mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Reading A Great and Terrible Beauty on Emily's recommendation. It was the Utena mention that pulled me in. I've just realized that, fan as I am of the series, the memory of Utena gives me- here's that word again- the fantods. (My fantods are a milder and more dark-dank-ineffable-British version of the creeps.) The whole of the late-90's does, for various psychological and (oddly) political reasons having to do with reverse culture shock and returning from half a decade away to find your happy socialist homeland taken over by a right-wing dictator who regularly has social assistance programs taken out and shot every morning before breakfast. Also hospitals and schools and little infrastructure institutions like that.

(The Harris regime left deeper scars than I'd realized. In local news, the police officer who shot the Indian protester over a decade ago died in a traffic accident before he could testify at the continuing and much delayed inquiry. Would that the guy who gave him implicit orders to do so had done the same, because I have no confidence that Mr. Harris will ever be forced to take responsibility for any of his actions, and his continued presence in my city and government offends me.)

Well, fantods are a good background to reading Great and Terrible Beauty because fantods are what it's about.

It's not typos this time, as it was with the Brust back story books. (Really, a shocking lot. And the occasional spell-checked word substituting the wrong word, when I'm reasonably certain Brust knows the right one.) It's period vocabulary.

'My mother runs a salon in Paris.' What kind? Hair-dressing? My instincts say that intellectuals and femmes savantes /had/ salons or /conducted/ salons, but only businesses are run. I suppose it's not fair to compare this book to JS&MN, whose period vocabulary and emotions were, to my ear, spot on: or at least, it read like the way people spoke and felt in novels at the time, if not in real life. But the hint of 21st century attitudes is-- more than a hint in G&TB, and rather awkward in context as well. Which probably won't affect the story per se, but I wish it had been done better.

Otherwise I want to be writing a fic about the Marshmallow King spending a weekend at home with his stolid and unquestioning cousin. But the usual problems emerge. How to present the pov of someone who doesn't talk to himself about how he feels? aka the Gokuu Perplex. Show the emotions of someone who has no terms to describe his feelings in. Do this when nothing much is happening. It's a very good writing exercise but not, you know, *fun*.

Otherwise in fandom varia, I have a speech of fire that would burn but hell, why bother. If people not in my fandom are being loud jackasses- and ohh they are, they are- it's no business of mine. And if people in my fandom are being annoying- well, it's because they're going from the translations and not the Japanese and what can you expect of people who are not only interrogating the text from the wrong perspective but interrogating the wrong text? Hmph.

(Sweeps out of the room in full-rigged Lady Bracknell mode.)
Tags: dragons, fandom, language, reading_06, rl, writing

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