Dec. 4th, 2010

Epic Love

WOW. That was incredible. A few points of argh and idiocy in the usual Merlin vein, but mostly I found it grand and hugely entertaining.

Merlin 3x13: The Coming of Arthur, Part 2 )

I think perhaps my readings about the culture and history of the Arthurian legends has made me slightly less cranky about the gender problems in the show, esp. regarding That Interview, not that it in any way excuses them from a show produced in 2010. They choose to follow "creative" impulses that reduce, ridicule, or mutate so much of the legendary material, but are unwilling to push the boundaries of their female characters in the same way, self-limited by some strange idea of "fantasy realism". Actual historical reality has more intrigue and gender daring than their "fantasy realism". It's a shame, but I look to fandom to ease the sting, and will continue to read other alternative tellings of the legend that play in a more daring way with gender and class (and magic).

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Jul. 25th, 2008

good stuff

Fantasy Magazine » “The Chosen One” Vs. The One Who Chooses:
“The Chosen One” is a very specific trope in F/SF. Whether by a seer, some higher power or force, or simply because of their particular bloodline, characters are chosen for some great destiny that often includes a fight between the forces of good and evil. A prime example of this is Harry Potter from the very popular series by J.K. Rowling.
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Jun. 4th, 2008

file under' IJ knows all'

Ok, is there a name (preferably a British term) for the junior partner in a firm who gets all the grunt work or the worst clients or the crap travel assignments? (this is a Wizarding Law Firm, or whatever the term would be - not sure if they are solicitors or what, I should look into that)

This is sort of mild corporate hazing, I guess, the testing stage for a new person (and in this case it's Pansy Parkinson coming to work for Hermione and Susan Bones so there's History there) - but is there a name for that person or that role?

I am drawing a blank.

Also, if anybody wants to wax eloquent on their idea of what a Wizarding Law Firm would look like, or what British firms are like (or the difference between a barrister and a solicitor, although my historical fiction reading seems to indicate that only one of those would be able to appear in formal court?), please feel oh so very free to do so.


Mar. 22nd, 2008

Meta Rec

March Challenge Essay for [info]snapedom by [info]the_bitter_word hits several nails on their heads:

After Deathly Hallows, I question whether Dumbledore was really good.
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Mar. 21st, 2008

Friday Meta re-post: Reading in a Connected World

A re-post from October, when I was confronted with some interesting comments on the issue of fan entitlement and authorial privilege in the fan-book relationship.

reading in a connected world:
But does having such immediate and pseudo-intimate access to an author cause a shift in the way I read their books? Can knowing details of the book's long writing process alter the essential interpretation of the words on the page? Do authorial comments at readings or in blogs trump the basic text, or merely augment the reader/fan experience?

I may have more to say on this if it gets any discussion... It's mostly questions now.
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Not really meta so much, but...

One of the things that bothered me about the end of DH is that Snape never has any idea what happens at the end, and Harry never gets any kind of true closure with Snape or with Dumbledore.
So when I was working on Nanowrimo, I did a lot of writing to try to create some of that closure for them both, and to address the emotional fall-out Harry might have gone through as he processed events.
It really burned me up that there wasn't any mention of consequences for anybody, emotional or otherwise.
Also, hey, hello, has anybody else noticed that except for the moment when he is working explicitly on Dumbledore's orders, the adult Snape does not use an Unforgivable Curse on camera? (Correct me if I'm wrong, here. The only place where it's unclear is in Chapter 1 of DH where there is no dialogue attribution on the "Avada Kedavra" that kills Charity Burbage. But I think we're meant to believe it was Voldemort?)
Harry uses the Imperius and Cruciatus. Heck, McGonagall uses the Imperius! With no fall-out! No straight-to-Azkaban, do-not-pass-go, do-not-collect-Order-of-Merlin. Are they Unforgivable, or not? That's a level of relative morality that I find problematic. Which, I suppose, is why I'm still rewriting the same things over and over again in my fics.  LOL.
So anyway, here's 1700 words or so from my Nanowrimo craziness, in which Snape survives long enough to be put in St. Mungo's in a coma, and Harry tries to work through some of his baggage...

Title: hm, I should have one of those... let's call this "Visiting Hours"
Author: [info]zephre
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,709
Characters: Harry, Snape, mention of others.
Summary: In the days following the Battle, Harry finds that visiting a comatose Snape at St. Mungo's brings some small comfort.
Warnings: angst, oh the angst!

June, 1998, High-Security Wing of St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries )

Oct. 26th, 2007

reading in a connected world

Ok, comments to an earlier LJ post have made me think about the issue of reading books in this connected world. I have dozens of authors and editors in my Google Reader feed. Some authors I found because I liked their work and now read their blogs; others I liked their blogs and then picked up their books.
But does having such immediate and pseudo-intimate access to an author cause a shift in the way I read their books? Can knowing details of the book's long writing process alter the essential interpretation of the words on the page? Do authorial comments at readings or in blogs trump the basic text, or merely augment the reader/fan experience?

Maybe this runs into the discussion another blogger was having about spoilers. Does it matter that one knows the book's ending, or the author's intentions, or the author's personal beliefs about some side issue not-appearing-in-this-book, when the real experience of the book is the words on the published page?
How does knowing the author's beliefs and experiences color one's buying habits? I know I have bought certain books to support authors I respected, even if the subject was not interesting to me. Likewise I have not bought books from authors to whom I did not want to give the tacit support my purchase would have been. Thank goodness for the public library. Is that a good thing in the long run? Does knowing that the author of a book you loved is actually a person you intensely dislike somehow diminish the book itself? Or the art, or the music, or the architecture, or whatever creative expression it may be.

Where do the boundaries between the creative offering and the creator of the offering stand firm, and where do they crumble? As the web diminishes personal privacy boundaries and creates a culture of information saturation, is the idea of judging a book on the book alone obsolete? Reviewers hypothesize authorial motivation and intention for classic literature all the time. Is this inundation of actual records of intention and motivation a limiting factor, or another place from which to jump? Should it matter?

Sep. 18th, 2007

On Harry Potter, Part 1: Consequences

Part the first of my late-coming but nevertheless egregiously long opinion on Harry Potter:

I think about this too much. Seriously. )

I think that's enough for now. Feel free to comment and blow my opinions out of the water.
Next time, on [info]zephre's Harry Potter Show, Character Moments: Good and Bad, with quotes from the text. Mostly Deathly Hallows, but may hark back to earlier volumes.  Learn why Neville and Luna beat everybody else to the "My Favorite Character" title, why I still like Remus, love Snape, and call disbelief on Hermione. 
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