February 8th, 2010

youkai_aoarashi

(no subject)

Reading along in this fairly uninspired Meiji weird tales novel, I find my naive protag heading down Kagurazaka in the direction of Ushigome, and must at once go get the map to find out where Kagurazaka is. I knew I'd been there in my Tokyo exploring days back in (sob) 1992, but I couldn't put my finger on the place. Down from Iidabashi, oh right, high class corner of the mercantile world, oh right. Google Streetview isn't very helpful, but yeah, I remember the narrow back streets and discreet monied-looking restaurants behind walls. The intervening 18 years seems to have gaijin-friendlied the place a bit; then I just felt out of place.

Here, for future reading reference, are the city wards in Meiji, just to have them handy. All the clothes vocabulary I shall just have to fake.

(Yanno, when I went to Japan, I sort of thought I'd wind up like this woman. Can't think what went wrong.)
youkai_aoarashi

(no subject)

Vice-Fearless Leader, listing her top ten fictional crushes a year ago, mentioned the Duke of Avon from These Old Shades. Now I see why. Avon (and how Blakes 7 resonant *that* name is) is a shoujo manga character, and not just the kewl/ shibui oyaji Heyer probably intended him as. (cf Yakumo Tatsu) No no; not when he minces down the street in heels *and* is a master swordsman. This is the scintillatingly dangerous, brilliantly debauched, hopelessly fascinating effeminate guy who dazzles and/or rapes the younger male protagonist as per genre. (Examples never come when you want them, because all I can think of is Berg Katse.)

So could we can these tedious and unconvincing references to the Duke's female liaisons? They're unnecessary and out of character.

(No, I know we can't, not when Heyer was writing. But she's clearly going to draw out the Duke's obscure intentions in re his (safely aged up) page as long as she can get away with it. Note that no one really believes Leon is actually 19. He's obviously a precocious 15-year-old bishie.)