Monday, May 31, 2010

Titles, First Lines and Poetry

We've had a variation of this discussion every month and in keeping with our tradition I'd like to talk about what this title and first line means to us as individuals. The title was a tricky thing for me and I believe that the meaning shifted the more I read and that understanding didn't truly come until the end. Falling is the only capitalized word in the title so I reasoned that the word would play heavily into the story and that perhaps the Fallen hadn't quite fallen far enough. Now, I could be miles away from what Skyler intended but since reading is individual I choose to believe that I am not completely wrong.

The angel of desire is damned.

The first line provided a compelling reason to keep reading, but I found the line located after the acknowledgments page to be the one that captured my attention:

My darling ones, Reborn and Undead, Damned, Cursed, and Misbegotten- Hell calls her absent children home. De profundis, G

How could you not want to read the book after reading that? I immediately wanted to know who G was and why Reborn and Undead were grouped together and the other words were separated by a comma. A silly thing to catch my attention but it did and who's to question the reason why. I guess the bottom line is that the intrigue of first lines and introductory lines could not be denied.

I'd also like to take a moment to discuss the truly magical quality of Skyler's writing. Each and every page brought forth vivid images, invoking a visceral response that I haven't experienced in quite some time. When you read as much as I do I think that it can become more about the escape and the entertainment, and it's easy to forget the simple beauty of well written words. The lyrical and poetic quality that separates a decent story from a good story, a good story from a great one. Skyler made me remember all the reasons I fell in love with literature and that was apparent to me from very early on in the story.

"Every vampire is a fallen angel of desire, and we nourish our deathless beauty on what we fleetingly inspire in mortals who live but briefly. But just as I would break my teeth on Adam if he did not want or fear me, he must see through the desires I create and those I embody, in order to taste my truth and free me. But desire, like humanity, is quick to breed and quick to die, and accustomed to do both with closed eyes." (Pg. 16)

Any thoughts? How did the lyrical and poetic writing style affect you? Words on a page or magic? Did the first line capture your attention? Did you wonder why angels, especially when linked with desire would be damned?


Michele Hauf said...

I loved the lyrical style. It really made me slow down and savor every word. I reread a lot of the sentences because they were truly beautiful, or just wanted to think about it for a bit. I love when an author can make me do that!

I didn't think about the title, but now that you bring it up, i agree with you!

Jen D. said...

I agree with both you and Michelle. The writing made me slow down and really analyze what was being said. I can't remember the last time I picked up a book that a) was written in this style and b) that had me re-reading sentences to fully grasp the meaning and context. My brain got a workout and it loved it.

The first line definitely threw me off because I would never consider an angel damned. But better than that first line was the line you quoted. When I hit Hell calls her absent children home I got chills up my arm. I thought it was interesting that Hell was referred to as a she.

Anna D said...

Hell as a female? Hmm, I can definitely see it:) I'm glad you brought that up because I overlooked it at first. I wonder what the meaning is behind that, if any at all.

Jen D. said...

Maybe it ties into the whole concept of Eve being the downfall of man.