lotesse: (Default)
One of the biggest and most valuable things I've learned through fannish engagement is just how complex identification actually is; because we're operating outside of the cultural paradigm that assumes identification based on likeness - she's a girl I'm a girl therefore she's automatically my identity character - you can see how much potential variance there is in degrees and types of identification. We talk a lot in fandom about the "do I want to be them or have them?" question. Because there's the identification of "you are the person I want to be," and the "you are everything I hate about myself" identification, and the weird hurt/comfort-y one where you recognize your own pain or strangeness in a character and go about trying to fix it for them in a sideways attempt to bring it right for yourself. Sometimes loving a BSO is like loving a partner, but a lot of the time I find that it's more about loving myself. Or - this is maybe more right - about loving myself the way I would love a partner.

I was reading Slings & Arrows fic a moment ago, and just thinking about how passionately I loved Geoffrey Tennant, and how much he was the person that I wanted my Ex to be able to become, the person he was, in reality, never ever going to be. I - well, he was dark-haired and scruffy and creative and mentally disordered, so I can see where I was going with it. If he'd be Geoffrey, be that creative and powerful and effective, I thought, I could be Ellen, I could have my creativity elevated by and expressed through my partnership. I'm big on power-couple fantasies, and it wasn't a problem for me to chill in the supporting role.

But then I had this weirdly intense and transgressive-feeling thought: that of the two of us, I had really been the most like Geoffrey. I was the one overflowing with creative and intellectual energy. He - he was fucking Claire, pretty much.

Is my tendency to classify Geoffrey Tennant as a love-object, rather than an identity-object, a way of shrinking from a claim of identification with power that I subconsciously find too presumptuous?

When I'm loving Geoffrey Tennant, is that truly me loving on an expression of my own most powerful potential self?

During an energy-reading a few weeks ago the reader said that I was a creative genius. I felt so awkward. I spent years sitting next to my Ex with our writing machines, and he was failing to finish his third draft, but I was finishing better and better fanworks, taking on more ambitious projects, writing solidly and consistently - but he was the writer in our relationship, no question about it, that was what we both said and believed. Why did he get to call himself a writer, and not me? His (unfinished) works had been read by classmates in workshops and that was about it; during the same period of our lives together I was getting positive feedback from the source author on my yuletide story. And he asserted his "creative genius" all the time - so why did I feel so awkward over the same claim applied to myself? Why was I so much more invested in establishing his genius than my own?

I think there's something to the way that female-driven fandom tends to love on heroes rather than inhabit them that's really about gender and the (in)accessibility of power-claims. Not all of it, but something.
lotesse: (myth)
It's sort of weirdly hilarious that apparently everyone I know in fanspace is having the exact same problem that I am - everyone's in input-only mode, reading instead of writing, feeling quiet and disconnected. And we all seem to keep going around apologizing to each other for it! I'm sure some of it is seasonal - it's a sleepy time of year. And I've been extra sleepy, because I guess they weren't kidding about the drowsiness side-effects of my antidepressant. I'm sleeping like a champion, and also having dreams that I'm consciously aware of, which is weird for me. I've never been a big dreamer; I'm sure I have them, because everyone does, but I've always gone dark in sleep, not dreaming or even moving much. Now I'm having - I guess dreams the way most people do, random and weirdly heavy, and it's weird dealing with. Night before last I fell asleep listening to explicit Fraser/RayK porn and dreamed that I had a dick. It was freaking wild.

I'm really falling hard for due South. But interestingly, I really needed the fandom to mediate it. I think I was initially frustrated with the show's, ah, gentleness - I like shows that play hard, emotionally speaking, that go for the big buttons and mash them hard, and dS does this thing that I find really frustrating where it walks up to the big buttons and just sort of tickles them. But, relaxing into it - oh god is it touching some of my major buttons. I'm kind of vibrating back and forth between dS and Slings and Arrows - and oh god and all his angels, Slings and Arrows. I'm so in love with this show. So, so, so in love. I'd heard of it before, but I had a fanbrain fail and somehow thought that it starred David Tennant, and that was why fandom was into it. And I'm not a Who girl, so I thought it was not for me. But oh it is, it feels like it was made for me. The third season in particular - Charles Kingman is so familiar to me, so like my own wonderful brilliant failing actress grandmother, and it feels really good to watch him with Geoffrey, to see that relationship from the outside as well as experiencing it from the inside.

Anyway, I think the antidepressant is doing me good, even if I feel a little over-tranquilized - it's easier for me to work through sleepiness than it was to work through anxiety. I'm getting going on my dissertation prospectus, which is terrifying but it's so nice to be back to writing, making an argument with words. All quiet on the midwestern front.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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