Queries & Theories about Lestat

As much as we love the Vampire Chronicles and all things Lestat, that doesn’t mean we all wholeheartedly accept or understand whatever’s written down on the page for us.

Through our reading of these books, there have doubtless been situations, statements, or whatever that have left us with a nagging feeling at the pit of our stomach (as in “This just doesn’t seem right”) or just more questions on our minds. This section, hopefully, will give all of you a chance to discuss whatever nagging details have stuck in your minds while reading the books, or help clear up whatever questions you might have.

Every once in awhile I’ll either post a question (a query) or an idea (a theory). Everyone who would like to answer or just wax philosophical on the topic is welcome to send a response. Just the same, you are all more than welcome, encouraged in fact, so send in your own ideas and questions. If you’d like to submit something, please email me. I will post whatever responses I receive with the corresponding questions on the page.

On Revisionist History

Query #1

As any fan of genre film, fiction, or television will tell you, continuity is of the utmost importance where viewing enjoyment is concerned. A horror/scifi fan’s attention to detail has often been played for comic effect in the movies (as in “Galaxy Quest”). When a writer or author blatantly ignores past facts or deliberately defies all sense of logic in constructing a storyline, fans can often get angry over it; can you blame us? We just want everything to make sense. The show “Dallas”, and its ‘Who Shot J.R.?’ storyline is a perfect example of revisionist history. An author finds out that a past storyline doesn’t quite gel with the present one, and so they throw in a cheap cop-out (i.e. “it was all just a dream”), or just simply pretend such and such never happened.

The query is this: Taking Anne Rice’s “Interview With the Vampire” and “The Vampire Lestat” into consideration, are the discrepencies between the events of the two texts (as described by Lestat in TVL) a blatant example of revisionist history and a total cop-out on Anne’s part, or are there actually clues within IWTV that indicate that there was more to Lestat than meets the eye, and that perhaps Louis really was misjudging him. In other words, is there enough evidence in IWTV that Lestat wasn’t as one-dimensional as Louis portrayed him to be to justify all of the “corrections” Lestat makes upon Louis’ account of their time together in TVL?

Memnoch the Paperweight?

Query #2

To the devoted followers of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and even moreso to those specifically devoted to one Lestat de Lioncourt, “Memnoch the Devil” came as a surprise with which many fans were shocked and disappointed. A lot of people felt that had waited four long years for another Lestat adventure, only to be served up with some pseudo-theological treatise starring someone who professed to be Lestat but was quite obviously not. Fan reaction to the book was at times abrasive and wholly unsupportive, and I’ve found that a lot of people would rather pretend that “Memnoch” was never even written. A lot of fans were of the mind that Lestat was behaving in a manner completely unlike that which we had become accustomed to–i.e., what happened to the brash, fearless guy who swore he’d laugh in the face of the Devil if he was given the chance? Why did Lestat suddenly turn into (not my words here) a whiny simpering idiot who spent the whole book in tears?

The query is this: Is “Memnoch the Devil” as bad as many people have said it is? What was your opinion upon reading the book? As an established VC and/or Lestat fan, were you shocked by Lestat’s behavior in the book? Did you find Lestat’s behavior totally uncharacteristic? Or…did you actually like “Memnoch”? Did you find the subject matter interesting and compelling, and did you find Lestat to be his regular ol’ incorrigable Brat Prince-y self? Is Lestat’s behavior at the end of the book justified by the events therein?, i.e., considering what he’d been through during the book, was his behavior at the end justifiable? Any thoughts or musings on the book are welcome.

It’s Not Just About Vampires, It’s Really about Us

Theory #1

In a special introduction to the 1995 home video version of “Interview With the Vampire”, Anne Rice made the above statement, imploring the viewers that the movie they were about to see was not just some vacuous vampire flick. It had a purpose, it had a deeper meaning, it wasn’t just about blood and fangs. “Interview”, Anne said, was not just a vampire movie, it was a movie about us. Now for anybody who is deeply immersed in the world of VC fandom, they’ve surely come across some article that refers to the Chronicles and Rice’s take on vampires as an allegory for the outsider, for those who don’t feel as if they fit in. Now, I’m not sure if Anne had this whole angle in mind when she was writing “Interview”, as she has said that the reason she started it was because she’d always wondered what it was like to be a vampire (however, it might have taken on a life of its own as the writing process progressed). However, let’s say it’s true, let’s say that IWTV (and all the Chronicles) really are about us, that they’re more a path of self-discovery for us mere mortals; such an idea isn’t that big of a stretch.

The theory is this: “Interview With the Vampire” (and all of the Vampire Chronicles) are not just about vampires, they really are about us.

How is this true, both in general (for all humans), and personally (meaning just your particular life experiences)?

What is/was it about Lestat that factors into this question, i.e. what is it about him that so enables people to identify and admire him, and in effect, learn more about themselves?

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