A Fun Little Jaunt to Heaven and Hell - Ashley and Joel Discuss Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice - AC011
Joel: The Articulate Coveen is the original unofficial podcast and fan community for An Rice's interview with the Vampire and An Rice's Immortal Universe from AMC and AMC Plus.
Joel: Welcome to the Articulate Coveen, the unauthorized podcast, unofficial podcast. However, you wanna say it? About Anne Rice's interview with the Vampire, the Vampire Chronicles, the Mayfair, Witches, everything that's coming from AMC and AMC Plus, and, of course, the original no books themselves. We are your hosts.
Ashley: Ashley Wright Eiler.
Joel: And Joel Sharpton, and we are so glad to be back. Ashley, the last time that we spoke, There was a pandemic that was beginning. And I've been I've been told that it's over. I just I've been told that there's certainly agree with. But
Ashley: That's the word on the streets. It's at least
Joel: it's at least been mitigated. Right?
Ashley: That's the word -- Yes. -- and and saw. I'm not sure I'm not sure it was ever a thing here really. You know, I went to work the whole time. It was insane.
Joel: It it felt that way in Louisiana as well. No doubt. And the one thing that is interesting I was looking back, like, as we get ready because the series is imminent now as you're listening to this episode, if you're listening to it at launch, we're only a little over a week away from the release of the first episode of interview with the Vampire, the actual TV series that we've been building up to this whole time. But the last time that you and I spoke, this TV series was coming from Hulu. There's been a network change a a half dozen showrunner changes and, of course, lots of casting announcements that come over the last year and change. And and now not one series, not even two series, but a whole universe of An Rice television series laid before us and, man, can you believe that it's happening?
Ashley: I am so excited. I honestly I was really starting to lose hope there for a while. I'm not gonna lie because it just didn't seem like And then, when when COVID hit, and it shut down so many productions, you know, across, I mean, across the globe, it shut the entertainment industry down completely. So with that thrown in there, I just I really wasn't a hundred percent sure it was gonna happen and I'm so excited and I'm so like, I didn't expect to be as jacked about the Mayfair witch as I am. I'm really excited about that casting. I love Alexander However, her name is said, she's fantastic. She was great in white lotus. So I'm really excited. This is I can't believe it's really happening.
Joel: It is actually happening and happening in a big, big way if you listen to the executives at AMC. We're gonna talk more in our next episode about the series itself, the behind the scenes special that's available right now on AMC and AMC Plus. You can go check that out. They made of of hour long special about the this series. And at the end, they sort of hinted at what we were just discussing. The connections with the Mayfair Witches series that's coming on the heels of this one and then their broader plans for this universe and these characters. And it's expansive. I mean, let's be honest, there's this Walking Dead thing that's sort of wrapping up at least the mothership is, and they're looking for what the next big thing that they can build. Absolutely. For, you know, ten years worth of television, and they've they've picked a hand. They've picked a hand and and her vampires, and that's very very exciting.
Ashley: It's because we've been so good, Joel. We've been such good people. We have their vippage
Ashley: We've been so patient.
Joel: So patient. So understanding. And such such cheerleaders for this
Ashley: entire project
Joel: from the beginning. So we'll talk more about the TV series next episode. This episode, we're gonna focus on the fifth book in the original series. MIMNOC the devil, and we're gonna tell you not only what we thought about it and and some of the major plot points and what it adds to the series, what it meant for us, but also what it might mean for this television series and universe as well as a little bit of your own feedback. We've mentioned in the Facebook group which by the way, there's links in the show notes for the Facebook group, and you can join us on Twitter if you'd rather do that. We ask in the Facebook group hey, give us your feedback on both the behind the scenes special as well as Bemknock the devil if you've been able to read that book. And so we'll have some of those comments towards the end of the episode. By the way, something I gotta ask today, Ashley, and I wanna mention this here even though this one isn't specifically about the TV series. I got asked the question, will our podcast feature spoilers for book readers who haven't read all the books. And it was the, like, the way that that was framed hadn't really occurred to me. You and I have mentioned before in all of our episodes that spoilers aren't concerned for us because even even you haven't read the most recent books in the series. Right? Right.
Ashley: Right. I have catching up to you. I'm way behind. So Yeah. Well, I think that
Joel: Especially especially with the TV series, I think that's gonna be the case for lots of people. Right? They'll Maybe maybe they've rushed out and will read an interview with the vampire before the series launches or before they start to binge it, but they probably won't have read the vampire list doc. And the queen of the damned, and tell of the body thief and so on and so forth. So how are we gonna handle spoilers for the show? What what are your thoughts on that?
Ashley: Well, it's hard. I mean, to also, I'm I'm a strange person. So unless it's Star Wars, I don't really care about spoilers. It doesn't really it doesn't hurt my experience of of of watching it or or whatever. It doesn't bother me. And I have really bad anxiety So sometimes it helps. You know what I mean? Like, kind of keeps me from getting to, like, into my feelings while I'm watching it. I can't enjoy it. Less stressful. And I think they promised us Easter eggs, Joel, and I think it will be really, really hard for us to not to not accidentally have spoilers when we get excited about things. You know what I mean?
Joel: Yes. So the the one I told this message today. I said, I think we will do our best to segment discussions.
Ashley: Yes. Right?
Joel: What can start the discussion in each episode. Yes. Absolutely. Hey, we're gonna focus on the things that happened in this episode and what we thought about those things. And then we can have a second section that is literally just as you just described easter eggs. Here's things that we heard or saw in this episode that we feel like is AMC and these creators hinting at what's to come and what they're building out for us, both in this series and others. And then even a third section. And maybe we could put this post show where or I quote unquote unquote unquote unquote unquote post show where, literally, what, we play the outro music. And then you and I continue this the discussion for a few more minutes. Where we could discuss, here's some blatant things that happen in the book and what this might mean is coming for the series or where they might be headed with this. Etcetera, etcetera. And that way, if someone wants to hear that part of the discussion, they can hear it. And if they wanna avoid it, they can. But all of those things will be you'll you'll get both an audio warning, but also I'm gonna do my best to actually make chapter markers in in the podcast. So you'll see what's coming and what's what we're gonna be discussing in that section and can skip ahead if you'd like or or skip it altogether. That's
Ashley: how much we
Joel: care about
Ashley: you guys. We care about your needs. Well, hey, also though I care about I
Joel: do care about this universe, and I do I think so much about what my best friend in the world is Josh Shirley. And Josh Shirley's favorite book series of all time is the the song of Ice and Fire, the the George r Martin series. And, you know, whatever it was ten, twelve years ago, when that series was launching on HBO, he was so giddy. And I remember his description of how it felt to see this thing that he's been thinking of and dreaming of and speculating about for, you know, twenty years at that point, twenty five years, whatever it had been, finally being revealed to and discovered by quote unquote normal people. And then them slowly getting ahead of the TV series and reading the books because they couldn't wait to to find out what would happen next And and that whole process was both fascinating and sort of like nerve racking for him and fun. I want all of that for us. I envision all of that for us. And I respect the people as you come along that, like this guy, he's reading interview with the vampire today. He's trying to cram it in a week or two for the very first time before the series starts and is gonna go on this journey sort of with the TV watchers and and we wanna be there for them as well. So I think
Ashley: that this is going Isn't it so exciting? So excited for people that have not gotten to meet these characters to get to go on this journey with us. Like and I think that we're we're really one of both of us are so invested in being good guides for y'all that are listening to us, you know, especially you're new to this and you're new to this this world, like, we we don't wanna ruin it for you. We want to help you love it even more.
Joel: Absolutely. WELCOMING. A hundred percent. Speaking of, let's get into some weird shit, Ashley. Let's talk about MEMB knocked the devil. The fifth book in the Vampire Chronicles. And interestingly enough, here's a little hint to next week's episode when we talk about behind the scenes series. The show runner held up at one point, the first five books, including MIMNOC the devil, and said, this is the interview they're having. No. Meaning that this conversation that we're going to see between you know, Louis has portrayed in this series and our interviewer Daniel Malloy, it's it's going to be all of those events that happened in these first five books. And I love that they've included the fifth one. The fifth one's weird. The fifth one's out there. It's very different than the first four. It came much later than the first four. And yet, you and I specifically, I think it has a very special place in both of our heart. This this was the first Anne Rice novel that I bought new, like as it launched. What about you? I
Ashley: think that's that's a hundred percent accurate for me. A hundred percent accurate. Yeah. And I actually those are some of you guys that are in the Facebook group may have seen it, but I reviewed MIMROC the devil for my high school newspaper. Shout to missus Gardner being so badass and letting us review things like mim knocks the freaking devil. Yeah. It's definitely the first one that I experienced when it came
Joel: I think I I think I bought it the day that it launched. At Sam's Club of all places. I remember very specifically at this time. I don't know if this is still true, but at this time, you could buy a a new hardback novel at Sam's Club for, like, fifty percent off sticker price or whatever. So, you know, I got it instead of whatever it was. Twenty eight dollars, I got it for thirteen to change because my mom had Sam's Club membership. Okay. Let's just get into this thing. It is incredibly philosophical, obviously. It is literally a journey to heaven and hell I say, literally, that's at least the way that L'Estat understands it and how he presents it to us, the the readers of the tale. I I wanna get into this right away. My first biggest takeaway from the book, the thing that still sits with me, you know, decades later now. Mimknock, the the main character of this book, the antagonist, I suppose. Mimknock is disappointed in God. Because of what this universe is. The cruelty and the violence of it. The world is wrong, and MIMNOC is sad and pissed off about it. Same. And I'm I'm constantly aware of how much Anne's theological musings filter through her books. That happens in all of them. I was warning the the reader that I mentioned the first time reader that I mentioned earlier about interview with the vampire. I said you have to realize and was grieving the loss of a daughter, a baby daughter. She was I think three when when her daughter died. And that is what interview with the vampire is about. That's not what the vampire chronicles are about. They're about a lot of other things. But interview with the vampire is primarily about the loss for child -- Oh, great. -- and the mortality of children. Yes. This book is primarily I think about Anne's war with love for dialogue over her Catholic upbringing and her own reckoning with her own understanding of of god of the deity. That's just, you know, externalized for her in this dialogue with the devil and LatAm. Well,
Ashley: there's you know, she's so open she was and by the way, we lost we lost our beautiful aunt. And that that
Joel: was I Yes. We mentioned skipping networks. I forgot to mention the the passing of the queen. Literally, in this case, And then now we've also lost the queen of England. But the queen of our hearts, the the the queen of the damned herself, Anne, yes, she passed away in between our last recording and this. And, you know, she lived a long happy life. I'm glad that she didn't live to suffer. Declining health, etcetera, etcetera. She and Christopher got to work very closely together in the last few years. The one regret I personally do have is that she didn't see the launch of this series. I think she would have been pleased with it. We don't know what the the final, you know, verdict is gonna be about how we think it it does with this adaptation or or how the public at large is gonna take it. But it would have been nice to at least have seen it launch and for her to have been part of that to get to see you know, a little moment of what George r Martin got to see with history.
Ashley: Absolutely. Absolutely. She was just such a
Joel: Thank you for making that.
Ashley: She was such a giving person. And I think giving of herself to her fans in particular, she was always so like, I mean, I remember, you know, Joel, when we were, like, when we were growing up, there were these huge balls she would throw in New Orleans, you know, that were these Lastat balls that, you know, were, like, things of legend in my mind as a teenage girl hung up on vampires. She was really vulnerable and and willing to talk about faith and loss of faith and and how it changes and how you know, her her personal journey with religion and outside of that with just space in general, I think is is is something that's really cool she kind of was open about that. So we know a lot of what she was going through when she was writing some of these books. And and I think that I mean, obviously, this very philosophical. And as someone who who grew up around religion, but was not necessarily be instilled in a organized religion. It it it's very fascinating to me. I think that's one of the things that drew me to this look immediately was that it was this this very, like, practical conversation almost that you don't expect between, you know, yourself and the devil or yourself and God or God and the devil. You know what I mean?
Joel: Yes. I also I also love the the resolution or the the result of that conversation in that you you have this character the the whole point of the thing is that the main character is sort of questioning the nature of god and the the positivity of god. When you see the suffering that that the world holds, etcetera, etcetera, you know, he's warring with his own existence just as Anne is. But then also, when presented with the, quote, unquote, solution to that whole problem by MIMNOC. List not rebels against that. Of course too. So, no, I won't be your pawn either even though, you know, I I sympathize with you and and agree that God is a fool in all of this. Anyway, the the whole that whole dialogue really caught me this time. The other thing that I was struck by in reading it was that there's this sort of preamble before we meet MIMNOC properly. Where L'Estat has been tracking this, you know, intense crime lord and can't wait to to destroy the evildoer and and feasts himself, which he's he's only eating evildoers at this point in his existence. And he can't wait to do that, but then he does. And he's confronted by this specter of MIMNOC gets lost in what this this massive religious collection that this guy has been amassing. And and all of this stuff seems like sort of a weird bridge for Anne in writing this She's like, I want to have this conversation about God and the devil. But how do we get from the really rollicking adventure story that tale of the body thief was into a theological treaties that I would like to have about, you know, the universe life, the universe, and everything, so to speak. And she felt like she needed that bridge of the story of Dora and her father these religious artifacts and this collection and this, you know, sort of mafia figure that L'Estat had been tracking. I think it's entirely possible that by the time we get to an adaptation of this story in the television universe, a lot of that will be streamlined. Very realistically, Leshock could have had a fascination with Dora as he's already had with other you know, human women and I mean, even in the recent past, Queen of the damned and Taylor of the body thief in each, there's a couple of, you know, human females that lestat falls for in some way and is connected to them and then ends up beholden to them in some fashion. That could just have happened again here with Dora. No need for the mafia father figure at all. And then you've got the human to report to and bring Veronica's veil to in the end. But I I think all of that gets streamlined, and it just becomes about instead of a stock stocking someone, it's just about MIMNOC stocking LISTOT. So
Ashley: I I could totally see that being the direction it goes, and I really hope they don't. I feel like that first part of this book is so I love it. It's like the most perfectly constructed short story I don't really know that Anne really had much I mean, I know she didn't really do any published short stories. I wonder if she ever wrote, you know, shorter shorter stories. It's like Steven King, I love his short stories so much. They're like, these beautiful jewels and that whole first part of that book, that conversation in the bar that he has with with the ghost essentially is so fantastic. I love that scene like as a person who loves theater and has an acting background. I like that's juicy shit. I love it so much. That conversation feels so much like it mirrors. It's gonna mirror all the conversations that list down that's gonna have going forward in this entire
Joel: Yes. Okay. I can hear that. You know what you've sold excellent.
Ashley: In in I was so glad.
Joel: One of the things that well, no. But I in my own memory, I I I found myself, I thought back on reading this. One of the okay. We talked about starting to re reread this with each other two two years ago. And here we are finally just finished it very, very recently. I mean, I I finished it, I think, a month and a half ago. You only finished it, like, two weeks ago, but still both of us drug in this. And if you look in the comments, we'll bring some of those later from the Facebook group, others have said, oh, god. I got lost in the middle of this book. And in my thinking and in my memory, I say, oh, I got lost in that first half before things really get rolling and you meet MIMNOC. But actually, I think perhaps it's the other way around that it may be right. You've got a great sort of adventurous short story there. Then that on ramps to this long creation tail effectively from MIMNOC where he he sits list dot down and describes the creation of the world, And and that while interesting and compelling, especially to think about and talk about, is so much slower and differently paced. It's a big tonal shift right in the middle of the book, basically. And so that may be the I was thinking it's more about the the the early part It's actually when Memnon gets into his beginning tale before that really picks up and and climaxes.
Ashley: Yeah. Well, Memnonox even like, okay. I I he's like, I got last time, I gotta go deal with this first, basically. You know, like, before we could get on with our nonsense, you know. I gotta go deal with this shit over here that I've made a mess of. And it's it's kind of what throws him into it. I feel like it's kind of the the, you know, I I just I think it's it's something I know when I read it the first time. I guarantee you knowing and remembering sweet sweet baby Ashley. She read that so fast, she didn't even give a damn about the beginning of that. She was ready to get to the action, you know, and Whereas this time, I really, really I was trying to listen to the audiobook, and then I got mad at the guy who reads it. Who I loved reading till the body thief. But the language in this is so luxurious and it just wants to be read loud in the most beautiful way. I just love the way this is written so much. He was not doing it right, and so I had to read it on my Kindle. But it's just oh, I I don't know. I I feel way more in love with this book than I even thought I could on this reread, to be honest. I just I being older and wiser and still loving something that's super subversive, still not being a part of an organized religion. I still feel like kinda justified when I read this book.
Joel: Absolutely. Absolutely agree with you there. It is a it it is one of the ones. I mean, all of them have been enjoyable to to revisit. But this one, reminds me of thirteen, fourteen year old Joel reading this for the first time and thinking how much better am I than these peons in class with me that don't understand the universe and aren't contemplating, you know, the nature of of God and and I our position under him. Let's talk for a minute about one of the the central moments in the book. So Lastat visits heaven, sits in the presence of of god, the father, so to speak, visits hell sees the lost souls and the school that MIMNOC has set up effectively to to elevate them towards forgiveness of god and and being able to return
Ashley: to seven. Beautiful. But
Joel: then he also all of that the the the very concept of a of a sort of rehabilitative afterlife, I think, is is fascinating. And honestly, you know, not that far from some of the fairly fundamental Christian ideas that that had had were floated out
Ashley: there in my own childhood. Do it.
Joel: Exactly. Exactly. Laid out as it is in the book. I think most people most adults in my life that I brought this to as as a child would have said that it was sacrilegious, but Right. So the concepts in broad form are actually very very akin to some of the devoutly held ideas within the Christian religion. But the the thing that struck me was the moment when Mimknock and Lassoc visit the crucifixion itself. You see Jesus on the road under the cross. They retrieve the veil, but only after, L'Estat actually drinks the blood of Christ, by Christ's own invitation. And it occurred to me especially in the shadow of this series premiering. What is the press gonna be like when they get to that moment in the series? Right? I mean, now, we've talked about this before, I think, maybe only off air. AMC is a network that it does not shy away from controversy. In particular, very recently, they had the preacher series that went multiple seasons and includes even more quote unquote, sacrilegious imagery, you know, or at least scandal you know, what would have been sacrilegious imagery in the past. The one thing I'll say there is the marketing push behind the preacher series is nowhere near what AMC has already done. With this interview with the Vampire series. And the plans for that preacher series were not as expansive as what they have with the rights package that they've purchased for Anne's work. So, again, it will be interesting to see whether that kicks up dust and whether, you know, my grandmother asks me about that and that dirty and right series that the preacher mentioned at church or something. I don't know. We'll have to see.
Ashley: Oh, I love it.
Joel: that moment is power full. Even if you take out the, quote unquote, you know, sacrilegious nature of it, the moment's powerful for Lastat. The blood is so central to this story and this universe that ends created. And up until this point, human blood, however, central to their own existence has not been imbued with the same description and, you know, rapturous nature that vampire blood is when they share blood with one another, particularly the elders. That's when the real high comes and you know, all the imagery that we might ascribe to a sexual encounter. The vampires have that when they share blood with each other. Well, the stock gets all of that and more when he drinks Christ blood. And it's interesting, especially when you think about how central Christ blood is to the nature of the Christian religion to begin with. Right? Like, it's it's interesting to see those things woven back and forth together. And boy, I hope this series works.
Ashley: Better to. He's literally taking communion like he's being offered communion in in a in a way. I
Ashley: people won't see it that way, but that's a hundred percent the way I see it. But I also, because this is such a complicated story, see it as a mini
Joel: Oh, it absolutely is. It's especially presented that way in the book. Why? It's it's you know, God has made his pitch already in heaven and then allowed MIMNOC to walk away with L'Estat and sort of make his pitch and then here he's like, what you'd really like a little bit of this juice. Right? Just a little bit of this juice. How was that? You're on my team. You'd never you'd never betray me. Right? It's sad. And and, of course, I mean, that's literally what that's literally what he says, and that is it is a manipulative moment. Eve I I think and also we see MIMNOC do similar things as well. The way that he the way that he presents the way that he presents the sheol or or or hell to L'Estat, I think, is clearly manipulative to show the worst conception of god. The interesting thing to me though is that in my modern understanding of of the deity. I mean, and I sometimes I still call myself a Christian, sometimes I don't. But my modern understanding of god is much closer to a a prime mover or a all encompassing force, you know, a fourth dimensional being. And so when you come to me with the with the problem of pain, so to speak, you you talk to me about, well, why suffering? Well, why evil? Well, why x? I'm like, I don't know. He's a fourth dimension being. What do you want for me? Which is effectively yes. And, I mean, and that's the resolution of the book as well too. Like, we God works in mysterious ways. Effectively is where Anne ends up with it too. But, boy, I I just I hope. I hope that this series has legs, and I hope that it has enough force that we can see this play that I want you know, ten million on the episode where Lestat drinks from Christ, and we see the crucifixion, and we see Veronica Vail, you know, blazoned into existence by by touching Christ's face. And we see this entire crisis of faith from Leshat about Did any of this happen?
Joel: Is any of this real? If it is, what does it mean? Yes. Even if it is real, what does it mean?
Ashley: Wild. I've what's I love MIMNOC. I love MIMNOC. I love that character, I think and I and I got I got taken in again. You know what I mean? Like, he tricked me again this time. In a way, and I love it so much. I love that fell firm again in that way because everything he says is things that I feel. Not everything, but a lot of things. You know, the suffering, the the how hard the world is, how, you know, like, kids getting shot in schools. You know, Warren, you cream, like, the world is hard. And and it's not like, I get where he's like, man, God's jerk. And you don't have to be in jerk.
Joel: The one other thing that struck me in, I don't I don't remember this for a fact. I seem to remember reading or hearing at different times that Anne had an abusive father. Maybe that's not true. And if I'm misremembering someone, please correct me in the comments. But I was struck by the Mimok God relationship -- Yeah. -- as that beloved child of an abusive father. Right? Mimics sees the hurt that God is doing to to Mimics. But also to all of his creation through neglect, through ignorance, through ambivalence. MIMNOC's not even sure
Ashley: why. This is
Joel: Right? Is it --
Ashley: Is it bored? --
Joel: but I see it and no one else seems to. Yeah. And that is that that is that is hard to that is hard to read even if you take out the cosmology of it and just make it that a father child relationship. It is it's compelling stuff. Again, her characterization here and and the humanity that she brings to all of these creatures, supernatural, and otherwise, it is just absolutely fascinating. And I want want more of it. I want all of it. I want all of these people to exist and and to people our television screens for a long, long time.
Ashley: Oh oh, before we get too far, I really have to mention the absolute beauty of the writing. When --
Ashley: -- LaSalle is in the room with all the artifacts. And when he actually sees them knock in there, and the way he's described, and he's not sure if he's like, he thinks it's a statue too, but he's not you know, it that is such that that whole section of writing is so beautiful wish I had my Kindle in front of me because I meant I highlighted so many phrases, so many sections in this book. On this read just because of the absolute beauty of the writing how lush and descriptive it is and it was just like that descriptive of of him looking like like hard, but also not in a live, but also stone and these wings and, oh, I love it. Love it.
Joel: I I know that there are many that say, oh, Anne is purple pros, and I don't need to read eight pages about the drapes. But that is a great example. Of self use. That style of writing is so moving and can be so perfect. And even if you don't really care for it in all of its examples. There are moments where it does rise to the level of poetry. You're absolutely right. The really exciting thing for me is already in the trailers and what we've seen of the series. You can tell that they, when they find they can, seemed to be lifting a lot of the direct poetry straight from Anne. In particular, I've already heard several comments about the city of New Orleans or about L'Estat specifically that come directly from the book. And and I think, boy, it's gonna be exciting to see those as they come and and to hear how they can incorporate more of them as they go. The thing that occurred to me is this is a book of segmentation. So we've already talked about there's the first short story about this, you know, stalking of and then conversation with Dora's father after he's a ghost. Then you've got the Mimox story, basically. And I had forgotten entirely. In my mind, as soon as L'Estat escapes effectively, he's in the jail cell being held by Mohari without his eyes, and and that's how this book ended. But it it I mean, it goes there eventually, but in between, there's a long section where the vampires, L'Estat and Dora, discuss what happened basically and whether or not it was real and what it means for everyone. And again, it's like I love that that sometimes I do think Anne understands she has that sort of flowery over the top language, and I think sometimes she's almost like, ah, there is too much. Let me sum
Ashley: up. Yeah. Let me sum up. Here's you know, and
Joel: here's a and here's a moment. In case you missed it, here's the central themes, and here are the arguments we made. Here's the one for it, and here's the one against it. In that whole discussion, by the way, I think there's I think there's a great comment here. I wrote it down. Oh, yes. He says, Armand steps forward. And he says, why didn't you accept? Why didn't you give him your soul talking about MIMNOC? Why wouldn't you accept MIMNOC's offer? Why wouldn't you work for MIMNOC and therefore God himself? And it so clearly that that's Anne, the young Catholic school girl, wishing that she could completely believe. Expecting a miracle, an actual real life miracle to happen in her life. You know, Anne's talked about that was her upbringing. You know, she wouldn't have been surprised if an angel had come and said, you're going to bear the, you know, the son of Christ or the the son of God. She wouldn't have been surprised if if she could walk on water one day. She wouldn't have been surprised if, you know, a blind person or a lame person had been healed in front of her. That was the world that she thought she inhabited. And that's the belief that she brings to the character of Armand. It's wonderful how she segments out herself into all of these creations. Oh,
Ashley: yeah. Absolutely. That's just such a good observation. Our wand is so complicated and and I think that okay. We gotta go back a little bit because we
Ashley: have to mention Yes, please. We gotta we gotta mention the the administration.
Ashley: I'm so sorry. You can't talk about this book without talking about that scene. Lastat enjoys himself a a a menstrual snack for a lack of any other way of saying it. But I feel like you can't I was really kind of shocked by that the first time I read it. And then also like kind of like fascinated by it as well because it's this whole like embracing of something that is completely safe for him to assume. It's like I've gotta hurt her. And it's also very specifically grounded in the, like, in the fem. World, you know, and the and the feminine or, you know, world as we understand it.
Joel: That's interesting. I and you know, Ashley, I had kind of glossed over it. I I didn't have anything about it in my notes. I hadn't even really thought about it, but it occurs to me that's the sort of thing that you might see the television series introducing earlier, maybe even in a
Ashley: different character.
Joel: In that it seems clear to me that the TV series is going to explore more the The
Ashley: sexy vampire.
Joel: Sexualization -- Yeah. -- vampires -- Yes. -- sexy vampires. In Anne's world, there's not a lot of actual sexual intercourse. Right? The sex comes through the
Ashley: book. Hundred percent.
Joel: And now, Marius and Pandora both actually screw a couple of times and eventually, L'Estat does in some of the books as well. But it's always sort of like a circus gimmick. It's it's almost like, oh, and look at this thing we can do. It's not the point. No.
Ashley: It's not at all the point.
Joel: Right. I think in this universe, they're they're gonna I think these vampires
Ashley: are gonna Probably. Yeah. These are gonna be some sexy fucking vampires. I'm so excited. It's gonna be so good. These are sexy male players. They were only sexy male buyers. Well, she wrote them as texting the employers.
Joel: My god. Yes. No. She you have to go back and you have to think, especially the first four or five books. The the world that she was riding those in and the world that Anne herself comes from. Right? And the it's so funny. I was literally having this discussion with one of my sons earlier, even me, a child of the eighties and nineties, the options for sexual and romantic expression that are available and known by your average teenager today, are much more varied and wide than the ones that were available to me. And I don't know it. You
Ashley: had to go look at for your porn, Joel. You had to go find
Joel: it. Well, I mean, not just after, like, but even just the the expression of the eye. The idea the idea that you could be bisexual. I didn't know I didn't even know that that was a thing, for instance, or that you could be gender fluid. Or that you or that you could be attracted to personalities and intellect as opposed to as I told my son the wobbly bits. You know? Because, like, it
Ashley: is sort of Why we're not asshole, Joel? These books are in part with
Joel: I mean, yes. But this
Ashley: fall that representation.
Joel: In the books, though, so much of that is subtext, and I think in the series, so much of that is going to be
Ashley: text. Oh, yeah. Right. Yeah. I mean, I agree, but it's
Joel: gonna be more surf.
Ashley: I was comfortable with that when I read them because now this is something that was really interesting and kind makes me sound a bit like an asshole, and I do not mean it to be. But if I'm an asshole, then I'm an asshole. It's fine. I get it. Here's the thing. I grew up in a family that had openly gay friends. Like, we had openly gay friends -- Mhmm. -- family friends in the eighties and nineties. So, like, I have always been comfortable around homosexuality, bisexuality. I I it wasn't like verbatim in our our household to discuss. It wasn't anything that wasn't out of the normal because it was relationships that I saw in the regular. You know what I mean? And so I was always like, I wasn't ever uncomfortable with any of that, which I don't think that's what you're saying obviously, but I think that that's like like I didn't get people being in the closet. I didn't realize that that was a thing
Joel: for -- Mhmm. --
Ashley: really long time because in my world, what if that doesn't matter? You know what I mean? But in the nineties,
Ashley: a huge thing. And obviously, a thing. You know what I mean?
Joel: Absolutely. No. I do understand what you're saying. But, yes, in in in my world, I mean, I knew I knew I I knew gay men, especially, and at least one lesbian woman when I was, you know, ten twelve the teenager. But the idea that, you know, anyone could you could find attraction and
Ashley: romance with These are gonna be some
Joel: whoever you wanted
Ashley: to. All alleviates. And
Joel: that didn't necessarily and that didn't necessarily have to mean a lifelong commitment or or change in your personality or expression. You know what I'm you know what I'm saying? Like, the idea that the idea that you had that sort of like spectrum of expression in romance. I didn't understand as a kid, even reading these books. And it it occurs to me that I do think just honestly for ratings and because of the way that television is these days, especially television of this nature, you know, this sort of, like, premium television that this is competing with, I think a certain level of sexuality is gonna be expected. That is actually a little heightened. Or more front than the books were. And honestly, I think that's a I think that's a great thing. And an example that -- As soon. -- as people discover this series, they it won't have to be like, oh, hey, Louis and the stat love each other, love each other. It's a romantic love, not just a I think that's all gonna be fun.
Ashley: Roommate. They're not roofing.
Joel: No. Exactly. I think Louis is very specifically going to be sort of like war warring with his sexuality. Even as a mortal in the series before the transformation. And and I think that's I think that's a cool thing to explore through this.
Ashley: Great. That'd be great to see in the character in his mortality. I would love that.
Joel: Well, and the and the idea the discussion you have there of the the menstrual blood, like, I wouldn't have thought of about that. But if you have a universe where sort of human vampire relationships are more common. Absolutely. Yeah. Then then that's a that's a great way that I don't think we've seen don't think I've ever seen that on screen, honestly. Like, I'm trying to I've seen a lot of vampire movies and TV shows. I don't think Trueblood ever
Ashley: did that. Seen a lot of vampires, and I've seen a lot of oral six, and I don't think you've ever seen that.
Joel: I'm with you. I'm with you. Alright. So there something that there you go. Market calendars kids were probably, like, five, six years away, but I think I think we still look forward to that someday.
Ashley: Of our -- Oh my god. -- guest. Yep.
Joel: Alright. So quickly, I want to get to some of this feedback that we got in the Facebook group on this episode specifically. Ashley, before we get to that, do you have any kind of final thoughts? I I wanna wrap this up. And and again, don't don't worry. We've got another episode coming ASAP about our discussion of the behind the scenes special and the TV series itself. And then starting October second, you'll get episodes weekly as long as interview with the Vampire, the television series is running, and then when Mayfair Witches is on, we'll cover that week to week as well. But as we sort of close-up our discussion of MIMNOC, what are your final thoughts on it?
Ashley: Armand, Armand's So how deep are we spoiling? Are we gonna can is it okay if I talk about our mom?
Joel: You at this point, you can you can spoil the book. Yes.
Ashley: So we we we lose air we air quotes we lose our bond in in this book, and I thought I was going to die. Joel, when I read that, the first time. I literally thought I was gonna die. I cried so hard. I was so heartbroken. I it seemed and I love what you said earlier about like, our mind being like, I didn't understand it at the time. What you just said about him being a representation of of, like, a youthful and in her face. Like, that really clicked with me just now when you said it because I didn't really felt like so out of nowhere for me and it felt like such a waste when I read it the first time. And this time, it didn't feel that way and the way you just And the way you what you said, I think, is exactly the reason why is that you can see a little bit I understand a little bit more his faith. I understand him a little bit more on a deeper level than I understood him at the time.
Joel: Yeah. I so I I had I didn't remember how this was resolved. And I was like, wait, do they Does she recommend this?
Ashley: I see. I mean
Joel: Like, there's more -- Yeah. -- he's got his own book in a minute.
Ashley: There's a whole book in a minute. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. I guess it is kind of hard to spell that since there is a whole a whole damn book later. But I just I was so heartbroken, like, as as only a teenager that reads vampire books can be, I thought I was gonna die.
Joel: It's interesting though because I was gonna mention earlier, there are and again, I'm not gonna get into spoilers on this because this includes the the sort of the Prince La Stott series that you haven't really read either. There are not hints necessarily. In the character of Mimics though, There are references that he makes to, like, L'Estat forgiving Marius. Could you forgive Marius, the vampire that created you? The very character of MEMNOC though, this moment with our mind where he goes into the sun, all of those things are plot points, concepts, discussions that Anne revisits in those later That makes me
Ashley: very happy because just vampires lined up to do that. And I was like, what the I I didn't remember that. I didn't remember mail being there. Like, I was like, what the hell? Or we just lining up to throw ourselves into the sun over LaSalle acted like a douche. Like, what is happening?
Joel: And that's not what I mean, it made me it made me think of Ashley, my my sons and I have discussed it before, you know, if aliens showed up, if if if alien spaceships showed up outside, you know, Washington DC like Independence Day or something. You would have people jumping off buildings or Right. You're It's committing suicide in one way or another. But because and not only that, but you would also have world religions reckoning with this new revelation and how does it relate to their Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Right? So this is effectively what happens in the novel here. You have this supernatural element introduced into the story and to the universe that forces some supernatural beings like Maiel in our mind to react in an irrational way, but also mortal ones as well. And and I think that's absolutely true to life. I mean, I don't know. Since the pandemic and we watched people's response, to that. I will never say again that the world's response to a cataclysmic event in a book
Ashley: or something. No
Joel: one knows how the world will will respond. Yeah. So but that moment though and and those things that I discussed, it is interesting to me to think. Are those just things that, like, as Anne was finally ready to get back on the horse and write new books that she was like, well, what plot holes or what discussions are left to have? Or even in this book as she wrote it, did she already have these things? You know, if I ever get around to it, I would like to discuss x or y or z. And then she finally does in in some of the later books. And, of course,
Joel: think we've already discussed it a lot of people in the fandom don't really care for those last three books. But whether you do or not, it's interesting to think that those those ideas were already in her head. Anne's done that all all along. If you go back and read interview with the vampire and the vampireist at their sort of references to things that that then get paid off in a in a larger way, you know, and queen of the damned until of the body thief. And so If you're building
Ashley: a world, y'all like I mean, it's it's like it's a whole it's beautiful. It's like Tolkien, it's like it's like all of our writers that we love that built these beautiful universes that we get to, like, play in and enjoy, and I'm so pumped about it. One last thing I'd have to say is is his the note from MEMNOC at the end. Mhmm. Well, not at the end, but at the fake ending where he gets the note,
Joel: where he gets the one that
Ashley: Thank you for being the stew the stew expected you to be, basically.
Joel: Well and it's one of those things that as we talked about with the the feeding from Christ.
Ashley: It's it's a manipulator. Okay.
Joel: That that note is manipulative. That note is manipulative. But what in what way is it? Did he actually set List Dot up to do that? Or now that List Dot done it, does he wanna twist the knife and make Listat feel bad for for whatever he did, you know. So Oh.
Ashley: I they're so multifaceted. Like, they're, oh, my girl.
Joel: One I mean, it drives the stock mad. Right? Yes. I mean, the combination of the note and the eyes. Right. The delivery of the eyes. Can't
Ashley: mess up his beautiful eyes. Mhmm.
Joel: I I love this book. I I cannot wait for this thing to happen on screen and I'm I'm super excited about it. I I do think that it will be controversial when we get there so much. But I I think it's I think it's exciting to and it is an example of the heights and depths that this series can go. You know, if you've watched any of sandman that is on Netflix
Ashley: right now. That show
Joel: has some amazing visuals. Right? It's just just outstanding. Those are the sorts of things that we could see on screen for this trip to heaven and hell, the creation of the universe.
Ashley: Oh, I spent a money on this. We
Joel: could see Exactly. That's what I'm saying. You and you can see it in this series already. So if if here here's what we have to do as fans. If you are interested in this and you want them to get there, then the show has to be a success. Right? So if you watch it and you like it, tell your friends about it, tell your Siblings. Tell your your mom, your dad, tell your book reading buddies, tell your people, especially, that aren't book reading buddies.
Ashley: For real. Tell
Joel: them to check out the show. Story. And tell them to watch. For
Ashley: for people that, like, you don't have to read the books to get into this. That's for the whole point of a TV series. Like, that's not he doesn't and and we will not gatekeep by any measure over here. You know, like, however you wanna a part of the fandom is so fun and exciting and welcome because that is the way Anne was. She welcomed everyone literally into her house sometimes to hang out and talk about her books. So that's that's the example we have to follow. You know, we have to make it open and available forever everyone, and I'm I'm just I'm so incredibly excited about what's to come.
Joel: Excellent. Yes. God. Those are really good words to end it on. Unfortunately, I do want to read a little bit of this feedback quickly. Alright. So Matt Bradley says, it took me decades to finish my mama. Some of Anise's luscious writing, and it can be creepy. But the story feels very slight. And, honestly, I think he's right here. It's basically it's the the real quote unquote story. Is that short story at the beginning. And then the rest of it is this sort of theological treaties. Lrastat already had a big what am I crisis in the body thief. MIMNOC is to over rot for me. Yeah.
Ashley: I was totally agreeing, and I think that because so you and I we've already talked about the fact that this was like the first of these books that we bought as it was released. So I had read I had a big gap between body thief and MIMNOC in my reading. And there are some similarities in how this story kinda gets going and gets rolling, that feel that can feel a little repetitive. If you just red body thief. Because a lot of the a lot of the setup for this up until the point that we meet that Lastat Valley does his kill and we go forward is him and David talking about big conversations. You know what I mean?
Joel: Well, and there's in in until of the body thief, he's being tracked by the body thief for a while, stopped by the body thief. In this one, at the beginning, he's stopped by the stranger, MIMNOC, while he's stalking Dora's father. So, yes, it there are repetitive -- There are echoes. -- what is George Lucas's saying? It it rips. It's like a poem.
Ashley: That's my god. Put on a flannel and a beard. Call me and your friends.
Joel: So Kaya Reinhart in the Facebook group says, L'Estocotte can really wear his heart on his sleeve sometimes. Also what was happening in Anne's life when she was writing this. So I'm correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this was right around the time when she was sort of like beginning her reentry, to the Catholic
Ashley: faith. No. I
Joel: remember at the office. One reason I say that.
Ashley: I remember at the office.
Joel: Okay. Well Like
Ashley: this was when
Joel: And and maybe so. But my thought is this is when she abandoned the vampire books for a long time. Right? There's that huge gap between MIMNOC and when she comes back and writes the, no, I'm putting I'm putting the wrong thing together. There was the gap came after the spin off books. Right? Well, no. There's a gap between body thinking, MIMNOC. But then she writes MIMNOC, and she puts L'Estat to bed, but she writes Pandora, Vittorio, blood and gold, ARMAN's book is there, the vampire ARMAN, and then she has her religious period, I think, before she picks L'Estat back up with Blackwood Farm. Or no, Blackwood Farm was the capper. She wrote Blackwood Farm Merrick and Blackwood Farm as the cappers, and that's when she wrote her Angel books and kind of rejoined the Catholic faith for a while. So you're right. I'm I'm ahead of times. That's that wasn't what was going on in her life now. This isn't when Stan passed away. I wonder what was happening, Ashley.
Ashley: I I just remember her I remember in interviews, and and I could be misremembering, obviously, you know, memory is trash. But I I feel like I remember her in interviews just talking about, like, you know, having quite questions and and I'm feeling disconnected and that sort of thing, but I could completely be making that up. It makes me realize that I need to do more biographical research on our Lady Anne, and I definitely need to spend a little bit more time drawing those, like, connections. You know what I mean?
Joel: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, and there are a couple of good there are a couple of good biographies out there too. Katherine Ramsey wrote a good
Ashley: one. And then
Joel: Anne has her own book that I've been meaning to read called out of the darkness, I think, which is specifically about her sort of religious journey journey and her where she was at that time. Of publication.
Ashley: If you wanna write biography to all
Joel: Interesting conversations we had throughout. Maybe down the road, we gotta get this podcast off the ground first We gotta welcome a whole new group
Ashley: of of audience member events. Excited you guys. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. If you're just finding us and finding this world.
Joel: I am am so excited with you too to welcome you all in and excited to hear more from each of you as we go. Excited to share this journey with you, especially excited to share it with
Ashley: you actually. Yes.
Joel: For this episode, we're gonna wrap things up. Again, we will be back. On Sunday, September twenty fifth with an episode about the behind the scenes special, and then starting October second, we'll be along with you for every episode of the TV series itself as they build out this whole universe. Until the next time we talk to you, we've been your host
Ashley: Ashley Wright Eiler. And
Joel: I'm Joel Sharpton, and this is the Articulate Covet.
Joel: Thanks for listening to the Articulate Coveen. You can join our community on Facebook by following the links in the show notes or searching for Articulate Kevin on Facebook. You can subscribe to the show in Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, or at articulatecoven dot com. And share us with your And Rise loving friends.