Reviews for L’esprit de l’escalier
Nicolle1977 chapter 3 . 1/11/2014
This is a really cool story, the way you switched back and forth from both pov's worked really well and served to draw the reader into the process of what was happening.
choices2make chapter 3 . 1/10/2013
Amazing. I have no idea how you do it. When I read your work, I feel as though my own perceptions exist only in 2D. So rich and insightful. Thank you!
baba chapter 3 . 2/20/2011
I'm ashamed to admit I almost never leave reviews. For these creations of yours, well something really just has to be said.

I also don't read one-shots or shorts. To think I might have missed any of this for such a pointless reason. Now I'm working through all of yours (the SVM's anyhow) from the earliest posted through to the last.

Lastly, a lifelong habit of reading in a headlong rush of word/sentence/paragraph/page/chapter devourment. Nipped in the bud. Pausing over and over to go back and reread. The slower the better. To reconstruct word by word to the finished monument of a single expression.

CH has written some charming books and intriguing characters. Your stories have done the awe-inspiring work of filling in the spaces between, enlightening exactly what it is that makes them so compelling, such detailed examinings of their essential mysteries without reducing them in the least.

Beautiful. Devastating. Thank you.
agmo chapter 3 . 10/25/2010
This is my favorite of your stories. I love the way you write Eric. I am grateful that you don't emasculate him or take his power, even in his pusuit of love.

So, you know by now that I live your writing. You sense of the characters and your turn of phrase makes you my favorite fanfic author. What you've done with narrative structure here is fabulous. Thank you for elevating fanfic to true art.
treewitch703 chapter 3 . 9/12/2010
so it wasn't the madelines...
Aphrothena chapter 2 . 1/7/2010
I must add after reviewing Chapter 3...

'This one intrigues me.'

Eric meant volumes with his cool and disciplined facade...very ERIC!

'I'll be sure to take the chair into custody.'

I love how you drove Pam crazy while Eric meant things seriously. It was truly hilarious!

I must continue admiring Chapter 3...

The Walker's journey through Eric's memories was a healing moment from his wounds in the past to the present.

My mind was blown away with with your choice of words. It was very descriptive, narrative, poetic...BEAUTIFUL!

I now have a better understanding of Eric and his pursuit of Sookie...his LIFE!

Thanks for the overwhelming experience! More power!
Aphrothena chapter 3 . 1/7/2010
I envy the WALKER who saw Eric's beads of young-old, light-dark, and lost-found memories within more than a thousand years...very powerful!

Eric's adjectives and intentions for Sookie changed over their experiences together...fascinating!

The Walker being amazed by Eric's unexpected shift because of Sookie...intresting!

I admire your unique take. I'm very grateful for the enlightenment. Keep it up!
Aphrothena chapter 1 . 1/7/2010
Eric's determination to remember a week of his life is so admirable. I loved the idea of the Walker...more brilliant than I expected!

It's amazing to know that he chose to be faithful to Sookie since that crucial time. I feel sorry for Pam's loss of amusement with her distracted Master. I must continue reading...
misscyn chapter 3 . 11/24/2009
Whoa, I got lost in the artfulness of this fic, particularly the last chapter, and forgot what was going on; and then figured out that I didn't care, I just wanted the poetry to go on and on...reminded me of the first chapter of Look Homeward Angel for some reason, just the sheer magnitude of the expression. I love that she held out her time and telepathy in 'flattened palms.' Your Eric is beyond rich, I want more. In simple terms, you write big, girl. Really, really big. :)
nycsnowbird chapter 3 . 11/23/2009
Where do I begin? I have questions, I have salivations. I'll start there first.

"bowing and screwing like marionettes in Charles Darwin's ballet"

"many of the customers probably lived on diets as liquid as his own and just as intoxicating"

"The features of her face were wet and syrupy"

"The waitress returned with a bottle of blood and a plate of food that all seemed to be various shades of tan punctuated with a spot or two of yellow."

Okay, let me take a breath here because I need it. The perspective just blows me away. I feel reviled with visions of this diner, of the patrons, of their sad lives. I can taste how bad the food is, I don't want to even stop there for directions cause I might be lost. God knows how bad the bathroom has to be.

Okay, a few questions. Why would Eric be surprised the Walker comes into an occupied diner wearing flesh? How else would Eric be able to communicate with him? Is that why Eric had considered a translator earlier (later in the story)? And who would be the go-between, if so? Who would be able to hear a Walker when the Walker is in spirit form? Does this require great trust, someone like Emma perhaps, or some sort of special gift?

What is the look of recognition in the Walker's eyes that Eric sees? What is their real relationship? You speak of the real Walker. Eric is shocked he's meeting with THE Walker THE Adam, is that the reason? Or is it some relationship between them that has not yet been explained?

Is Eric not dangerous to the Walker while the Walker is in spirit form because of the disembody or that Eric must be asleep? If so, then why is the Walker thinking he would not walk into Bill because he knows it would be the last place he ends up? Would he become trapped or would he be savagely ripped somehow? Why won't Walkers work with vampires? Some past incident? Vampires are inherently untrustworthy? Something more personal?

What is Jack's role as a Walker? You speak of Genocide Jack. Unmaker Jack. What is he capable of? What has he done? In affecting memories is he able to fine tune them out of existence and is THAT what the genocide speaks of? Or is it worse?

More adoration:

"But the Walker only smelled of human and of old. He smelled of the world as it had looked before maps and of the rain that had fallen on trees that were seedlings when Christ died."

"Humans didn't wear their hearts on their sleeves as the deliciously absurd expression suggested. They wore them in the muscles around the eyes, in the twists of mouths, in the sets of jaws."

"He'd spent a lot of women trying to forget that he couldn't remember her."

So powerful. Imagery so bright it makes my eyes squint and head throb. This is where the bowl of fruit offerings gets pushed towards you as I bow my head and whisper hypnotically.

But back to more questions ...

"I will do this thing you could not have done yourself. I will alter your life, for good or ill, as you request. And, one day, you will do the same for me.”

and that is? How can Eric alter a Walker's life except to end it?

"It was infinitely easier to let vampires live in their snow globe lives of omniscient invincibility."

If a vampire isn't as close to invincibility as any supe can be, who would be? They live eternally, they have tremendous power and influence. How would this constitute living in a snowglobe? Jack is as defenseless as a vampire were he to run into an angry one in his flesh suit.

"In his own oldest memories, a woman who is his reflection tries to teach Jack the language of souls."

Emma? Why would she know this language and Jack not? What is (was) she that Jack is (was) not?

“But Eric was not in the habit of lying to himself. He had not a clue who he had been under the centuries of cunning that had become indistinguishable from instinct. The idea that he'd spent time as someone he didn't know ate away at him. The fact that he'd spent it with her, that he'd offered to remain ignorant and powerless to stay with her...”

This is the best explanation I’ve found in fanficdom to explain why Eric is haunted by the loss of memory. While I want to believe, romantic that I am or try to be, that it is about Sookie, it’s probably more about who he was, what she had been attracted to that he is not.

And now for more fawning attention to your words...

“He'd spent a lot of women trying to forget that he couldn't remember her.”

God. That is so good, so sexily worded, it just makes me drool.

I’ll dice in some peaches into that bowl of yours now.

He felt something like sympathy for the array of lobotomized morons who couldn't manage to begin a tomorrow since they were missing the starting point of a yesterday.

My mind jumps to the phelgmy eyed patrons at the diner. Yes.

I’m adding in passionfruit. I love the stuff. I make tea from handfuls of them during the summer.

Once vampire buildings had been as arrogant as their owners. Their roofs sat like noses in the air,

What? Like Dracula’s castle? Delicious!

A few lychees ...

Pam might have said, “She is alive” since that was the chalk line on the playground of eternity that separated the vampires from the humans.

God. Stunning. “Chalk line” ... this is one of those concepts I guess we all acknowledge in this Sookieverse but I have never seen hold it up to the light and examine it so unblinkingly. Outstanding.

I’ll share my precious Harry & David comice pears with you now ...

“I'll be sure to take the chair into custody.” Pam's tone never changed from one of dry as desert disapproval but for an instant her soul seemed to shudder...

It’s wonderfully Pam. I laughed out loud.

Ever try jackfruit?

Help me here ...

“Pam had gone off to round up the potato-faced chimney sweeps, to turn them out for the day to stand in the sun with atrophying eyes and pockets full of clipped pennies.”

Human staff cleaning, check. out in the sun with atrophying eyes because they’ve been in the dark for hours, check. clipped pennies? Clipped as in retrieved from the floor of the bar and pocketed?

More gorgeous wording...

“Word travels.” There was no 'fast' to add since it was the verb that had won Eric's ire.”

When sentences get this good I get goosebumps. Wonderful.

Hard to get but I’m adding in some strawberry pears.

“Do you care for her?” Bill's voice never climbed to the heights of a question, sprinting, instead, down the hard concrete surface of challenge.”


I’ll add a few kumquats to that fruit bowl now. No, no, you don’t eat them that way, you peel them like a grape.

“He'd remember this woman in pixelated close-ups with all the nastier bits cropped out. He'd remember her in a montage set to a love song and ending in tragedy.”

Again, you have captured Bill and the angst he carries for Sookie so unerringly. He never saw her for who she was, only for who he wanted and needed her to be.

“He calls up the few words that remain with him-that remain with the world. To the soul he whispers greeting. He whispers comfort. He whispers a phrase with no meaning except that it is a question. The soul smiles at the oddity of a chance meeting with a wandering spirit and and invites him to observe its stars.”

Do you fill in that question at a later date? The concept of a soul being able to communicate with the Walker is fascinating. The concept of a soul being its own universe and inviting him to observe its own canopy is even more intriguing. I’m humming the opening to CAROUSEL right now.

“Victor lists his qualifications. Eric is being traded like a star athlete. Only, his life is up for grabs in the contract negotiation. His life and the lives of the others. He believes those are called 'signing bonuses.”

Hm. Maybe even a star fruit ...

“Bill can kill and die for whomever he likes. He is a free agent.

For Eric there is Fangtasia. There are the vampires under his protection. There is Pam. There is Sookie.”

And again, you’ve provided us with an explanation Charlaine’s books never gave us. Eric isn’t being selfish when he doesn’t harmonize with Bill. He can’t die for Sookie because who would be there to make sure she lived?

“Jack watches her collect adjectives. Useful. Stubborn. Desirable. Frustrating. Naïve. Brave. Foolish. Confident... Jack half expects her to turn about and spit in the vampire's eyes just so he'll stop describing her.”

This is so heartstoppingly good I just gasp. WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL.

You might enjoy some guava. I’ll quarter and slice it ...

“When change comes about, Eric is vexed that is not the one to cause it. She trusts Eric a little more only because she loves Bill a little less. Eric is amused by his own annoyance. If he has grown invested, the fault must lie with her.”

I always thought the trust was there before her staking in Club Dead. She turned to him after the staking knowing he would help, knowing he would be the only one who could help.

“He will drain her dry on the club floor or leave her behind to be torn to shreds. Two roads diverge in a bloody wood.”

He might have briefly considered draining her but the lust for her was too deep by then. Love the use of Robert Frost, btw.

Champagne grapes?

“The world shrinks down the wrong end of a telescope, collapsing into a tiny seed of what they were ready to explode into are.”

Your descriptions are so compelling and evocative. I feel strangely enervated.

Cherimoyas, maybe?

“When Jack finds the mistake it only because he has learned the rhythm of Eric's life well enough to miss the single, dropped beat.”

... I hope you like rainier cherries.

“The memories fall into place messily. They fall between the curved lines of a parentheses. Jack wonders if this is what Eric was really looking for. Things do not begin inside parentheses.”

Okay, okay ... I’ll enroll you in the Fruit of the Month Club.
whatsthefracas chapter 3 . 10/18/2009
you were right. part 3 is the best. it's beautiful.
whatsthefracas chapter 2 . 10/18/2009
my computer crashed in the middle of trying to read this and only by some necromancy have i gotten things up and running again. at least for now.

i loved this line:

"The waitresses-turned-custodians pushed cigarette butts and lost rhinestones into dustbins, sweeping them up alongside bits of lost dignity and discarded selves."

at my kid-friendly place of employment,it would be: "the waitresses-turned-custodians peeled grubby balls of pizza dough off the floor, sweeping up the shreds of crayon wrappers, stray strands of spaghetti, and my desire to have children."
whatsthefracas chapter 1 . 10/14/2009
dear lord, you are an amazing writer.

the passage with "His memory was a thing of neurons and magic..." is just one fine example of your hauntingly gifted ability.

and there are two more chapters? joy is mine!
ssloo chapter 3 . 10/7/2009
This was a beautiful addition. So glad I read it. Love the lengths Eric went to in order to regain his memories of Sookie. Love Jack's interpretation of Eric and Sookie's relationship. The last chapter was so well written. Enjoyed the changing POV. Loved the language you used to describe Eric's memories returning. It felt like a jumble of memories returning all at once. I read through it twice just to enjoy it again. Good work as always.
Girl Of Chaos chapter 3 . 9/17/2009
Okay, it's 1:35 am here in my country and I felt the urge to open the laptop and check out another of your short story. :D

It was fulfilling and I absolutely loved it. The last chapter, the one you said it was the hardest to's a masterpiece. I have no words to describe how well it was written or how it managed to make me feel like I was there, walking through Eric;s memories with Jack.

Brillian, brillian work! Thank you for sharing this with us!
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