Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

For discussion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's short story collection Låt de gamla drömmarna dö
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OskarTheArsonist
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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by OskarTheArsonist » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:02 pm

nithr wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:26 pm
drakkar wrote:I sensed a hostility from Eli&Oskar towards the surroundings, which I took as a sign of "go away and leave us alone!" :)
They were being hostile when Stefan walked up to them as they were mixing which is understandable. Other than that moment I don't see how you could gather anything from what little we were given. If they wanted to be left alone they could have picked a better place than Barcelona with its insane nightlife and be more careful about avoiding cameras so the the two people who were still looking for them wouldn't see and go after them.
I agree with you I think the only reason Eli turned hostile was bescuse it was a personal moment.
"the quieter you become, the more you are able to hear"

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metoo
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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by metoo » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:12 am

OskarTheArsonist wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:02 pm
I agree with you I think the only reason Eli turned hostile was bescuse it was a personal moment.
I have a somewhat different interpretation of Eli’s behaviour. Eli would have been very protective towards Oskar at the time, considering what happened the previous night. So, while Eli certainly was irritated because of the intrusion, protecting Oskar might have played a greater part.
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by OskarTheArsonist » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:10 pm

metoo wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:12 am
OskarTheArsonist wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:02 pm
I agree with you I think the only reason Eli turned hostile was bescuse it was a personal moment.
I have a somewhat different interpretation of Eli’s behaviour. Eli would have been very protective towards Oskar at the time, considering what happened the previous night. So, while Eli certainly was irritated because of the intrusion, protecting Oskar might have played a greater part.
I think your right it makes more sense if he was just being protective.
"the quieter you become, the more you are able to hear"

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by andmker » Fri Nov 06, 2020 8:17 pm

nithr wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:45 pm
Just finished listening to Let The Old Dreams Die and the fact that
Eli turned Oskar and that they're still alive and together
just made me want more. Was that the intention of JAL? Seems if he really wanted to end the Eli and Oskar story he would have handled it differently.
I'm not sure how I feel about the "conclusion" given to Eli and Oskar. The fact that she turns him so soon after they leave Blackaberry seems a bit strange. Was it not established in the book that Oskar "wants to be with her but not like her" and Eli seems to understand and respect that. Why would she turn him so soon after they leave the train?

Don't get me wrong - I like it. I like the fact they get to stay together and Eli won't have to watch him grow old. It just seemed a bit odd....

Hello everyone BTW - I'm new so sorry if I'm bringing some old threads back to life :D I'm a big fan the books and the movie.

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by PeteMork » Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:51 am

andmker wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 8:17 pm
nithr wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:45 pm
Just finished listening to Let The Old Dreams Die and the fact that
Eli turned Oskar and that they're still alive and together
just made me want more. Was that the intention of JAL? Seems if he really wanted to end the Eli and Oskar story he would have handled it differently.
I'm not sure how I feel about the "conclusion" given to Eli and Oskar. The fact that she turns him so soon after they leave Blackaberry seems a bit strange. Was it not established in the book that Oskar "wants to be with her but not like her" and Eli seems to understand and respect that. Why would she turn him so soon after they leave the train?

Don't get me wrong - I like it. I like the fact they get to stay together and Eli won't have to watch him grow old. It just seemed a bit odd....

Hello everyone BTW - I'm new so sorry if I'm bringing some old threads back to life :D I'm a big fan the books and the movie.
I suspect that, after the slaughter at the pool when the two of them left together, Oskar realized that his life going forward would change forever. This made the choice much easier for him. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if he brought it up to Eli himself.
We never stop reading, although every book comes to an end, just as we never stop living, although death is certain. (Roberto Bolaño)

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by metoo » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:53 am

nithr wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:45 pm
I'm not sure how I feel about the "conclusion" given to Eli and Oskar. The fact that she turns him so soon after they leave Blackaberry seems a bit strange. Was it not established in the book that Oskar ["wants to be with her but not like her" and Eli seems to understand and respect that. Why would she turn him so soon after they leave the train?

Don't get me wrong - I like it. I like the fact they get to stay together and Eli won't have to watch him grow old. It just seemed a bit odd....
PeteMork wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:51 am
I suspect that, after the slaughter at the pool when the two of them left together, Oskar realized that his life going forward would change forever. This made the choice much easier for him. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if he brought it up to Eli himself.
I agree. I actually think Oskar would have had to be the one to bring it up. Although Eli still might have wished to have Oskar for an eternal friend, out of respect for Oskar he wouldn't have made the suggestion a second time.

I also think the turning was planned already before O&E embarked the train to Karlstad. Oskar was visibly happy on the train, as noticed by Stefan Larsson, the conductor. Oskar was anticipating what would come. And once off the train, he and Eli wasted no time. But I think the notion that "Eli turned Oskar" is incorrect. In my view infecting Oskar was a mutual decision and a mutual action. Rather than Eli doing it to Oskar, they did it together.
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by PeteMork » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:52 am

metoo wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:53 am
...
I also think the turning was planned already before O&E embarked the train to Karlstad. Oskar was visibly happy on the train, as noticed by Stefan Larsson, the conductor. Oskar was anticipating what would come. And once off the train, he and Eli wasted no time. But I think the notion that "Eli turned Oskar" is incorrect. In my view infecting Oskar was a mutual decision and a mutual action. Rather than Eli doing it to Oskar, they did it together.
I agree. They certainly couldn't have had a conversation of that sort on the train. And as you pointed out, Oskar and Eli wasted no time once they were off the train.
And it was certainly consensual.
We never stop reading, although every book comes to an end, just as we never stop living, although death is certain. (Roberto Bolaño)

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metoo
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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by metoo » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:57 am

PeteMork wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:52 am
They certainly couldn't have had a conversation of that sort on the train.
Not that I think they did, but they probably could (!).

The reason is that some passenger compartments were quite small, for just eight passengers on two facing sofas with four places each.
It seems Oskar's seat was in one of those, and that Oskar was the sole occupant...

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But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by sauvin » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:24 am

PeteMork wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:52 am
metoo wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:53 am
...
I also think the turning was planned already before O&E embarked the train to Karlstad. Oskar was visibly happy on the train, as noticed by Stefan Larsson, the conductor. Oskar was anticipating what would come. And once off the train, he and Eli wasted no time. But I think the notion that "Eli turned Oskar" is incorrect. In my view infecting Oskar was a mutual decision and a mutual action. Rather than Eli doing it to Oskar, they did it together.
I agree. They certainly couldn't have had a conversation of that sort on the train. And as you pointed out, Oskar and Eli wasted no time once they were off the train.
And it was certainly consensual.
And maybe a bit more like "consanguine". :lol:

Movie Eli does seem to have accorded people in general with considerable respect. Eli shuffles where Dracula swaggers, and she doesn't treat her fellow monster (Haakan) like a whipping dog. This, I think, is something of Elias himself that survived the centuries. In addition to this, the blackly twisted state of Eli's socialisation and acculturation would have taught her the futility of trying to force anybody into anything other than an early grave. I find it telling that novel Eli tells Oskar just to think of what she is as "an unusual illness" - a pathetically meek image for a powerful and incalculably dangerous apex predator who could wipe out heavily armed platoons of battle-hardened soldiers in a matter of minutes.

Instead of using force, she tried to use seduction (in the novel "we can kiss if you want") and money (in the movie "you dont' need to sell papers, I have money to give you") to keep Oskar at her side and was probably confused when he declined, and may have even been more than just a little "concerned" when he mounted his moral soapbox about stealing valuables from her victims. This guy just wasn't looking to hook up or secure a meal ticket, and I think it may have taken her a bit of time to understand that for all that he's a thief and generally anonymous lowlife in the novel and a weak, sniveling little scarecrow in the movie, all he really wanted was somebody who would be with him. Nothing more than that, but all of that: just be with him.

In his own turn, Eli was something new to Oskar's experience, I think. Once he'd penetrated her cover story (living with Dad, probably going to some local middle school or other) and found he was really just a McDonald's #4 supersize combo (heavy on the catsup, please!) on legs to her, he must have realised that her small evasions had more to do with long-practised survival habits less to do with how she thought of him; she was lying to him, in other words, with the emotional equivalent of a form letter. What he'd noticed more was that she not only didn't avoid him, she actually seemed to seek him out, and not because she wanted something from him (money, blood, purple carnations).

He'd had to let her go anywhere after Lacke crashed their slumber party, but he certainly didn't want to. Call it a boomerang effect: she was gone, leaving him emptier than he'd ever been before, I think, and then she was back just when he needed her most. He's not stupid; her showing up when she did wasn't co-incidence, she had to've been watching. His mother wasn't there for him, his father wasn't there for him, various random people from the school/institution that loomed so large in his daily life weren't there, the police weren't there - none of these people had been watching and hadn't realised he'd been subjected to such danger (and like as not would have dealt with the danger ineffectively) - but she was, and was (ahem) rather vigorous in his defence.

I've never read Old Dreams, and so I'm stuck with relying on "canon", but I do honestly believe that if Oskar had asked to be with her by being like her, it was because (1) he believed with justification that she'd respect his decision not to, just as she'd done before (in the novel) and (2) because he felt committed to her, probably realistically recognising that he could never be committed to anybody else to such a degree.

Lucky dog, is our Oskar. Their relationship already had an unusually solid basis before the movie's credits started rolling, and assuming nothing unforeseen, he'll be spared the living hell of having lost his first love.
Fais tomber les barrières entre nous qui sommes tous des frères

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by andmker » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:02 pm

You've all raised some brilliant points. It does seem fitting that it would have been Oskar that brought up the subject after the events at the swimming pool. I feel that only a short time would have passed between the pool and the train - they would want to get out of Blackaberry and the bloodbath as soon as possible.

On reflection, Oskar remaining who and what he was would raise problems. He needs food and water, warmth and shelter. He would need money to live and would grow older (with the possibility of getting ill). At least this way (and the way you've suggested) its a mutual agreement and the best decision for both of them.

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