lotesse: (woods)
So it finally stopped raining today, and all of a sudden I think it's maybe going to be May in my heart. April really was the cruelest month this year, but I have high hopes for May. I spent the afternoon outside picking violets & rereading Lloyd Alexander's The Foundling and other Stories - I'd forgotten just how easy I am for "The True Enchanter," and somehow Fflewddur just gets cuter the closer I get to his age, though I sometimes feel that that oughtn't to be so.

I've been doing a metric fuckton of writing. Multiple Prydain projects - they're breeding! - but also an OT Star Wars/Firefly fusion. Unfortunately, my Boy is drafting the climax of his novel, which I do edit, and all the lovely affect is making my ficbrain vibrate with interest. Note to self: writing fanfiction of an unpublished text possibly not most productive idea ever.

I finished my grading yesterday, and so far only one of my kids has emailed me complaining about his grade - here's hoping that luck holds. I tell them to email me, because I hate the idea of them going home for the summer confused or bummed, and just grading them and turning them loose somehow doesn't seem properly nurturing - but at the same time I do rather dread those emails!

have a random link: Hungover Owls
lotesse: (sea)
Gilly linked to a post in [livejournal.com profile] despatches on Jack Sparrow being broken down in pairing fanfic, located here. It surprised me, because in truth that's my biggest disappointment with the Pirates franchise - they didn't break Jack Sparrow down.

We keep wanting to have these characters in our shiny things who are bad and brash and silver-tongued. Han Solo, Jack Sparrow, Dean Winchester. There's a definite mystique there. But my instinctual response to that sort of character is to assume that they're wearing a mask, and to want to tear it off of them. To break down the inhuman hostility of masks and beings. )

lotesse: (labyrinth - slave)
I love my Boy thiiiiis much. He's working with a prof on his novel for a independent study credit, only it's more him explaining the novel to the completely non-geek prof.

Now, it's a slashy little book - we've been talking about it as a non-sexual love story for a long time, and that's just what it is. The nail from which the novel hangs is the pairbonding-type relationship between the two male leads. I think it's adorable. And while he's not writing it as gay romance, we've found that slash language works really well for us as a linguistic tool in talking about it. So I guess the Boy was trying to explain to the prof about that "we don't need words to communicate our love" sort of thing, and apparently he ended up talking about the Broccoli Test.

Punchline? The prof really liked the concept, and said that he'd been looking for a way to describe precisely that sort of thing to his fiction classes. The Broccoli is taking over the world, yo.

also, interests meme from marinarusalka )
lotesse: (academia)
Thoughts on the Sanctity of Character

I got to pimp the OTW in class today – I’m TAing for Literary Theory 101, and we’re doing the Death of the Author. I was actually really pleased with my class. No one got outright shirty about the idea, and most were leery but accepting about the whole thing. Usually I have to push this one harder – I’m proud of them for using their brains and avoiding knee-jerk reactions.

Between class and fandom (which can’t seem to talk about anything but OTW at the moment, cool, it’s the shiny new thing) I’m been spending an awful lot of time contemplating reader/Author interactions. And at the same time, The Boy has been working through the climax of his current novel.

Okay, so as I’ve mentioned before, my boyfriend is a writer. Of fantasy novels. And I edit his work.

Read more... )
lotesse: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] no_remorse wrote something that got me thinking about the ideal closeness between fen and TPTB. Because I'm sort of in the middle of an unusual situation.

My boyfriend's been working on a fantasy novel for the past two years, and very early on in our relationship I started editing for him. It's become a routine for us--anything he writes during the day will be read to me in the evening, and we'll talk about it, dig up problems, ect. And because he's bloody brilliant, I've fallen completely in love with this story. I've read my print-out of the current draft dozens of times. And for the past seven years or so, my interation with texts that I love has become explicitly via fanfic. So what do I do? I start ficcing it.

Except that I'm dating the author, and have a large amount of input in his writing process.

This really came clear to me a few weeks ago. He had got round to one of the characters introduced long before in the story, who I had become quite attatched to. As is my default, I had mentally written fic about her. Some of it I had written down. I had, as is often done in fannish circles, extrapolated a backstory for her. And the Boy was writing something totally different that, to me, didn't make sense of the character.

We talked about my concerns, and in the end he worked something out himself taking them into consideration. But it felt very strange, realizing that ficcing his novel was perhaps not such an innocent or harmless pursuit. Because I don't want to influence the source tet, not like that. One of the things that I love about fic is it's property of twisting canon, peering round at it from another point of view. Reinterpreting it. Except that I also don't want to stop making my silly little stories. It makes me happy, and I don't really know any other way of reading a beloved text anymore. I've become very used to it.

We joke about my slashing it. But he reads my fic. And, in the end, I really want this to be his story, except for the part of me that wants it to be perfectly tailored to my textual kinks. What harm does fanfic do? There's no question here of legal issues or anything like that.

Is that the only reason for the prohibition between fen mixing overmuch with the creators of their source media? It feels like there's more to it than that, because I felt strange about it even with nothing such as a legal threat in sight. It has more to do, I think, with our idea of creative property. I feel like I'm interfering in his book, his creative material.

There's much talk about fanfiction being a revival of the old oral traditions of storytelling, where the tale doesn't belong to anyone but it told again and again and again, a thousand variations played on a melody so old that no one can remember who first sang it. Perhaps the awkwardness I feel comes from a clash between that anarchic storytelling style and our current cult of the artist as an individual. But my question would be whether one method would be better, ethically or artistically, than the other. Which best serves the artist, and which best serves the art? It does seem sad that that ancient maker or melodies has been so completely forgotten that only the most distant variations on his tunes have survived. Because he must have been a very great artist, and to have poured all his soul into his creation. But the tapestries of the old stories that have been told and re-told are imcomparably rich and fair.

I know that I've influenced the Boy's writing through the editorial process. Is my fic doing the same thing? Or should I not write it? Or if I do, should he not read it? Who, if anyone, does our closeness as author and fan damage?

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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