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 The Persian

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Gabby81
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PostSubject: The Persian   Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:59 pm

So, I'm still not done the book, but almost. I'm curious about the Persian, since this is the first I've dealt with him. I'm a little confused on how he came to live at the Opera House. My big question is, when we are reading "The Persian's Tale", is this supposed to be actual fact, truth? I mean, in Leroux's idea, is everything the Persian says about the earlier years of the Phantom true? Can we rely on his story?
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PhantomnessFay
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:14 pm

Very little is known about the Persian. No one seemed to know his name and Leroux did not include it in his book. All we know of him is that he knew Erik when they were younger and lived in MAZANDARAN, a province of northern Persia, lying between the Caspian Sea and the Elburz range.

Erik referred to him as Daroga, meaning police commissioner, a post he held in Persia. The story says Daroga or the Persian saved Erik's life when the Shah wanted him dead, as to retain the secrets of building a Palace of Mirrors.

According to Leroux, the Persian's account was given to him already written and yes, it's supposed to be true.

The Persian is a mysterious characters, who seemed only interested in keeping Erik out of trouble, which means, no more killing. Apparently, Erik did kill when he shouldn't, but no specifics are mentioned.

Let us know what you think of this usual character.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:41 pm

The reason I had asked, was someone in another thread said that the Phantom doesn't kill in the original novel. But the Persian tells of him going up again condemned men with his punjab lasso for the sultana. He is definately an interesting character so far. I'm hoping to finish the book tonight, and I'm hoping some of these questions I have will be answered by then Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:26 pm

Erik was a political assassin and an executioner for the Shah. When you finish reading, you will see what I mean.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:04 pm

Wow! That's all I can say. What an incredible book. And yes, it did explain that Erik was an assassin/executioner for the Shah, still murder though. However, he denied having anything to do with Phillipe's death, and the chandelier. So, who knows.

The Persian was a wonderful character introduced to me. Personally though, I can see why he was left out of the musical/movie. Though he carries a lot of the plot line, it would be harder to convey it physically than on paper. Most of the Persians story is done as a narrative, and to act it out would require a lot of scene changes and time changes. Not saying it couldn't be done, but it would be difficult.

Turns out the Persian is basically Erik's only friend. Which is tragic in and of itself. One thing that bothered me (and don't hang me for this), he was constantly reminding Erik that he had saved his life. This is very true. But Erik had also spared the Persians life down by the lake, and gave him fair warning to stay away cause he wasn't going to save him. I mean, sure, if I was in that position, I'd be bringing that up to.

Now, one quick question that doesn't really belong here but I don't know where else it would go......What did Raoul shoot that night on his balcony? Did we ever find out, and I glanced over it? I know it's an insignificant point, but it bugs me.
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PhantomnessFay
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:58 am

Most people believe it was truly a cat. Given the kind of person Erik was, I'd say it was him. True, there was no mention of him bleeding or indication of a wound, but I still believe it was him and not a cat as speculated. Leroux probably wanted the reader to not only wonder, but to perhaps contemplate the real nature of The Phantom.

As for the Persian, have you seen the silent film version of Phantom starring Lon Chaney as the Phantom? This is the only version where the Persian appears. If you get chance to see it, please do. It's well worth it. Amazon.com has the DVD.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:27 pm

I haven't seen that movie version yet. I searched it on Amazon, and I found it, I just have to wait until I have the money to buy it. I believe I also heard that version was one of the only (or the only) that included Phillipe. I'm curious, that movie, which seems to be quite close to the book, was done before Leroux died. Did he have a hand in the movie? I'd love to see how they do the Persian in the movie. I think he's an interesting character, and I'm anxious to see how they get his story out in the film.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:08 pm

If you have cable, TCM has been showing around Halloween. They may show it this year. Check your local listings.

They generally take the Persian out because they don't want it too complex. Have you seen any other versions of Phantom?

The 1943 version starred Claude Rains who was more of a father to Christine. Raoul was the name of the Inspector and there was no Mme. Giry or Persian.

1963 starred Herbert Lom in a very forgettable role as the Phantom, again much the father type. This one really deviated from the story.

1989 version starred Robert Englund (better known as Freddy Kreuger of Nightmare on Elm Street). That was gruesome and very out of character. Englund sews his face on every day. Eww! He was much the slasher type. No Persian, no Raoul and no Mme. Giry.

1990 version was Charles Dance, who did a beautiful, heart-rending performance as Erik. I cried it was so good. Christine is blond. It's Philippe not Raoul and Erik has a father. Again, no Persian and no Mme. Giry.

More for you to look forward to. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:43 pm

Lol.....I've seen the 1963 version, and nearly laughed out loud! I'd like to see Robert Englunds version, they say that it is more the horror side of the story. I actually just found one that I had taped off tv years ago, that I don't think I've ever watched. Lol....I just checked and it's the 1990 one you mentioned. I'll have to try and watch it, but the quality is really poor. I think the 1943 version is the one I was having a hard time finding, can't remember.

So, the only movie including the persian was the first one. Did Leroux oversee this movie, or add share his opinions on it? I really do understand why the Persian keeps getting cut out, because he is a really complex character with a very complex story.

I'm constantly amazed at the imaginations of the film makers and authors who continue to come up with different variations of the same story! Except for the 63 version, I didn't like that one at all! Save for his brave act at the end maybe Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:02 pm

As far as I know, Carl Laemmle held to the book because of Leroux. I don't know how much consultation he gave, but he did meet Lon Chaney. In those days, they tried to stick with the book regardless, but nowadays, anything goes. And yes, this is the only version I know of which had the Persian.

I do know that until his dying day, Leroux still said the story was true. However debatable, we will continue that on a different thread.

Englund's version is more horror. Think about it; what else can he play? He's really not the sexy love interest, so he has to be the "big scary". All the killing scenes are bloody and in this one, Carlotta ends up...I'll say no more. You will just have to see it, blood and all.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:01 pm

I'm anxious to see the original movie, to see how it would flow following the book. I have known a lot of people who love the Persian, one of their favorite characters, and I do agree he intrigues me. It's a shame he has to be left out Sad
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:51 am

I agree. He adds so much to the story and the suspense.

Also, this silent version with Lon Chaney as the Phantom is the only one that shows Erik's bed, the coffin.

There are changes in the film which I did not like, but you will have to see it and see what you think.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:18 pm

Absolutely. That's one thing that kind of made me giggle reading the book. Leroux says he sleep in a coffin...in the movie he has this ornate swan bed! Maybe his coffing was in the other room Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:41 pm

Actually, we all assumed the swan bed was Christine's room. Razz

Obviously, ALW didn't want anything to depict horror, so no coffin. Do check out the silent version. I'm sure you will like it.
Remember, Lon Chaney does not wear a half mask and he will scare the hair off a brass monkey. affraid
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:13 pm

Lol...well, I suppose I kind of realized the more I watched it and the more I learned about it that it wasn't the Phantoms bed. I am, however, a little slow, so bear with me Smile I just saw a black and white pic that was uploaded with a movie review, so he doesn't wear a mask at all? And I'm curious to the evolution of the mask. In Leroux's book, he wears the "deaths-head", a black silk mask and supposedly has another "normal-looking" mask. Some had full face masks, some half. Interesting!
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:40 pm

I just thought of something....towards the end of the novel when the Persian is telling us his story, he talks about a shadow that he had seen more than once. And Leroux states that he's not going to talk about this any further. What is this shadow? Is it Erik? Is it some kind of illusion? Curious!
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:50 pm

In the silent film, Lon Chaney does wear a mask, but not for long. Mostly his horrific face, which Lon created, is what we see.

The mask actually looks odd. Sort of a cowl with a ruffle of material at the bottom. No film version of Phantom mentions that, at least not the well known ones.

The Dario Argento's Phantom made in 1998 with Julian Sands as the Phantom, had no mask. This Phantom was just a nut case.

The 1989 version with Robert Englund had no mask per se. He sewed his face on everyday with real human flesh. Eww!

Yes, the mask has evolved.

***********

I'll have to check on the shadow. I don't recall that.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:54 pm

I knew about Robert Englund's mask, I had read that somewhere. There are just so many versions out there, and I want to see them all Smile I just checked blockbuster.ca, and they list the original movie, just a matter of finding out if the ones in town carry it or not. I will check on the shadow thing myself. I have a rough idea where it was talked about, so when I find it I can let you know the chapter/page.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:15 pm

Ok, in my version (Translation by Lowell Bair) from Bantom books, it's chapter 21, In the Cellars of the Opera, on page 201

They lay down on the floor, not a moment too soon: a shadowy figure, carrying no lantern, only a shaow in the shadows, passed by so near to them that it almost touched them. They felt the warm breath of its cloak on their faces. For they could make it out distincly enough to see that it wore a cloak that enveloped it from head to food, and a soft felt hat.
It moved away, staying next to the walls and sometimes kicking them when it came to a corner.
The Persian heaved a sigh of relief and said, "That was a close call! That person knows me and has twice taken me to the managers' office."
"Is it someone from the Opera police?" asked Raoul.
"It's someone much worse!" the Persian replied without further explaination. *

*Authors note....like the Persian, the author will give no further explanation of that apparition. Though everything else in this historical acount will be normally explained in the course of events that sometimes seem abnormal, the author will not explicity tell the reader what the Persian meant by "It's someone much worse!" The reader will have to guess it, because the author has promisded Pedro Gailhard, the former Opera manager, to maintain secrecy with regard to the extremely intersting and useful personality of the wandering cloaked figure who, while condemning himself to live in the cellars of the Opera, rendered such prodigious services to those who, on gala evenings, for example, dared to venture into the cellars. I am here speaking of state services and, on my word, I can say no more.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:26 pm

Sounds to me you have the answer right there. the reader is left to speculate.

I have that version, but allow me to check the J-M & R. Lofficier translation and I'll get back to you.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:28 pm

Lol....I know we're left to speculate, and that drives me nuts. I just wonder if there are other clues to who/what it is
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:04 pm

Regardless of the "notes", I always assumed it was the Phantom. But the when they said it was something worse, it threw me off.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:50 pm

I think someone in my family was talking about a Persian in Paris....(I'm Persian) I'm going to visit in a few months so I can ask them about it. It could have been in a totally different time period, but it would hurt to ask them about it anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:00 pm

Yes, please ask, snowmoccasin. That would be wonderful. Thank you.
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:26 pm

Yes, that would be awesome. Sorry if it seems that I'm nitpicking, but I love knowing all the facts, even the more obscure ones Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Persian   Today at 1:11 am

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