kaigou: sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. (2 flamethrowers)
From a Salon essay about the English-language translation of The Ringbearer, a satirical/parodic take on The Lord of the Rings. First, tying into both myth-making and a broader pop culture application, per the issue of fantasies in re women's roles, this food for thought:
"The Lord of the Rings" wouldn't be as popular as it is if the pastoral idyll of the Shire and the sureties of a virtuous, mystically ordained monarchy as embodied in Aragorn didn't speak to widespread longing for a simpler way of life. There's nothing wrong with enjoying such narratives -- we'd be obliged to jettison the entire Arthurian mythos and huge chunks of American popular culture if there were -- but it never hurts to remind ourselves that it's not just their magical motifs that makes them fantasies.

And an intriguing reaction from the reviewer, too, in the final paragraph:
Yeskov's "parody" -- for "The Last Ringbearer," with its often sardonic twists on familiar Tolkien characters and events, comes a lot closer to being a parody than "Wind Done Gone" ever did -- is just such a reminder. If it is fan fiction (and I'm not sure I'm in a position to pronounce on that), then it may be the most persuasive example yet of the artistic potential of the form.

And since translations and language have been on my brain, this paragraph from an interview with Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things:
To be able to express yourself, to be able to close the gap—inasmuch as it is possible—between thought and expression is just such a relief. It’s like having the ability to draw or paint what you see, the way you see it. Behind the speed and confidence of a beautiful line in a line drawing there’s years of—usually—discipline, obsession, practice that builds on a foundation of natural talent or inclination of course. It’s like sport. A sentence can be like that. Language is like that. It takes a while to become yours, to listen to you, to obey you, and for you to obey it. I have a clear memory of language swimming towards me. Of my willing it out of the water. Of it being blurred, inaccessible, inchoate… and then of it emerging. Sharply outlined, custom-made.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 Edward armor)
This has been bugging me, thinking about the implications of the final showdown in FMA. Since I can't really avoid spoilers (duh), it's all behind a cut ...shorter version: wherein there's question of reset buttons. )

Maybe there weren't a lot of gaps in the course of the overall FMA storyline... but I can sure see a whole lotta possibilities for fanfic when it comes to grappling with the consequences of questions Arakawa left unanswered.

kaigou: don't go all fangirl on me now (2 fangirl)
A completely tongue-in-cheek (or shark-tooth-in-kneecap, as case may be) representation of the past twenty-four hours' realization that coming out from under the bed was A BAD IDEA. (You know I love you guys... right? You do know that, right? Right?)

A visual representation of my brain right now:

It starts with a story. IT ALWAYS STARTS WITH A STORY. )

That is my brain, on fandom.

in case it's not obvious, this post is a JOKE, and mostly on me: because some fandoms days you're the shark, and some fandoms days you're the chum.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 get down from there)
[continued from pt1]

Where I meander, I'm also busy trying different ways to approach and/or assess the evidence at hand. In case you weren't already aware of my hermeneutic habit trails.

Whenever I read of Authors dismissing fanfiction as intentional (if not outright malicious) distortion, and the way that such tarrings sometimes spread to an implied tarring of all fandom (beyond just the writers and their readers), it strikes me as ignoring a benefit that might outweigh that of the distortion-risk drawbacks.

By that I mean: there is a derivative benefit to Authors from the connections that exist between fans not by virtue of their shared baseline fandom (focus on an original story) but on their participation in fandom itself, as a generalized entity or way of being.

What got me, in considering the dynamics at play, was ... that on the face of it, it'd seem like one would want fans of one fandom to connect with others, and hope for a bit of cross-pollination, as it were.  )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 distraction factor)
Recently, while following links on something else entirely (as usual), I came across a presentation from TED, by Seth Godin (author of Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us). Right about the same time as watching that short video, I also stumbled across a post by [personal profile] obsession_inc called Affirmational fandom vs. Transformational fandom, which posits that:
In "affirmational" fandom, the source material is re-stated, the author's purpose divined to the community's satisfaction, rules established on how the characters are and how the universe works, and cosplay &etc. occur. It all tends to coalesce toward a center concept; it's all about nailing down the details. ... "Transformational" fandom, on the other hand, is all about laying hands upon the source and twisting it to the fans' own purposes, whether that is to fix a disappointing issue (a distinct lack of sex-having between two characters, of course, is a favorite issue to fix) in the source material, or using the source material to illustrate a point, or just to have a whale of a good time.

The two theories/perspectives (Godin, [personal profile] obsession_inc) are wildly divergent in terms of their origins, and (I would argue) to their external intentions -- that is, the former uses the premise as a springboard for activism, while the latter operates independent of any such consequences. So, in some ways, there's only a passing resemblance, but it's there to me all the same.

Meanwhile, of course, reading essays on postmodernism and its clash with feminist theory, and browsing my way through various pseudo-academic (and outright academic) texts on Japanese animation, I kept coming across oblique references to fandom and fan participation. Or, not-so-oblique, if we get into talking about Azuma's arguments. Regardless, this all simmered, and the following illustrated meta-story, or meta-theory, is all that capped off by the discussion on my previous posts over fanfiction and the question of whether fandom has influence on the creative process or whether it's simply a backdrop to what may sometimes be a process independent of any community.

And, of course, the not-yet-dead discussion of Published Authors Behaving Badly when it comes to fanfiction.

So, to start, in this first picture we have ourselves a newly-published original story.

Because when I said it comes together in pictures, I wasn't kidding. Adobe Illustrator FTW, with scattered hints of potentially controversial suppositions, so consider yourself warned. )

FYI: if you haven't noticed, here I'll say it explicitly: the use of 'analysis is my chocolate cake' as a tag indicates 'this topic is open for debate/discussion', while the 'at play' and 'league' tags mean it's genre-focused and fandom-focused respectively, and the 'half-asleep' tag means it's related to fanfiction.
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
While writing contemplating post/modernism and textuality, I was reminded of [personal profile] bookshop's list of professionally published titles that qualify as fanfiction. Among the titles noted are (just pulling a few out as examples):
- the musical Cats, a fanfic of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
- Michael Cunningham's The Hours, a modernized reworking of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway.
- John Guare's decorated play Six Degrees of Separation, RPF of real-life con artist David Hampton and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
- Neil Gaiman's 2004 Hugo-Award-winning Sherlock Holmes/Lovecraft crossover fanfic, "A Study in Emerald," his Lovecraft fanfic, "I, Cthulhu," and his Chronicles of Narnia fanfic, "The Problem of Susan."
- Tracy Chevalier's novel Girl with a Pearl Earring and Susan Vreeland's novel The Girl in Hyacinth Blue, and the 2 Vermeer paintings they are fictions about, real and imaginary.

It seems that the definition in use here is that 'fanfiction' is "that which interacts intertextually with an existing work." By that standard, there's (obviously) a boatload out there we can call fanfiction. More than that, apparently, if the determination of "acting intertextually" can apply when the original text is a person or group of persons, or even a painting. Or two. It's possible to have intertextuality when you have this text and that text, but first you kinda need a text on both ends, and it wouldn't hurt to have a little inter, too. The more we frame retellings and adaptations — even biographies! — as intertextual, or as fanfiction, the more we dilute the concept.

This is why, as much as I'd like to applaud [personal profile] bookshop's collection of titles, I think it's also a disservice. I get the intention (or at least the intention appears to be) tacking some credibility onto the label of 'fanfiction'. I get that it's supposed to make the average fanfiction person say, "gee, I'm in a long line of Very Credible and Certainly Valid legacy of storytelling!" From the number of responses, there's no denying the list hit a major nerve, and I think that says something right there. But I think it's saying something else, something possibly even more important, that's getting drowned out in the self-congratulatory aspect of the post. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 pretentious with style)
Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity — Lawrence Lessig

Find Lessig's book and READ IT. If you have even the remotest interest in intellectual property rights, are an artist, musician, or author, or just want to understand what property rights mean (and what they've become) in our internet age... READ THIS BOOK.

also reread (while checking on specific arguments in each) The Edges of Language: An Essay in the Logic of a Religion — Paul M. van Buren; Dynamics of Faith by Paul Tillich; The Third Peacock: The Problem of God and Evil by Robert Farrar Capon. (If you are xtian & curious about theology and its linguistics and arguments, I cannot recommend Capon enough. Like, triple quadruple recommend. He is the least stuffy theologian, like, EVER. A sharp wit and an affectionately deft touch for the subject matter, and somehow educational all at the same time.)

Irony & Crisis — Stuart Sim

Every now and then, Sim lets slip the snark. No wonder about 90% of the book is quotes from other peoples' texts and so very little actual analysis or synthesis. When he can't even make it more than a paragraph between four-plus paragraph quotes (fair use limits? we don't need no stinking limits!) and he's already into the subtle snark... maybe it's time to find someone else to write the book. Or tell Sim to get over the stage fright and go ahead and snark. Dude, it's postmodernism. It's the damn heart of snarkness.

Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary — Steven Connor
...to pin one's faith ... upon the subversive sublime enacted in critical language requires crucially the privileging of language as the arena of all power. Many claims about the subversive power of critical style depend upon the barely legitimate intensification of the view that lanaguage is an embodiment or enactment of forms of power to the point at which language is seen as the secret vibrating heart of all power whatsoever -- as though all that were really objectionable about, say, US imperialism, were it syntactic habits and choice of metaphor. This absolute collapse of language and power leads to (or allows) the grandiose, usually self-mortifying claim that the most radical form of politics consists of turning languages of authority (criticism, for example) against themselves. The difference between the renunciatory and the sublime odes of postmodern criticism is in this sense only one of degree; where renunciation tries to give away authority, the subile mode authoritatively evict authority from its own language. Both modes involve the implicit claim that everything may be done in terms of language itself, and may be regulated by an intention which is actualized in and through the language alone.

It is either wrong of me or simply postmodern, but for some reason this passage makes me think of both the tension between postmodernism and feminism, and at the same time reminding me of [personal profile] thefourthvine's brilliance:
It used to be that the Anointed Few stood at the front of the room - sometimes a tiny classroom, sometimes a giant lecture hall with video cameras catching each golden word for those not lucky enough to hear it in person - and spoke. And everyone else was just audience: the listeners, the readers, the passively entertained. Fandom has turned your lectures into seminars. We keep speaking up. We keep having our own ideas. We don't even have the courtesy to raise our hands and ask to speak. And sometimes we lock you out of the room altogether.

Yes, the implications are working on more than one level, and yes, there's a reason I didn't remove the reference to US imperialism. I think the connotation is an important aspect of the critique of, well, the critique.


22 May 2010 09:23 pm
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 mao amused)
Dear author:

You wrote, "Solicitations for volunteers [for the survey] were sent to Buffistas.com, All Things Philosophical on Angel and Buffy, Slayage.tv, and the Bronze; these either did not respond to the solicitations or refused to post them."

Unh-hunh. After reviewing your pathetic excuse for a hypothesis: "Series-oriented fans see themselves as loyal to the series; whereas story-oriented fans see themselves as loyal to the story, the characters, and/or the relationships.*" ...I suspect it's less that ATPoBtVS refused to post the survey link, so much as the First Evil is a smart enough evil that she saw little reason to make the rest of us suffer through your idiocy.

the Second Evil

*Did you really think the owner/moderator of a site called All Things Philosophical — with pages listing extensive treatises comparing the existentialist, pragmatist, and essentialist themes in the show and that's just for the appetizer — wasn't going to be able to nail a false dichotomy at a hundred paces?
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (6 tanuki in thought)
passing this along, my apologies for any bizarre symbols -- nothing like older tech + non-English keyboards to make your reading day:

Call for papers: The Visual Language of Manga, December issue of Image [&] Narrative

Image [&] Narrative is an open access scholarly publication. Apart from papers in the traditional scholarly format, we also welcome experimental formats and approaches, such as innovative use of visuals, web applications, or collaborative works. There will be no minimum or maximum length for contributions; contributors are assumed to know best how much space they need to get their particular point across in an academically sound manner. We are particularly interested in contributions that include discussion of methodological and research ethics issues faced by the author(s).

Examples of suggested approaches include:

*theoretical models that can be applied to the the study of visual aspects of manga
*new technologies and their influence on the study of visual aspects of manga, for example data mining and visualization software
*the visualization of sexual content in manga, for example in relation to recent efforts by lawmakers in Japan to regulate depictions of minors in sexual situations
*gendered visual language in manga
*the historical evolution of visual representations of different nationalities and/or minorities in manga
*the use of visual cues in manga to overtly or subtly favor a particular position, for example in political manga such as Gōmanism Sengen
*visual properties of author manga as opposed to what are considered popular titles
*the influence of new platforms for manga publication (such as cellphones and online manga-reading applications) on the visual language of the manga published through these platforms
*connections between visual style of a commercially published manga and the style of that manga's adaptation by amateur manga artists in dojinshi
*visual characteristics of so-called OEL manga and other comics by non-Japanese authors that claim the label 'manga'

The issue will include translations of existing Japanese scholarly texts on the visual language of manga. The editors welcome suggestions as to existing Japanese scholarly texts whose translation into English would be of particular interest for this issue.

Due dates: Proposals should be sent by 15 July 2010, with final submissions in either English, French or Japanese to be submitted on 15 November 2010. Submissions in Japanese will be translated into English. (Contributors submitting in Japanese may be asked to submit a few weeks early to allow more time for translation by the editors. Contributors may of course create their own translations.)

Proposals: Please send proposals of less than 500 words to nele.noppe@arts.kuleuven.be by 15 July 2010.

Guest editors: Hans Coppens and Nele Noppe (Let's Manga project, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium http://japanesestudies.arts.kuleuven.be/popularculture)

The text of this call for papers is available online at http://www.imageandnarrative.be/index.php/imagenarrative/announcement/view/2
kaigou: life would be easier if I had the source code. (3 source code)
main poll; addendum; and consider this part three:

The phrasing is awkward, but my head is full of wood-glue this morning: generally, I mean that if you have written and/or do write fanfic, then this question applies. If you read fanfic and can think of stories but rarely ever actually write them out and post them somewhere for fandom consumption, then this question doesn't apply because your own disinclination to write is already a large-enough barrier. What I'm looking for here is what stops you from writing when your own laziness or disinclination is not a significant barrier: that is, you'd normally write the fanfic, but some criteria makes you decide not to write, after all.

Assuming all other factors are equal:
WHERE a story otherwise satisfies your personal requirements for prompting fanfic ideas,
AND that you write/have written fanfic and posted it for fandom consumption,
AND that you'd normally sit down and start writing the story in your head...

what makes you not write the fanfiction?
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 to the internet!)
Two more questions, inspired by folks pointing out what I'd missed in the main poll. Consider this addendum.

miss the original poll? click here
Poll #3095 continuation of fanwork inspiration
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 38

10. Which describes your most common type(s) of fanwork creation?

fanFIC based on literature (novel, novella, etc)
16 (43.2%)

fanFIC based on illustration (comic, manga, etc)
19 (51.4%)

fanFIC based on AV-media (live-action, games, animation)
28 (75.7%)

fanART based on literature (novel, novella, etc)
2 (5.4%)

fanART based on illustration (comic, manga, etc)
4 (10.8%)

fanART based on AV-media (live-action, games, animation)
4 (10.8%)

fanCOMIC based on literature (novel, novella, etc)
1 (2.7%)

fanCOMIC based on illustration (comic, manga, etc)
1 (2.7%)

fanCOMIC based on AV-media (live-action, games, animation)
1 (2.7%)

11. Which statement best describes your fandom habits at any given time?

Reading only one fandom, while writing for several other fandoms at once.
0 (0.0%)

Reading several fandoms, but writing for only one of them.
15 (40.5%)

Reading several fandoms, and writing for a completely different fandom.
3 (8.1%)

Reading & writing a little in lots of fandoms.
6 (16.2%)

Reading & writing a little in lots of fandoms, but only really prolific in a few of them.
13 (35.1%)

I should've quit while I was ahead: I just now realized that somehow I'd managed to overwrite the option for #11 that said, "read and write in only one fandom." *heddesk*
kaigou: oh wait... that would be canon. never mind. (3 that would be canon)
A few questions for those who write and/or read fanfic, about what triggers your fanfic juices for one canon/story (or dulls your juices for another story, in contrast). Feel free to pass along, link, whatever, because I'd really like to see (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) what gets people the most fired up when it comes to writing (or considering writing) fanfic for a story.

This way to the polling madness... )

also: continuation of poll per thoughts in comments: two more questions, thanks, all ya'll.
kaigou: Edward, losing it. (1 Edward conniption)
Well, you have to start somewhere. (Examples somewhat edited/paraphrased to protect the guilty.)

ETA: If you're here from the fandomworks comm... well, I'm not really sure why this post got linked to there, because it's not really about fandom per se. It's about writing, and relates to fanfiction only as one springboard towards writing original fiction. If you're expecting a rant about how to write good fanfiction, let alone for a specific fandom, this post ain't it. If you're interested in a low-key rant about derivative writing and doing it wrong, then, welcome.

1. Grammar.

When I read the excerpt of an author's story, and the very first line of the story is a run-on sentence lacks a coordinating conjunction.MAYDAY. )

2. Repetition.

When I find myself going back to check and make absolutely sure that the work in question was, in fact, associated with some kind of editorial process -- and yes, the publishing company claims to have slush readers and editors -- this is a warning sign. )

3. Serial numbers, or, "Man, has Cassie Clare got a LOT to answer for."

In general, I don't have a problem with a fanfic writer who poaches his/her own work for use in an ofic. You'll see the advice all over the place: you can get away with basing an original work on a derived work, as long as you file off the serial numbers.

All good and well, but how does one know just how much filing is enough? I asked a Tor editor that, once, and the reply I got was this: "If someone who is generally familiar with the fandom reads the story and is reminded strongly of the fandom, then the story is derivative and potentially copyright-infringement. If someone who is generally familiar with the fandom does not immediately think of the original fandom in reading the story, then the serial numbers have been sufficiently filed clean."

Thing is: the agent reading the story? Possibly familiar. But also possibly not. The slush reader? Same. The editor? Same. The problem is, if any of the usual gatekeepers (agent, slush, editor) are not generally familiar with the fandom, their silence does not mean that the story passes the serial-number test. It could just as easily mean they've never bloody well heard of the fandom, and thus are not qualified to gauge if the filing was sufficient.

What, you ask, does it mean to be 'generally familiar'? )

sometimes I really wish I got a link-warning, a la linkspam, when I end up on metafandom. at least so I have some warning and can neaten the place up a bit before everyone shows up.

ALSO: the whole 'filing off the serial numbers'? Very old analogy. NOT original with me, not by a long-shot. It's a nice visual in the sense that if you're running a stolen VCR ring rehashed fanfic scam 'inspired by' concept-story, you can lift huge chunks of it from many places, from Shakespeare to soap operas -- but filing off the serial numbers is what makes it yours in that you're removing the definitive marks that would allow someone else to identify a prior owner/creator of your stolen VCR story.
kaigou: Duo says: Mock your fandom. You know I'd do it, baby. (2 mock your fandom)
PG-13 for mild cussing, implied 1xR and/or 2xH, mention of 4xR, Duo POV, knowing KmO storyline probably isn't necessary.

He's such a good boy. How many times did he apologize before finally asking for your blessing? )

...because I have no idea where my brain goes, sometimes.
kaigou: so when do we destroy the world already? (3 destroy the world)
[cont from part I]

I know I love to analyze, but this is mostly because it comes easy to me, and that in turn is because I was raised to see patterns in everything. Stories are just one more instance of a (created) pattern; when I'm reading, I'm also building a mental picture of a string of discreet points, each drawing on the previous. Eventually the story's points — be these allusions to coReal axioms (ie, the implication that US laws continue to apply in this story), or character-points (eg backstory details), or the author's own overlaying axioms — wrap around and form a shape that becomes the story's whole.

[note: for lack of any more succinct way to put it, I'm using coReal to indicate the reality we share. It's the this-world, but without delineating whether we must share culture to get the coReal, since that's an entire discussion on its own. Besides, I got tired of typing out "shared reality" and misspelling "reality" as "realty". Bleah.]

Incidentally, this is one reason that major info-dumps early in a story — like in the first five pages — drive me absolutely crazy. They interrupt the logical flow of information with side-trips that form a chunk of information, and are most obtrusive when the succeeding paragraphs don't continue from there. That is, the digression isn't a lazy way towards the next step, but is actually a tangent that requires the author (and reader) backtrack to the topic at hand. I don't knit, but it feels like what I imagine it must to start a new project and be following along, only to have to back up and undo the last six stitches before continuing. Make me do that more than twice, and I will, more often than not, just close up the story and not bother with more. I'm already losing the pattern, and that makes me frustrated, and it's awfully hard to see any good in a story when it starts me right off bewildered and annoyed.

I don't mean to give you the idea that I'd say a story has a square shape or a cloverleaf or an eighteen-point star; it's not that precise. More like some stories have complex shapes, and others have simple shapes. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl dies in teeth of combine engine: probably a circle or a square, something relatively simple. A complex whodunit with a variety of potential culprits, and we're getting into loop-de-loop territory as the detective tracks red herrings, comes around again, tries something else, and so on.

Past the loop-de-loop or cloverleaf are stories like Shogun or A Game of Thrones and who the hell knows what those shapes are. Maybe fractals. On acid.

The shape of a story, the value of intersections, fanfiction-as-dialogue, and why a successful fanfiction work may ultimately fail as original fiction. )
kaigou: I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it. (3 love's bitch)
In the last post on this topic, I said I'd come back later to this statement:
The things that make the story hold together are things I already know, so the ramifications of a story's outcome don't really require this specific story to highlight them; any story, really, could hang from that combination and thus outline the space between.

So this is me, coming back.

But first, so you have a visual of what I mean when I talk about the juxtapositions of what-I-know, I'm going to tell you a little story about one of the houses I looked at, back when we first moved into this city. According to its marketing info, it'd been renovated from a dumpy little 60's-era ranch into a modern house, now with four bedrooms plus a study. The real estate agent and I walked in, and the front door opened directly into the living room (and right there was major mark against it, since I believe in thresholds) and the front part of the house had been changed into formal living room & dining room (second mark and let's leave, because there's not enough of me to need a front parlor and a family room, thanks).

What had us in quiet snarky laughter was the addition. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time; they took the back length of the house -- which from a quick look had originally been the bedrooms -- and merge and convert those into a large den. Then they added a wing onto the left-side with three new bedrooms, which in turn mirrored the master bedroom's wing on the right side, creating a nifty courtyard between them.

Except when you stood at the front door, you could see through the archway to the family room. And in a direct line from that, down a hallway, with the bedroom doors on the left. And at the end of that hallway, a door. Which was open. And revealed the toilet.

That's right. When you walked into this house, you could see straight through the house all the way to the toilet.

Like I said, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time, except for no one realizing that moving this here, and putting that there, and making this go like so, meant that guests would have an eyeful of your toilet. With the lid up. Hi, welcome to our home, we're twits who don't realize we're trapped in bad architecture.

That's what I think of when I think of some stories: these are lovely characters. Too bad they're trapped in the bad architecture of a story, even if it did probably seem like a good idea at the time. Now with 20% more images!! )

[cont. in part II]
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 Sebastian)
I keep hearing about it (good and now a lot of bad) and figured I'd see what the fuss was about... and I can see there's fussing but I'm not seeing a lot of about. Morgana is a stereotype, badly written, and not very well played, either. Uther has some variation in him but that, I suspect, is because Tony Head is a damn fine actor stuck doing an Obi-Wan -- that is, if not making gold from lead, at least making the lead passable. Merlin might have potential, as does the actress playing Gwen, if not for the TSTL moments from early on, and we won't even go into the fact that for a moment I was delighted by the cheerfully anchronistic multicultural cast, until I realized it's only multicultural to the extent that non-white equals working class or servant, while white means being anything from lowest to highest.

Gaius drove me bonkers from the get-go; he's such a freaking stock-character (and played like one) that it's not even amusing, and I'd probably hurt someone if I had to watch an entire season of faux-science-doctor man-of-all-trades (who gets the books out at the drop of a hat) because I've seen the librarian stunt pulled before, and it worked on BtVS (with a better librarian, I might add) but it just didn't jive, here. Gwen's dad is the amiable friendly big black man when he had justifiable reason to be mightily righteous angry black man, and is it just me when I notice that the bad-guys were (a) women and (b) beautiful and (c) dark-haired and pale-skinned? Could we have some variety in our big bads, please? I might've stuck it out if Eve Myles were kept around for more than two episodes, or better yet, if she'd been cast as Morgana and let that Morgana-chick get shrill and strident on some other series.

And don't even get me started about Arthur. I don't mind going with the character development, but there's got to be some kind of redeeming value in him somewhere, and frankly, I didn't seen an iota of it. I was left with the conclusion that (a) we're supposed put up with this because hey, the legend-Arthur was a good guy, so this Arthur must also be a good guy, and that (b) in the meantime, we enjoy the fact that he's good-looking. Except he's not; if he has model good-looks then it's the model for your local Kmarts' weekly circulars, not model-good-looks for anything better known, and besides that, why is it that his looks are supposed to make up for the fact that he's a freaking asshole?

So, nope. Not wasting any more time on that one, and from the critiques I'm seeing around the net on S2, I suspect I'm not really missing anything.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 grumpy cat)
I think it's not just that fanfiction rests (in part) upon a ground of potential plausibility; I think it also works within a framework that's similar enough to original fiction that this gives the impression that one should be able to make the leap quite easily: genre assumptions. That is, fanfiction has canon assumptions which are closely analogous to genre assumptions, so you'd just be trading one for the other. When the author is familiar with the concept of shortcuts, after that it's simply a matter of learning what they are for any given genre.

And since I wouldn't mention it unless I find that a problem, it's that both are cop-outs. They're a way to treat the underpinnings of fiction as superfluous and extract them one by one, until the work feels almost hollow... and much philosophical crunchiness follows ) but I just finished dinner and I wanna just chill for a bit, so I'll leave it at this and pick the next points up when I get around to it again. Probably after more contemplation, since obviously I'm not done here. Most stuff is still standing, after all.


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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