it was. However, the idea of Christine going off elsewhere for several months to escape the Phantom threat wouldn't really wash after I'd made such a plot point of the moral imperative to get her there on the night she was due to sing for the Phantom instead, so in the end I just had her rely on his promise to let her and Gustave "go free" (even though in canon and even in this story he obviously didn't keep to that intention for very long; he was trying to trap Raoul by the small hours of the following morning, i.e. rather less than a day later!)
Anyway, I was able to pinch lots of ideas about what the Manhattan Opera and its clientele were actually like from the contemporary reportage. :-)( Read more... )
Wonderful inspiration this morning: I'd been worrying about how to make sure Christine gets paid if she plans to leave immediately after the gala, given that her contract presumably commits her to perform in the full opening season. I'd also been irritated by Lloyd Webber's sloppy dating, given that the real Manhattan Opera House opened in December 1906.
Then I suddenly remembered that Hammerstein had other opera houses elsewhere in America: why not send Christine off to Philadelphia instead while awaiting the real opening time? Admittedly this would involve redating the story to 1906 instead of 1907, but then that one wasn't my error in the first place!
Finally I checked the facts... and found that, sadly, the Philadelphia Opera House was actually opened two years after the Manhattan Opera, in 1908 :-(
But sadly for Andrew Lloyd Webber's plot, this opening night was actually December 3rd 1906 -- so Christine could hardly have been engaged "to open his new Manhattan Opera House" in summer 1907! Perhaps I should theorise that it was actually the start of a new season that she was supposed to be promoting... or simply feel at liberty to imitate the historical inaccuracy of the source material :-p
I thought I'd successfully patched last night's plot holes, ( Read more... )
Since it also raises big questions in canon about what the Phantom did to the real Hammerstein to prevent him from coming indignantly to look for his missing star (well, even bigger ones than those which already prompted this story), I'm tempted to put that particular detail down to a misunderstanding or to Raoul's elevated expectations of his family's importance to the Americans :-(
( Enter Jos Perlman, junior dogsbody for Hammerstein's organisation and would-be gumshoe in search of a missing soprano... )
Anyway, I'm quite pleased with it -- the rearrangement of existing events and lyrics is quite clever, the running time is I think consistent with the existing score, and I can picture it actually being performed. As a piece of writing it's something of a stylistic experiment, of course, but I'm not sure how many people are likely even to notice that.
And it has a proper title: "Redemption", which is what the Phantom is notably lacking in the current version of the scene!
It doesn't avoid one of the basic problems with the plot, which is that Christine gets handed over between one man and another without an apparent agency of her own in the matter, and it's sickeningly sentimental about the Phantom (who is portrayed as rather more noble, in my view, than is consistent with his character in the rest of the show), but both of those are the result of my attempt to come up with a version of the ending that is consistent with Andrew Lloyd Webber's apparent intentions for "Love Never Dies" and one that he might theoretically actually implement. I was slightly nervous about giving ALW a guest appearance in the final paragraphs, as it seems a little too much akin to Real Person Fiction and a little presumptuous to shoehorn a reaction onto someone, but there is a certain tradition of that in this fandom. (And at least I was civil about it!)
Hm, I wonder how I'm going to tag a one-word story title for blogging purposes...
Happy, healthy young apple seedlings... and the ink-bottle for my fountain-pens!
A tangled tray of 'salad' waiting to form flower-buds (believe it or not, I did do some thinning-out, by the unorthodox route of removing the stronger specimens of each species!)
Results from the fine-as-dust seed that was left in the bottom of the packet, which I suspect will produce a different species mix
In further news, I have finished typing "A Family Man" and started work on the provisionally-titled "Meg Shoots the Phantom" -- which is definitely going to need a better title at some point!
It looks as if the latter story really is going to be a short one for once, which I think is partly due to the script-like presentation I've consciously adopted (present tense and third-person 'objective', hence no long digressions into backstory or characters' thoughts about other characters) and partly due to the constraints of the original model: as an alternate finale, my version needs to fit more or less back into the space occupied by the current scene. Even as it is, it's going to be a bit longer, I suspect...
After discussing the finale of "Love Never Dies" (subsequent to the LND Hamburg review) I might actually end up having to write that Meg-shoots-Phantom scene... despite the fact that it's unoriginal fix-fic of the most blatant kind, that it can only plausibly be done ALW-style by milking the audience for a degree of sympathy for the Phantom that I frankly dislike, and that I said I wasn't going to write any more LND fanfic and least of all for a scene that I've already covered twice, and that every fangirl under the sun has already 'fixed' in the same unoriginal fashion. And that I still have the "Family Man" vignette to write, not to mention the long-queued "If I Were Vicomte", which I did think I might actually start!
But I've already got a beginning, an end, and a style for this scene (present tense, audience PoV). All I need to do is work out precisely how it plays out with Christine in the middle...
(Incidentally, I have to say that I've always loved the way the Russians spell "Raoul" in Cyrillic with a 'soft sign' ь at the end. I'm not sure it particularly reflects the French pronunciation -- it's more akin to appending a 'y' sound to the last letter -- but there's something very endearing about the convention!)
( Read more... )
It's wonderful what a bit of motivation can do...
Yet again, independent confirmation that Raoul (whom the reviewer concludes this Christine no longer loves in the romantic sense either) comes across in LND despite the author's intentions as a far more interesting and sympathetic character in his relationship with Christine than the one-note Phantom does, and indeed that Lloyd Webber has in effect written the piece as Raoul's tragedy and not, as he supposes, as that of the Phantom. How did the composer manage to do this without noticing?
The late-coming anemone is now dying as well without ever having reached full growth, the one with the damaged stem has withered, and the others have not only failed to bloom but aren't looking all that vigorous either. I'm afraid that as house-plants (and as a gift) they were a complete and utter failure.