Phone Message Transcript: September 24, 1999
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
This is September 24, 1999, a beautiful day in New Orleans, a little bit too cool for my taste - - I love the heat - - but very sunny with silken breezes.
I want to - - once again remind you that if I am cut off by the machine while making this message, you can still, after the beep, leave a message for me.
Thank you for your recent messages, and also for a question from two readers - - Lori and Mary - - who asked about a detail in SERVANT OF THE BONES. The question was How does Esther, a character who dies early in the book, know the spirit of Azriel by his name and that he is the SERVANT OF THE BONES? Well, the reasoning behind this, as I saw it when I wrote it - - was that Esther, in dying, was leaving her body and entering the spirit realm. It was in that realm that she perceived Azriel's presence and knew him with a spirit's powerful sense of recognition for who he was. In other words, Azriel projected his identity and his strength to her on the spirit plane. Esther did not linger. She went on into the light, probably with a strong sense that her murder would be avenged.
Now I want to turn to a book I have just discovered and make a strong recommendation of it. It is called THE VAMPIRE LECTURES. The author is a professor at U.C. Santa Barbara. His name is Laurence A. Rickels. The publisher sent me the book, and I am very glad that they did because Professor Rickels has a great deal to say in THE VAMPIRE LECTURES about the first three books of the Vampire Chronicles as well as about other vampire literature and film in general.
According to the info that came with the book, Professor Rickels' class on vampires has apparently become extremely popular over the years, on the Santa Barbara Campus. He started with a few students and he now has hundreds.
I am quite amazed by many of his observations in the book, but above all, I'm honored to be included as a subject for study. The book is quite intellectually hefty.
I think many of you will find this book interesting. Some of you will find it extremely challenging and engrossing. Many of you will find it satisfying. It's the ultimate book to give to anyone who makes fun of you for liking vampire novels or films. To quote the publisher, the book "makes an original and intellectually rigorous contribution to literary and psychoanalytic theory, identifying the subconscious meanings, complex symbolism, and philosophical arguments - - particularly those of Marx, Freud, and Nietzche - - embedded in vampirism and gothic literature."
I've ordered several copies of the book from Amazon.com so I know it's available. It's published by the University of Minnesota Press. Again, I recommend it. It is not easy going as a read but it is incredibly rich and thought provoking. I'm grateful for it. When I write the novels, I think and feel as Lestat or Louis or Armand, and it's wonderful to read Professor Rickels' commentary on what I've done.
Okay, guys, that's all for now. Let me recommend again THE SIXTH SENSE. I think it's a classic horror film.
Take care and love to all.