lotesse: (curiouser)
the thing that gets me about the way Pullman has it all end up in His Dark Materials - more than the muting of Lyra, the generic alterna-afterlife stuff, the gratuitous heterosexuality – the thing that really gets at me is the narrative insistence on children's obedience. imo that's a hard conservative value, and gives the lie to Pullman's self-positioning as a humanist alternative to Christian fantasists, C.S. Lewis in particular. Read more... )
lotesse: (narnia)
I don't know why I feel driven to speak for C. S. Lewis - I don't deny that he was everything everyone says he was. But I get frustrated, because other people's perception of his authorial position in relation to his text just do not match up with my own. and the things that I find lovable about him are erased in the mismatch. Read more... )

(this is mostly coming from my attempt to read through Ana Mardoll's chapter-by-chapter Narnia decon; I respect Ana like crazy, but I get antsy with other feminists and Lewis-reading, because I see him as such a damaged little beast that I want to defend him, and then get frustrated with myself because in general I try to avoid defending white Christian dudebros. I don't think anyone needs to give him a pass. Nevertheless - some girls do woobie!Loki, I got my Jack Lewis)
lotesse: (narnia)
Interesting convo over at Shakesville that deconstructs the "but rape is historically realistic" canard by showing all the historically realistic ways medieval women had to gain power that are written right out of Westeros.

More and more, Game of Thrones reinforces my conviction that it's essential to include author positionality in SFF analysis, maybe moreso than in other genres? because of the imaginative freedom/responsibility worldbuilding confers. GoT has some cool-sounding ladypersons in it, but I look at the author and I look at the stans and I don't think their fantasy about ladypersons in a crypto War of the Roses with dragons added is the same as mine. There's an investment in - I don't quite know the word, but bad history and rape culture and something liked medievalist evopsych? which I do not, will not, share. Sometimes you can cut the texts up and rearrange the pieces; but Rape Rape Martin, from what I can see, lays down some hard patterns; those books kind of sincerely scare me, I'll admit it. And the question becomes if it's worth doing the work.

Ironically, bc Martin is so often presented as an improvement on Tolkien, Middle-earth is actually much better at allowing realistic paths to power for women apart from fighting or fucking; there aren't many named ladypersons in LoTR but of the few there are two are Ioreth and my personal cotdamn hero Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. And maybe it's part of the reason why I'll always love Narnia best of all: because women in Narnia gain power through insight and imagination, and they don't have to fight OR fuck if they don't want to. It's much easier for me to mentally wander around Gondor or Cair Paravel and add in realistically diverse, complex, and powerful women than I feel like it would be to attempt the same thing around the Iron Throne.
lotesse: (narnia_susan)
Clipping for vids results in odd juxtapositions; I do it without listening to the film, just letting one of my (many) (massive) iTunes playlists spool out as I go. Clipping The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe tonight, had two really fun bits of synchronization: Regina Spektor's "Open" over the alt-Crucifixion scene, and then, less dramatically but more lolariously, "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" cuing up to the big dramz final battle scene, Jadis hitting the chorus.

(Yes I should be going to bed earlier, but I'm on a late-night schedule right now and have no hard incentive to change that, and anyway I don't like going to bed, I've never liked going to bed. You can't make me. Screw "early to bed and early to rise.")
lotesse: (Default)
meme responses: stuff about Dollhouse, Star Trek, and Narnia )

Also, I want to link to Ana Mardoll's piece at Shakesville on the acquittal of Ezekiel Gilbert for Lenora Ivie Frago's murder, because this is one of those cases I want to point to whenever people (so often in the form of my undergraduate students) assert that we've changed since the (inevitably indefinable) Bad Old Days. It's an impulse that I find really frustrating, because it makes me not want to celebrate our successes, knowing that any mention I make of victory will be taken as a total declaration of the end of the war.

eta: also I passed the graduate Spanish test-out I took yesterday! Which is awesome, because it means I don't have to take HISP 492 for the rest of the summer, and have both the foreign language requirements for my degree covered. Which means that as soon as I defend my prospectus, I'll be ABD. I am chilling out today, but this weekend is going to be for writing; I think I have most of my prospectus worked out mentally, but I need to just sort of pound out the words.
lotesse: (narnia_susan)
Yesterday I drove nine hours north, my cats intermittently squalling in their carrier on the front seat next to me. We're camping out for the holidays in my mother's painting studio, living with the Botticelli studies and works in progress. The smells always make me kind of nostalgic, because when I was a kid, before we built this house, my mama painted in the kitchen.

The thing I've enjoyed most about watching Due South - and I'll post more on that anon, promise (I just realized that in this context that could mean "anonymous," instead of being a Shakespeare joke) - is the way it calls up memories of my childhood. I've been living in towns for a while now, and that wasn't something I ever really meant to do. But dorms became apartments led to more apartments, and it's been sidewalks and streetlights for what feels like a really long time. I've had such fun reading the celebratory way people in this fandom write about the north - and it was in my mind driving up, watching things get woodier and snowier, feeling kind of epic and kind of wonderful.

I've still got a fair amount of end-of-semester work/grading to tidy off, not to mention my yuletide (it exists, I think I understand it, now I just have to write words down except that writing words down is the hard part!) But it feels good to be back where I can see snowy hills out the window while I work.

for [personal profile] anghraine, five things I keep in mind while writing Edmund Pevensie )
lotesse: (shakespeare_tempest)
I'm writing! I'm writing! I'm not writing my yuletide assignment - which I'm excited about in sort of a warm quiet way, because I think it's going to come out a warm quiet story that might not change the world but will make me & hopefully my recip warm and happy - or either of the other two projects I'm maybe doing for other yuletide folks. No, I'm finally writing on the Star Wars OT truthdrugs story I started the same month as A bed of daysided gold, but that keeps getting bigger and more intense on me. (not, sadly, faster and more intense. slower. slower and more intense.) I think I've maybe figured out some of the overall thematic unities of the story, which is really good information to have, but a lot of what I've been doing today is going back and getting myself out of the bottlenecks I'd got myself into when I was blundering around in the trope-infested dark. At 10k+ right now, finish line not yet in sight.

here are some other bits of fannish stuff and/or linkspammage:
- dept of Tony Stark + robots. Did you know that DUM-E starred in his very own GM commercial before becoming a prop on Iron Man? (this might be a thing that everyone's seen but me, but I'd never seen it so I thought I'd share. um, warnings for sad robots/implied robot suicide? DUM-E is not doing so well.)

- in other Tony Stark + robots news, apparently the sound effects for Tony's babies are drawn from ILM's sound library - which was largely compiled by Ben Burtt for the original Star Wars trilogy. Which pretty much explains their lovability factor in my book - Burtt is a god among men.

- Nick Mamatas defends genre fiction against all the snobbery the New Yorker can bring to bear.

- the best parts of this discussion of Narnia and divine justice over at [livejournal.com profile] cartesiandaemon's is the stuff in the comments about the nature of a certain kind of fantasy: "Where riding for weeks and weeks of wilderness only to find a knight guarding a bridge with no shelter and certainly no way of getting food, and no suggestion of what he does the three hundred and sixty-four days a year that someone isn't trying to cross his bridge, is just the kind of thing that happens, because the idea that the world should make coherent sense is just inconceivable and what is important is that there are two knights and a bridge and one of them is going to have to give way. Oh, and a barefoot maiden might just happen to come along in the middle of the fight too to point out that the knights are in fact brothers, despite that the nearest village is weeks of hard ride away so where was she hiding, eh?" Includes interesting stuff on Star Wars as well.

- and also here, have a link to a lovely essay on self-care from Elise Nagy: "It’s difficult to practice self care without slipping into a self-interrogation about complacency, about whether you deserve this care or are just coddling yourself, about whether giving yourself credit for something so basic—taking care of yourself—really makes you a more broken and less competent human being. (People make it through author’s talks in crowded theatres every day without needing to take a time out, people go grocery shopping every day without making it into some huge meaningful deal, people go through much worse, people would love to have the problems you have, the voice says.)" Because we've got a hurricane and an election and a Disney buyout, people, ish is pretty intense right now.


25 Jul 2012 09:47 pm
lotesse: (narnia_peter)
So I just discovered that the big antique ink drawing of a lion, a lioness, and their cubs that's hung over my grandparents' fireplace for my entire life - and which is, I suspect, the originator of the entire family's tendency to use lions as worship icons, for which see our Thing with Narnia - is an original work by Rosa Bonheur, a queer feminist nineteenth-century painter, of whom I have often read. Apparently her descendents live up here on the beach somewhere.

My scholarship is invading my life HALP
lotesse: (neverland)
The first drawerfic I ever wrote - well, I never even dared to write it down, because I had a strong sense of shame & propriety as a kid, and knew it was a subliterary impulse - was about Wendy Darling. It was about how Wendy got to come back to Neverland, and have what she wanted: Peter, and a family, and the Neverland as well. Romance and reproduction and pirates and adventures. I just looked back through my "peter pan" tag here, and saw that I almost compulsively reference this fantasy - I've still never written a word of it down in earnest, but clearly some part of me is burning to express or realize it.

I feel ashamed of it. I had a feeling - still do - that it was wrong to fight against the terrible inexorabililty of the ending. I've always found it easy to fall into fatalistic, obedient acceptance of that particular kind of wrenching ending - the one that asserts that you can't always have what you want, that there's always a price to pay and you can't choose. Narnia and Lord of the Rings and The Dark is Rising and His Dark Materials - the list kind of goes on. This xkcd sums the trope up pretty nicely. I've been working on learning to subvert, to disobey even there. But I've always had a hard time disobeying J. M. Barrie. I was always more cautious and circumspect with the Peter Pan daydreams than with anything else. I have no problem screwing around with Narnia, but even in the context of this journal I don't seem to have ever managed to so much as question Barrie before. I pulled off a Grey Havens rewrite years ago. Why is Barrie so unresistable?

I wonder if it isn't because Wendy Darling is female. And, maybe even more, because she's feminine, and because the things she wants get tangled up in both a reification of gender roles and a reactionary repudiation of the same.

Apparently, I have ~thoughts~ )


19 Aug 2011 10:52 am
lotesse: (narnia_girls)
[personal profile] starlady's Last Will, and Testament, a Narnia/Dark is Rising crossover with a little His Dark Materials thrown in - all the left-alone ones together in a community of outsiders that broke my heart as much as it healed and inspired me.
lotesse: (narnia_girls)
Moving weekend approaches! And then consistent internet again, oh joy. Until then, I'm contenting myself with reading Carpetbaggers and taking the Test Your Vocab test - apparently I know 39,800 words, and I really want to look up the ones I didn't! I heart words.

me me:

5 May 2011 10:54 am
lotesse: (miyazaki)
Name me a character from a fandom I have known, and I will tell you:

* How I FEEEEEL about this character
* All the people I ship romantically with this character
* My non-romantic OTP for this character
* My unpopular opinion about this character
* One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon
lotesse: (books_rereading)
I actually saw The Voyage of the Dawn Treader last week, but it broke my heart enough that I haven't really been able to talk about it. I saw it on the last day of term, and this has been such a terribly jonah term - Narnia has always been my strongest, deepest desiring fantasy of escape to something better, and dealing with that when I desperately wanted out was a bit more intense than it might've been.

not what a star is, but only what it is made of )

So I just finished writing a term paper on Ivanhoe, because Victorian medievalism is about as close as I want to get to actual medieval lit in any critical way, and because I had a massive affair with that book when I was about thirteen. And now that the paper's gone, the fannishness has set in. There is definitely fic. There may also be icons. And The Boy's never read it, so we've been investigating adaptations.

Also apparently contrary to the rest of the known world I ship Ivanhoe/Rowena, and think Bois-Guilbert is rather boring really. So, um, that kind of influences my preferences re: adaptations. Seriously, is everyone into the Ivanhoe/Rebecca action?

nattering about various adaptations )

It's been fun - and strange - playing with this novel again, because I see so much of myself in its author. Scott really, really desires the fantasy of the Virtuous Knight, the liberal Hero who uses Might for Right, and defends the weak, and helps the helpless. And hoo boy am I ever susceptible to that fantasy. But at the same time, the entire novel is haunted by the traumatic knowledge that it never does actually work that way, that chivalry is just a pretty gloss for cruelty and oppression. But somehow I can't seem to get rid of the fantasy of knights in shining armor.
lotesse: (feminism - Buffy)
Because I love the girls and women in my fandoms, and think they're awesome.

spring on horseback like a lady )
lotesse: (Lucy Pevensie)
Hokay. I think that I am pretty much ... done. Turned in the Virginia Woolf essay this morning, finished the Honors, did the paperwork. I think that that means that I get to relax until Commencement.

Pictures of the kitty bebehs on their one-week birthday here.

Sort of begging: does anyone have full movie screencaps of "Prince Caspian"? I know there have to be bootlegs floating around, or advance copies. I want caps of Lu at the bridge with her little knife, and I would possibly kill for them. Anyone?
lotesse: (Susan)
I meant to get up this morning and write out my thinky thoughts on Narnia, but then I had to lie abed ridiculously late. But now, I meta!

I think that maybe Prince Caspian isn't that great as a movie. I think the first half, especially, might be very confusing to people who are not me. One of the advantages these people have with me is that I don't just love Narnia, I consider it bloody well sacred. Just saying "Aslan's How" or "the Horn" is going to get me there. So I go in, as it were, pre-disposed for bliss. But I also got the bliss, big time. and when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again. )

lotesse: (narnia - no other Lion)
Am back from seeing Prince Caspian, and there is no bad here. I'm absolutely, utterly, perfectly happy.

I'll probably have analysis later; right now, I'm jut squeeful and floaty. Oh, Narnia, I love you so completely, deep down inside.
lotesse: (narnia - no other Lion)
So. This whole Prince Caspian movie thing.

rambling hopes and anxieties, some possible spoilers )

Supernatural finale in two hours, Narnia in twenty-two. It's going to be a good weekend!
lotesse: (narnia - no other Lion)
In the winter, I have to walk back and forth to campus - too snowy for my bicycle to manage. Which means my little iPod shuffle always has audiobooks loaded on it, to keep me from thinking about how bloody cold it is outside. And I just last week torrented the Derek Jacobi recording of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which I've been lusting after for years. I bought Prince Caspian, but Dawn Treader is and always has been my dearest, truest love.

(Isn't it odd how clearly we inflect books, sometimes? When Jacobi reads, at the very beginning, "the picture was moving," he inflects in as "was moving," which in my head is just wrong, because clearly it's "was moving," with reference to Lucy's remark about why she likes the painting.)

But I've been falling in love with Caspian all over again, or rather finding new reasons and understanding of why I always have loved him, because of course he was my first fictional true love. There's a darling moment, when Lucy and Edmund are first come aboard the Dawn Treader, and Caspian and Drinian are recounting the adventures they've had since they sailed from Cair Paravel - Terebinthian pirates and all that. And Drinian is talking about their stay in Galma, and, well, here's the passage:

"We were in port for a week, for the Duke of Galma made a great tournament for his Majesty and there he unhorsed many knights--"
"And got a few nasty falls myself, Drinian. Some of the bruises are there still," put in Caspian.
"--and unhorsed many knights," repeated Drinian with a grin.

And it makes me love Caspian so damn much. )

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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