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Seeking the answer to the mystery of 'Murder Mysteries'
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<rubygene>
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What is the deal with 'Murder Mysteries'? Did the narrator actually kill those people? Did the angel make him forget? And don't get cute and answer with Neil's comment (mysterious itself) that there's a clue in the title. That just means it was a 'murder' (which it was) or it's a 'mystery' (which it is), but quite frankly I find it all a 'murderous mystery'!
 
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The Trendy Nihilist
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quote:
Originally posted by rubygene:
Did the narrator actually kill those people? Did the angel make him forget?


Yes and yes
 
Posts: 13534 | Location: Denmark | Registered: June 20, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<rubygene>
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quote:
Originally posted by mtxx:
Yes and yes


Wow! I only waited six minutes to get a reply. And now, I regretfully announce, there is one less mystery in the world... What have I done?
 
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You now know the answer to one of the great mysteries. Now Cain will probably have to come and kill you.
 
Posts: 13534 | Location: Denmark | Registered: June 20, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i thought the angel made him remember the killings, i thought that was the point, that was his punishment, because he had forgotten, and now he has the horror of remembering the terrible acts hes commited. how is making him forget the murders punishment?
 
Posts: 302 | Location: croydon, london, england | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<rubygene>
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by mtxx:
You now know the answer to one of the great mysteries. Now Cain will probably have to come and kill you. [/QUOTE

All right then, answer this! 'Why' did he do it, eh? why? Why? Why?
 
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I won't tell!

(Well, actually I've always felt like there's a piece of the puzzle I've missed myself. But Mike - the angel DEFINITELY made him forget. No doubt about that one. So who can explain that story to us? smile )
 
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I always thought the whole popint was that both stories had the same motives for the killings. (But I may listen to it again because I think there may be even more of putting the narrator in the angel's shoes because of the ending location *spoiler* with the silver elevator and all. But to me the point of the story is the parallel between the two)
 
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Let's see if there's someone even more stupid than me: I didn't even get the connection between the murders and the narrator until ages later I read somthing in this board that made me think 'uh? what murders?' and re-read the story, and there it was. But of course I saw no parallel/connection/anthing between the angel's story and the other one. Nor I see it now that I know there is some relation.
I'm starting to worry. I must run and read that story again, damn it, and try to find something none of you thought about and maybe then I will start respecting myself again! smile
 
Posts: 11802 | Location: home? | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mtxx:
I won't tell!

(Well, actually I've always felt like there's a piece of the puzzle I've missed myself. But Mike - the angel DEFINITELY made him forget. No doubt about that one. So who can explain that story to us? smile )



but my question still stands, if he made him forget, then why is that punishing him? the angel said he was still performing his function, and surely that is more suited to making him remember the killings he had otherwise mentally blocked out.
 
Posts: 302 | Location: croydon, london, england | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Damn it, now I have to reread the story. I was under same impression as mike about the angel making him remember the killings. I've just realized it's too late at night to start rereading the story. Damn it, damn it, damn it. Maybe someone could post a specific passage to help clear up the matter.
 
Posts: 72 | Location: Fort Worth, Tx, USA | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by cloverheart:
Let's see if there's someone even more stupid than me: I didn't even get the connection between the murders and the narrator until ages later I read somthing in this board that made me think 'uh? what murders?' and re-read the story, and there it was. But of course I saw no parallel/connection/anthing between the angel's story and the other one. Nor I see it now that I know there is some relation.
I'm starting to worry. I must run and read that story again, damn it, and try to find something none of you thought about and maybe then I will start respecting myself again! smile




*Sits down with Mudslide and Smoke & Mirrors*
ah....
just skimming thru here, and btw, major spoilers!!! If I use a page number, it's from the US paperback S&M

OK....the angel's story begins in a silver cell and the narrator's story ends in one. The narrator "felt very sexless" (296) and angels have no sex. Tink's child Susan had a picture of 'winged fairies and little palaces' (295) which is a lot like angels in their city. During a flashback, he remembered 'a scribbled drawing of two angels in flight above a perfect city' (322) with bloody handprints. Again, like the angels and the city, but also a clue he did it of course.

Tink. Tinkerbell is a faerie (faerie=angel). When he met her, she was the most beautiful woman he'd seen (angelic?) with very white skin (angelic?). Her kid is 'very beautiful' like 'her father' (295). She is no longer in love with the narrator. He can no longer have her, not even for a one night stand because she's having her period (blood). Saraquael's speech (317) about why he killed carasel is about no longer being able to have Carasel, it's no longer being interested, and if it couldn't have Carasel, no one could. On page 321, Zephkiel (God) talks about forgetfullness, which ties into the narrator again. 'forgetfullness can sometimes bring freedom of a sort'. The angel chose to remember, even tho he could never talk about it to another angel (so, obviously, the narrator is not an angel). The kiss took something away from the narrator (322), but he doesn't know what. He doesn't get any flashbacks until after this, so maybe his forgetfullness is taken away?? Although it is an avenging angel, it never says outright that he gives a punishment to the narrator. But perhaps by giving him some memories back, he takes away his freedom of forgetfullness? We assume the narrator is the killer because of the flashbacks, the killing of 2 women and a kid (Tink, Susan, and Tink's friend (the ride); the kid's drawings are the same; the narrator's crotch was uncomfortable (299) which would relate to the dream of the rape.
The narrator is again likened to an angel while on the plane (imagining the clouds have the perfect city) and by his ending up in the silver cell. He was used somehow, and when he isn't needed, he goes back to wait until he's needed again...
ok, that last bit was sloppily explained, but it's midnight, I'm drinking, and I only scanned the story just now. This shoould give people a really good jumping off point for re-examining the story tho
-GMZoe
LA=City of angels (but no one is originally from LA)......

I think this was sloppily written, but I don't care right now so nyah
 
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GMZoe, that was certainly interesting. Looks like I missed SEVERAL pieces of the puzzle.

But I STILL think that the Angel make him forget. (Although I'm not quite sure WHY he/it would do that) You should notice that the story is told in the PAST tense - probably from the narrators location in the silver cell toward the end. And he DOESN'T remember the murders then. It says nowhere in the story that he didn't remember EVERYTHING about the murders before the angel touched him and 'took something away' from him.

Michael


[This message has been edited by mtxx (edited 10-24-2001).]
 
Posts: 13534 | Location: Denmark | Registered: June 20, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I also noticed that when he's describing Tink at the start, he uses past tense - "Tink's real name WAS Tinkerbell Richmond." At first I thought it was because the narrator was referring to the events being ten years ago, but there's a point where Saraquael says "Carasel is... no, was, that's right, isn't it?" Which kinda points to Tink already being dead...
I also assume that the blanked out parts of his memory are where he's killed someone and Raguel has made him forget - what I don't get is his motivation for killing Tink's friend, which he presumably does before entering the house - he has a memory lapse just as he gets there: "I do not remember arriving at Tink's house, nor where her flatmate went." I can see the parallel between the narrator killing Tink and Saraquael killing Carasel, but I don't get why the narrator kills the girl and the flatmate...

My theory on why Raguel allows the narrator to forget the killings is because he is no longer performing his function in the same way: we can get this from his last few words: "I never fell. I don't care what they say. I'm still doing my job, as I see it." Which would tend to indicate that he DID fall, at least in someone's eyes. So he no longer punishes by death - he seems to be following the words of Zephkiel: "Forgetfulness can sometimes bring freedom, of a sort." This suggests to me that Raguel has fallen, but as he is following his Lord's words, he doesn't see it as falling.
Then, when he kisses the narrator, he takes the memory of the killings and 'leaves something in its place.' The kiss burns out the sin of the killings, 'absolving' him of the crime. "Absolution, or perhaps innocence."
If we relate this back to the earlier comment: "I feel... as if I've received a gift, unasked, from another person: a house, a wife, children, a vocation." This would suggest that Raguell has not only absolved him of guilt, by taking the memory away, but has turned around his life - letting him love and be loved in return, letting him find love without the death which seems to go hand in hand with it.
The point of the elevator at the end is to show his work has been done - he's returned to his alcove, awaiting his task again. His words - "I knew that I would soon be home," tie the story together - he IS Saraquael, and Raguel has restored his innocence, allowing him to return home, to his alcove in the Silver City.

Or, at least, that's how it seems to me. Agree? Disagree? I want to hear everyone's opinions on this story - it's probably my favourite out of 'Smoke and Mirrors'.

-SLASH-
dave@hierophant.freeserve.co.uk http://www.geocities.com/meetinginthemidnight
 
Posts: 312 | Location: Hyde, Manchester, England | Registered: October 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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ooo, hadn't even considered the past tense for the memory gaps since he says up front it's the kind of memory he has. maybe later I'll scan it again

one of the things I'm curious about is why neil goes out of the way to not say the narrators name. "what's your name?" "I told her my name" type thing. (kind of curious if the kids in the car have anything to do with anything, but I've never seen a connection there)

must be off to shower, more later

edited in: just caught another note: p 294 he starts talking about repetition of structure and form, which I think is a nudge to the reader to examine both stories...whatever:P I'm groggy yet. If there is any explanation fo the car, it'd be that he drove Tink's car back home and abandoned it (because how did he get home?) and the kids stole it. but there are no clues to suggest it. He notes that for him, LA is about 'riding in other peoples cars' (heh, he sure did) (p294) but also that he stayed close to the hotel so he wouldn't get lost. And there is no description of the car the kids drive (funny: he doesn't recognize [or forgot?] the music they play)

I think I'm grasping at straws; examining unimportant shrubs in a forrest. Think I'll go wake my daughter so she can go to school

[This message has been edited by GMZoe (edited 10-24-2001).]
 
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I think when he's talking about not going too far from the hotel, the whole monologue there: "I was scared of walking too far, in case I became lost, bedevilled... etc." is drawing a parallel with the Silver City and the darkness, because to walk in the darkness is to be tempted away, to become, in effect, 'lost'...

-SLASH-
dave@hierophant.freeserve.co.uk http://www.geocities.com/meetinginthemidnight
 
Posts: 312 | Location: Hyde, Manchester, England | Registered: October 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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just reread it, now im not so sure the angel made him remember, but im sticking with it, because if i go with the angel made him forget then the story just gets even more confusing for me. also how do we know he gets out of the elevator at the end. the first time i read it i got the impression that he remembers the killings fully as the elevator gets stuck and he gets trapped in there till he dies - his punishment, though dont ask me why i thought this, for the life of me i dont know why now, having since reread it a few times.

what we need is a neil gaiman companion book, like the sandman one, where he explains everything in his stories - from the shorts to american gods, and ties up the loose ends in sandman. i know itll never happen, but i can dream.
 
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That's what the FAQ is for smile
 
Posts: 13129 | Location: Tucson | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We know he's out of the elevator because one of the first things we are told in the story is that this is ten years ago, give or take a year. At the end of the story, when he's trapped in the elevator, it's just after the plane has landed from L.A, making it part of the whole flashback...

-SLASH-
dave@hierophant.freeserve.co.uk http://www.geocities.com/meetinginthemidnight
 
Posts: 312 | Location: Hyde, Manchester, England | Registered: October 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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ok, GMZpe, thanks for the explanations and for *not* making me feel like a nerd wink I wold have never thought of so many thingsmyself, even if I read the story thousands of times!
I agree with Omnislash theory: the angel made him forget and thus gave him a second chance, the one the other angel was denied with its killing. I think Raguel did so coz he didn't aprove the Lord's idea of vengeance, which is of course the reason why he fell. He says he still wants to go home: and that's why he lets the narrator forget, and go back home. Raguel treates him the way his Lord should treat Raguel: even when he did something wrong -falling- he should be allowed home and resartt again.
Well,it's not so difficult to draw some conclusions with half the job done smile
 
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