lotesse: (neverland)
If you were to give Tiger Lily a tribe, what would it be? Textually, her people are the "Pickaninnies" (oh my god, Barrie, oh my god), and they're contrasted with the Hurons and the Delawares, both of which are Northeastern peoples, but the pirate stuff in Neverland always makes it seem vaguely Caribbean to me, which is going to be Arawak peoples. "Happy hunting grounds" and "tomahawk" are not good cultural markers - and apparently beating the tomtom was actually a Desi Imperialism thing.

Digging through critical writing on Peter Pan's race issues, I keep turning up stuff about the Disney film, rather than Barrie's work, and looking for stuff on Victorian stereotypes of Indians turns up Desi Imperialism stuff.

(this post has no relationship to the fact that I sat up in bed at 1:30 am and started writing Pan fic, and then got stuck on trying to make Bechdel passes happen with grossly stereotypical characters. what would give you that idea?)

Also, a somewhat-related link: Andrea Smith's piece on the problem with privilege and the way that privilege has become yet another empty way for white people to feel better about racism without having to deal with any icky POC really resonated with me, as a white girl trying to teach a white classroom N.K. Jemisin and Janelle Monae.

(how good is her new album, y'all? down in southern Indiana, we be jamming!)
lotesse: (neverland)
So I did the coolest thing ever today. Because apparently (HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS) my University has possession of the original (as in, very first ever, handwritten, still-untitled, with scritch-ed out bits and different names sometimes) manuscript of Peter Pan. November 1903. So today I went to the rare books collection and they got it out of the vault for me and I sat there and read the whole thing.

[personal profile] theprimrosepath, when you suggested that Barrie wasn't yet capable of writing the ending to this story - you were right. The ending to this version is completely different in every way. That horrible ending that's been a sore spot in me all my life isn't even there. Instead, Peter and Wendy and all the lost boys fly back to London, where they then advertise for all the most beautiful mothers, and then Peter and Wendy test them to see which are the right mothers for which boys - and they're all countesses with ridiculous names, and the entire thing is farcical and ridiculous and completely gives the lie to any attempt to view London and the Neverland as polarized spaces. London is every bit as silly. And then, once all the boys are disposed of, Wendy and Peter try to say goodbye, get all choked up, and eventually get Mr. and Mrs. Darling's blessing to go live in Kensington Gardens as mother and child, and then they have a run-in with the nefarious school superintendent Hook, and everyone ends up dressed up as harlequins and columbines in a complete collapse into happy silliness and carnivalesque make-believe, and then all the stars in the set shine bright, and then go out, and the play is over.

The thing that I found most interesting, I think, was the way this initial version framed Peter and Wendy as much more similar in their attraction/repulsion to adulthood. Peter is tremendously enthusiastic about playing father, only pulling back when he gets scared. Actually, this Peter is scared rather a lot - this version casts no doubt on his story of having been closed out of his own nursery by his own mother. Peter never recoils from Wendy, or from her obvious feeling for him - instead he repeatedly asks her to help him understand. Which she doesn't yet have the courage or maturity to do - she also holds back from that step, that change. Both feel the draw of being grown up, the excitement available there, but both are ultimately afraid. Their home together in Kensington Gardens is a sort of ultimate representation of this; even in London, they're still playing more than anything else. The play doesn't ever force them into the sort of choice that later versions do, to have or give up once and for all. No one in this play ever leaves the Greenworld; in fact, their playfulness is contagious, infecting the citizens of London with commedia del arte tropes and spontaneous costumes and jokes and dancing.

Behind the cut, some of the best bits, as transcribed by yours truly, with parenthetical apostrophizations of delight )
lotesse: (neverland)
Am reading Peter Pan criticism. A large number of persons in the 70s and 80s are Freudian and sexist and wrong. I am tagging their articles as such, in all caps, as I save and download them.
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~ )
lotesse: (shakespeare_pearls)
Yuletide reveal & yearly fic roundup, 2011 edition!

For yuletide, I wrote:

Entreat me with your loveliest lie
Vorkosigan Saga, Gregor/Miles ust with bonus Simon and Aral
longing, betrayal, abandonment, and body & disability issues
summary: Count Vordroza never says the word “mutant” when he talks about Miles.
1669 words, general

and, as treats,

All the way from China
Leonard Cohen - Suzanne, Female Narrator/Jesus/Suzanne
bookmaking, babies, and memories, bittersweet
summary: She doesn't know what Suzanne has done, if she's still there, if she's changed, grown old, died, forgotten.
357 words, general

Come away, come away
Peter Pan, Peter/Wendy contemporary university AU
recreational drug use, impaired consent, and anarchy
summary: They left Wendy's familiar haunts, went to where bright fluorescent lights shimmered through the gathering dark, and vendors sold curry and meat pies and falafel on the curbs, and climbed up to a third-story flat on a dingy ill-lit street. The door was painted sky blue, and huge cumulonimbus clouds surrounded the knob. "Welcome to Neverland," Peter said, not using a key, just opening the door.
3075 words, mature

And for the rest of the year: Star Wars OT, Firefly, Prydain )

By the numbers: 7 stories, 6 fandoms, 34,500 words. \o/
lotesse: (fairytale queen)
The Boy and I watched "Hook" a few nights ago, and now I'm all Pan-crazy.

I wish I could like that movie more than I do. I mean, Dustin Hoffman and Maggie Smith are the rock, obviously, and Robin Williams is still fairly good. (He has really good legs. The bit with him in the green tights? I was all like whoa, and then even more because I realized that I was looking at Robin Williams' legs in a lustful manner and that freaked me out.) But I hate that it discounts the pain and ambiguity that make "Peter Pan" such a wonderful story in the first place.

Everything's too unambigously sweet and happy. And if there's an overriding point to the book, I think it would be that children are not all sweetness and light. Kids are heartless, in that there's so much that they simply don't understand. And magic is even more heartless than children, because even staying young at heart won't help you to fly once you've grown up. There are irrevocable losses inherent in reaching maturity, and James Barrie knew it.

I think that I also resent the movie for sidelining Wendy. Granted, this is a less academically pure critique, but it really bugs me. I identified heavily with Wendy as a little girl. I wrote this long soppy fic in my head where Peter comes back for her and they get together that I will never commit to paper because I know it's philosophically all wrong but I still love it anyway. And the movie just moves her to the margins. I want memories, damn it, and understanding and heartbreak and love that comes too late!

Curse you, Stephen Spielburg.

Also? I really want to make icons of the Trina Schart Hyman illustrations. They're in the edition of the book that I grew up with, and they remain my favorites. Not that everything she's ever done isn't my favorite, but the "Pan" stuff resonates with me especially.
lotesse: (fairytale queen)
So the Ormond Street hospital, to whom J. M. Barrie granted copyright of Peter Pan, has decided to cash in and commision a sequel. JK declined, apparently was too busy, and Philip Pullman very kindly told them to stick their money-grubbbing mouths up their asses, but you know they're going to make it anyway. And it's just wrong.

I've loved Pan since I was a little girl, and from time immemorial have been a passionate Wendy/Peter shipper. I even had this long mental story about his coming to get her and taking her back to Neverland and getting married and everything, but I never even thought about writing it. Because the ending of Pan is beautiful and tragic and true, and should not be messed with, and even as a kid I knew that.

It kind of reminds me of the Grey Havens in LotR, where I would give anything to have Frodo stay with Sam and Rose in a nice happy threesome but I can never quite believe it or condone that belief. The ending is cruelly realistic, and to change it would be to diminish the entire story.

And I feel like that even more with Pan. I can read ignoring-the-havens F/S, but ignoring-the-ending Pan stuff just seems wrong. It undermines everything that the book is about. I wish that the world was not as Tolkien and Barrie showed it to us, but it is. Fantasy's escapism is so often truer than fact at transcendental levels, and in that, I think, lies its greatest power. That's what sets apart the masters, and what makes the genre worthwhile.

Am hacked off as hell about this.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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