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Because I do. Kind of a lot.

I just finished reading her Lavinia, on which I'm writing my final Latin paper -- as a prologue, or a first chapter perhaps, to that book in my mind on the study of modern fandom, particularly fanfic, as a smooth continuation of a literary tradition as old and as august as story itself.

Because Lavinia is a work of fandom, perfectly so, without a single solitary difference. Oh, it's brilliant, serious, thought-provoking -- but so, as any actual member of fandom will tell you, is the best of fanfic. It quotes the text, works against the text, rearranges the text, gives voice to the voiceless, revisions the text, discusses and resolves the text, interacts with the text, continues the text...it does what fanfic is meant to do. I have the better part of a pack of post-it notes marking places where this is particularly true. This reminds me of a [livejournal.com profile] femgenficathon story, taking a woman out of the background (a girl, an omen, a blush) and into the foreground, where people walk into and out of her life, rather than the reverse. Where she is the window rather than the curtains.

Perhaps that book will be my thesis, after all. The more I read, the more I find that these words need to be said, because they are true and yet it has never occurred to anyone to say them until now.
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First, a reminder of how awesome this school is: today the chapel bells were playing...the Indiana Jones theme. Yes. I laughed out loud--no, really, in real life out loud.

And now, back to our show. For French, we have to read Le Cid, and I just finished. Man, I am all over this play like white on rice. Not only is it wonderfully written, to the degree where it takes all my force of will not to start declaiming in public while reading, but it hits like all of my general-writing kinks.

For example: Our Heroine and the Infanta like each other, despite both being in love with Our Hero. (Or, well, Our Heroine may not know. But the Infanta does.) In fact, she angsts about it, because she knew she couldn't marry a mere knight and therefore set him up with Our Heroine. But she loves him anyway. But she doesn't want to. But she never acts like she dislikes or bears a grudge against Our Heroine on this account. She set them up! She wants them to be happy! Despite being the Other Woman, she's not OMGevilMcBitchy! (Two female characters, romantic rivals at that, who like each other? Never happens.)

For further example: I love so hard stories where the source of the conflict is in the characters' virtues. What keeps the lovers apart is that they're too honorable! I loooooove that! It also makes them look like much more cohesive characters, since traits they love in each other and that are considered virtues get in the way. (As opposed to the all-too-frequent Mary Sue style where they seem to have no flaws, or only informed flaws.)

And also: the main issue comes from honor vs. love, which can be a dicey affair when I'm reading fiction written in/about a different time period, because sometimes it seems like they're making mountains out of molehills. And honor depends on society so much, it's tricky to convince me that (whatever) will reduce their honor. But here, it works, mostly because all the other characters know the trap the lovers are in and agree that yeah, that's a no-win situation there. It's a much clearer picture of societal values. (Note that everyone else, including the king, still thinks the heroine goes a bit too far, but, again, character trait.)

While I'm on the subject, there's no misunderstanding between the lovers. Each understands the position the other's in and sympathizes with their mutual plight. This makes it much easier for me to believe that they're in love, because it's not one of those plots that'd be solved in an instant if the lovers just *talked* to each other. They *do* talk, they *do* understand each other's problems, and the problems are *still there*.

So, yeah. A rollicking good read, if you read French (or if you don't, I guess, although I doubt there's a translation nearly as good as the original), and one of the few things I've read for this class in which I honestly believe that the heroes are sympathetic, in love, and not stupid.
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So. We went shoe and sock shopping (new sneakers, yay! new Mary Jane-type shoes, yay! new fun and silly socks, yay!), and then we went to the bookstore, and I got a copy of Watchmen. And then I sat down and I read it. And then I staggered around making vague noises as my brain tried to process everything.

I knew what was going to happen in some detail, which possibly took away from the first read but also let me slow down and take everything in.

It's weird, because I like comics so much, and because my favorite character is who he is, reading this, and seeing characters I know and love through a glass, darkly. It's strange, because while it's the comic-book deconstruction, it's also loving, in a way. The way you can pull characters apart and expose their deepest flaws to the world without loving them any less.

Watchmen is dark, yes, darker than I usually like, because I want to believe that people are, that humanity is, fundamentally decent.

But.

This story is older than I am. When this story was written, people could say, "That could never really happen."

Reading it in 2008, I don't have that luxury. I know it already did.

Worse, I know that by comparison I would almost prefer this to what really happened. I know that I can only wish that when it did happen it had saved the world, had ended the war instead of beginning it. I know that I can only wish we got an ending that happy.

I'll say that again: I wish reality had as close to a happy ending as this comic book.

Yeah.

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
cygna_hime: (Default)
We had a bit of a comic-buying orgy here.

Lex Luthor, Man of Steel #5: The writer has failed to connect this all up, your honour. The plot, it makes no sense, and I am forced (hah!) to conclude that Lex's visit to Gotham had no purpose beyond proposing to Bruce Wayne. Oh, well.

Lucifer vol.II: Omfg squee. I love this comic so very much. It's gorgeous, and the plot is perfect, and the characters are realer-than-real, and...Squee.

Thessaly: Witch for Hire: I love Thessaly, but I don't really think this is as true to the Sandman character as it could be. She's too...fluffy. Emotional. I like her better when she's more perfectly controlled. Still, could'a been worse.

Dead Boy Detectives vol.1: Dead British schoolboys in drag, what's not to like? Edwin = <3<3<3.

The one actual book, Dragon Precinct: Not too bad, not too good. The writing style is mediocre, really, and character development could be better, but I really like the treatment of half-elves, the real and present prejudice, and the way half-elves can, actually, end up with features of both parent that really do not go together. I'm willing to start with a different kind of mediocre.

We watched more Dr. Who. I'm sorry, I don't think this could get any more OT3 on its rating. The mind truly boggles.

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