just had a thought which makes the angel making him forget make more sense to me. in the angels story, he discovered that ultimately god was responsible for the death of the angel, but setting up events and makeing his creations so perfect that they performed so well that they had no real choice, as also shown but the start of events which will lead up to lucifers fall - all of it is engineered by god, and the fact that the angel himself in his story gives the impression of seeing it all as rather unfair - which may of lead to his fall, but remeber as he sees it he hasnt fallen, and hes still doing his job, just the way he wants to rather than the way god wants him to. therfore ultimately god is also responsible for the narator murders, and the angel performs his function as he sees it by making him forget and absolving him of his guilt and responsibility for it, as the angel knows ultimately god is responsible. ie he is still the vengence of the lord, but since god engineered it all, and god is ultimately responsible, he exsacts gods vengence, by allowing the narrator to forget the killing and move on sohe doesnt pay for his crimes and therfore the angel exacts his vengence on the lord by denying the lord of his vengence, if you see what i mean.
all this makes things even more bizarre, because if god orcestrated everything to begin with, including lucifer and the angels fall, then he is also behind the current behaviour of the angel, and then we start going round in circles and getting to the point where ultimately every murder is orchestrated by god, and then forgiven by him... whihc in a way kind of makes its own perverse sense. that is it does if ive explained it properly.
opinions? comments? do you understand what im trying to say?
oh and about the elevator thing, i know he gets out, as i said the second time i read it i couldnt figure out why i thought he gets trapped in there.
My God, what have I set in motion?
frank discussion of a mystery so we can solve it together. nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone have new opinions on this, or should we start annotating something else?
An additional part of the story is Carousel's idea that what the angels do sets up patterns. When Siraquael murders Carousel, it sets up murder for love. When Lucifer walks in the dark and questions the Name's motives and fairness, it sets up our questioning of authority and divinity (not directly linked to the narrator's story, but I still like it). And Raguel is the archetype of the gumshoe detective if I've ever read one. Beautiful.
Oh, and as far as I'm concerned, Raguel makes the narrator forget the murders he's committed because that is how he believes he should do his job (as opposed to the way the Name meant for him to do his job). And the narrator has to survive the elevator and live for ten years. My 2 cents.
"LA=City of angels (but no one is originally from LA)......"
so seeing as I was born and bred here-that makes me an angel? yay!
The first time I read it I didn't get it-I thought the bloodied handprint on the drawing was a symbol for the horrid mark Raguel's death left on the angels' city. Then when I read it again-I was like "oh. he killed the people. weird." Originally I didn't even view it as part of the plot. oddness.
I'm not sure I can add much to this discussion at this point but perhaps someone will find these thoughts useful. First, I think Mr. Gaiman's "hint" in the title simply refers to it's plurality. Murder MysterieS. There is more than one mystery and more than one murderer.
Second if I may interject my Christian theological spin (I don't think it's too imposing, considering the subject matter) I have a couple thoughts regaurding Raguel's career path. The fundamental nature of sin is to deny the wisdom and perfection of God's plan by imposing your will over his; you become God. This is true of both Adam and Lucifer, men and angels. Raguel's decision to carry out justice as best he sees fit, while not necessarily outright evil, still falls short or the creators standard of perfection. Now sin in many places through the Bible is cleansed by fire. It seems to me that Raguel's job is not simply to punnish violently, but to cleanse sin. Now in this age following the incarnation of Christ, there is a new mystery. God offers forgiveness while still upholding his absolute standard of justice through the sacrifice of Jesus. God has said he desires mercy much more than sacrifice. Could it be that Raguel, regaurdless of what he's done previously on Earth, now sees himself fulfilling his function, the purification of sin by fire, in line with the new order of creation? The narator's partial recollection of his horrendous acts are a demonstration of imperfection in his cleansing. There is hope through foregiveness for men, even the narrator. Perhaps the same hope extends to the angels.
I agree with...Omnislash? Anyway, i think that the narrator is kind of like the murderous angel reborn and that Raguel felt that it was wrong to destray him the first time without giving him a chance to be forgiven. So he tried to make things right when he took the memories of the murders away after explaining the first murder.
For some reason, though, i felt that the narrator was actually Cain; as in Cain and Abel. Cain felt afraid to leave his parents home after he killed Abel. He felt that someone would kill him when they found out what he did. God promised that he would mark Cain so that anyone that harmed him would suffer a seven-fold vengeance. So he went out into the world alone. Maybe that's why the narrator doesn't seem to have any family. And also, since he couldn't be harmed by anyone (not even God?) maybe he could never die. perhaps he wanders around the world and kills people and gets absolved every time.
and here's some ideas I got (all references, American hardback)
"there you go, pal. That's your story" (321). When Raguel tells this to the narrator, he does not only mean "this is the story I have to offer to you" but "this is YOUR story, you're part of it". I see it as the narrator being parallel to Saraquael- they killed for love, Raguel went after them, and exacted vengance. But NOT Saraquael himself, because then Raguel would not have been able to tell him his story (which he can't tell to another angel).
I agree that Raguel makes the narrator forget, it's his way of carrying on his duty.
Maybe he's trying to break the pattern he started (death -> vengeance by another death). But then again, "just as you think you understand the pattern, you realize you don't, and you never will" (312-313)...
Why kill the ride + the kid? To get rid of possible witnesses (mainly the ride) or because they had taken his place in Tink's life?
The rape dream: maybe a memory really, maybe he was frustrated at not getting her and decided to anyway? First time I read it I saw it as a memory of necrophiliac sex after he killed her (yuk).
I just had this thought: maybe Raguel chose to make the narrator forget because he wants the narratotr to have what he denied himself (when God offered him forgetfullness and he refused).
Anyway, my 2c.
Never trust a man in a blue trench coat
Never drive a car when you're dead
Murder Mysteries was originally writeen by Neil as a voice play with professional actors taking on each of the roles...i.e. Raguel, Lucifer, etc.
This original version explains things MUCH better and down right AWESOME to listen to. It's available on Amazon or can be ordered from a bookstore. It's called "Two Plays for Voices" by Neil Gaiman. It's in Tape and Cd format, with one tape/cd containing Murder Mysteries and the other containing Snow Glass Apples (Also by Neil and Also massively terrifying and cool...Not to spoil it, but it's a take on a fairy tale)
The audio version makes a bit more sense than the written format
Explaining yourself only makes you look stupid...and here's why.
Yeah, sure. No one knew that. No one knew about Two Plays for Voices....
Not that everyone knew, but most of us did.
I heard Murder Mysteries instead of reading it and I'm not closer than many other posters. If you can explain something, I'll would be grateful.
Specially why Raguel was still fulfilling his mission when he was with Zephkiel --perhaps because he was part of the murder?
And what about Saraquael murder? I always considered that remembering and being on Earth was the punishment Raguel put on himself. But this means that Zephkiel offered Raguel mercy (forgiveness) that the Angel rejected, and so memory is the way you punish. But the Angel let the narrator forget and then I'm confused there. He lived, but trapped inside of himself? And why he remembered the story in the first place?
*reads GMZoe's post: *
I think that should be the punishment, a slow memory recovering finishing the day of his death?
Actually, Murder Mysteries was originally written as a short story. It was first published in Midnight Graffiti in 1992 - the radio play version is from 1999 or 2000.
Melancolia - don't get down on someone for trying to be helpful
"Go and listen Murder Mysteries. Then you're gonna understand" seemed almost an insult. Like if that were the reason why we are stuck on these intriguing mysteries: That we're too dumb to understand it from the reading, hence, let's go for the easiest version.
It didn't seem helpful for me.
The only explanation I got for that comment is that it was his/her first post and didn't read just some of the other thread titles. Some of them are about Two plays for voices. It wasn't even necessary to read the threads.
Done. If I was too aggressive, sorry. Not my best day. Explanation, not excuse, anyway.
[This message was edited by MelancolÃa on January 07, 2003 at 01:09 PM.]
s'ok, I understand. Bad day vs skimmed reading. Just didn't want to set the wrong atmosphere for a first time poster. Anyhoo, back to the mysteries!
I was going to ask this of everyone several months ago after rereading Murder Mysteries a second time, but life (and procrastination) got in the way, so I'll have to ask now, sans references. I'll try to find my copy of Smoke & Mirrors to remember specific references for anyone who wants to know. Whew. Okay.
I remember a while back reading that Neil had said that there was still a mystery left in the story that no one had figured out. This might be silly, and maybe someone has already refuted the possibility, but...couldn't the narrarator be Raguel? Not only that, but couldn't the angel that everyone assumes to be Raguel be Lucifer instead? The only references that truly stick out in my mind as hints (and they might just be false remembrances of the story) are Zephkiel (was it him?) are the angel saying "I don't care what they say, I never fell." To me, that would be more evidence than anything else that the angel is Lucifer, and not Raguel. The general consensus in the generic Christian faith itself is that Lucifer fell from Heaven. Raguel is nowhere near as known or thought of. There are also mentions of L.A. being Hell on Earth, I think...a quote from a character? I keep thinking that I read a question from Zephkiel asking Raguel if he would want to remember...if he were to fall? Something like that? I'm sorry, but the brain isn't functioning on all cylinders right now, and it's been quite a while since reading the story. I *really* wish I had posted this back when I first thought of it...had page references, quotes, you name it. Anyway...if anyone wants to comment on this little theory, please feel free.
do you remember where you read that Neil said there was something no one figured out?
I wish I did remember where the post was, or whether or not the person *actually* said that. I was certain at the time, though, so I'm inclined to say that it must exist somewhere. I had been reading through old posts concerning the mysteries in "Murder Mysteries" when I found the post in question. Can't remember the exact details, though.
(Sorry about the lateness of the reply...lots of things going on in the world around me, and I tend to be absent-minded.)
Something I just noticed: in Count Zero's post, he mentions the quote, "There's your story." He takes it to mean that the narrarator is a part of the story. Couldn't we take that a step further, implying that the narrarator is either Raguel or Lucifer (the former in my opinion, if my theory is correct)? Just a thought.
|is a real, live Gremlin|
Well, the avenging angel did fall, as I read it. But imagine the conflict, if you're built in your very nature to execute justice upon those who violate god's will, then come to realize that it isn't really possible to violate god's will.
I considered his absolution of the author as an act of compassion and confusion. Again, if the punishment of those who have violated god's will is his province, and he comes to believe that, as god sets everything in motion, there is no way to violate god's will, what is left for him to do but wander the world, absolving sin?
I suppose that level of independent reasoning would cause a fall from heaven.
What's interesting, if I'm 'right', is that the angel's actions were closely followed by a clearing of the weather, and the narrator returns to his 'cell'. His action seems to put the narrator back in god's fold - puts his life back into normalized motion.
Tiocfaidh ar la
and an aeroplane is?
(Justa thought while I'm putting off going home and doing a spenser essay - about to post a topic re: my diss which you can all take part ni - aren't you lucky huh?*grins*)
also - the title i thought refers to the genre of the mystery plays - where god is a narrator of sorts and similar - hang on (fishes a link from the web..) http://freespace.virgin.net/numb.world/cathedral.mystery.plays.htm
first thing i could find in brief explanation - also gives a bit of detail re: the reasons for forgetting and punishment etc.
ok - just realised that there was two pages so coming back to edit - got this from a few dictionary searches - not teaching grans to suck eggs - just might be handy for those examining etymology..:
Main Entry: mystery play
: a medieval drama based on scriptural incidents (as the creation of the world, the Flood, or the life, death, and resurrection of Christ) -- compare MIRACLE PLAY taken from: http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=mystery+play
*fades into the night once more...*
[This message was edited by Crescent on February 21, 2003 at 11:37 AM.]
For some reason, I kept trying to clue in on the word "mysteries" not so much as a genre of writing, but more on the religious meaning. "Mysteries of the Godhead" and such. Could one murder such a mystery?
Of course, that way leads to madness, and I came no closer to a full understanding.
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