rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Dere Maister Chaucer:

Mesemeth that TNH of [livejournal.com profile] makinglight wolde ben a moste fyne drynkynge confrere (consoeur?) for thee. For when shee partoke of her neighboures vodka, shee fel into a moste straunge and lovelie tongue verray muche like unto thine. Povre wif.

Thine admirer,
Rym

In other [livejournal.com profile] makinglight news, if anyone with an interest in the subject hasn't seen the discussion of fanfic yet, and you have an hour or two at your disposal, go read. It's acquired 567 thoughtful and interesting comments so far. Basically, professional writers, fan writers, publishers, lawyers and interested onlookers of all stripes and varieties have shown up to debate the ethics of producing stories about other people's worlds. Some highlights:

  • Jane Yolen argues that works should be copyrighted long enough to earn money for the writers' heirs.
  • Mercedes Lackey admits to writing collaborative MMORPG fanfic.
  • Joss Whedon is, unsurprisingly, awesome.
  • A fanficcer named C.Elisa describes fanfic as "a form of full-contact literary criticism."
  • [livejournal.com profile] rhandir provides the Cliff Notes for the whole discussion.

I can't believe I just went back to find the good parts of that conversation instead of writing more of this thrice-damned paper.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Everything Tilts

Fandom: L’Engle (A Swiftly Tilting Planet) / Firefly
Rating: Inoffensive
Word Count: 675
Notes: The process from plot-bunny to completed fic took exactly one hour. I'm sure there are things I could change, but I'd rather just post the thing.
Slightly edited because I misquoted the rune the first time.



A boy sat on the big flat rock in the cargo bay )
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
While taking yet another break from the current project, I went looking for an online copy of George Eliot's Middlemarch.

In the course of my search, I encountered a massive work of panfandom crossover fanfiction. Yes, I encounter massive works of panfandom crossover fanfiction all the time. The one I found today is special because it was published in 1890. Andrew Lang, author/compiler of the Fairy Books, wrote a series of letters between fictional characters in Old Friends. Sadly, most of the letters are nearly incomprehensible for readers who, like me, lack a strong background in nineteenth-century popular fiction. (I do recommend the hilarious letter in which Catherine Morland of Austen's Northanger Abbey describes her experience at Mr Rochester's house party.)

The best part of Lang's book, especially for those of us who are otherwise interested in crossovers as genre, is his introduction:

Did the persons in contemporary novels never meet? )

What if the readers aren't familiar with the characters in the crossover? )

(That, of course, is why half my friendslist has seen Firefly and read Dark Tower.)
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
As an extremely belated birthday present for [livejournal.com profile] muchabstracted, I present fiction!

Title: Ernie and Bert are Dead
Fandom: Sesame Street/Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Rating: Absolutely inoffensive, unless you're offended by absence of plot


A cheerful story about murder, revenge and a grouch named Hamlet )
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
At [livejournal.com profile] pirate_eggie's literature restaurant, they serve Slaughterhouse Fries, The Phantom Tollhouse Cookies and Cry, The Beloved Country-Fried Steak. Check the comments for further recipes - my favorite is "Finnegan's Cake (not that we expect you to finish it)."

I know that you all know what you'd serve if you were running that restaurant. Tell me!

***

Also, there is new Dark is Rising fic!

This Will Last For Long, by [livejournal.com profile] gramarye1971 and [livejournal.com profile] delamancha, is a lovely examination of how Merriman and Gwion first became friends. Technically, it's Milliways backstory, but it stands on its own. The Lowland Hundred as Gramarye and Sweeney depict it is a place of danger and beauty, full of traps, odd laws and music.

[livejournal.com profile] daegaer wrote me a lovely short piece about Will at Miss Greythorne's ball, complete with Julian of Norwich quotation.

On a final Dark is Rising note, I realized today that I've been mispronouncing "gramarye" in my head for fourteen years -- the "y" is a vowel, not a consonant.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
It really isn't, and [livejournal.com profile] the_gentleman knows it. He has undertaken the monumental task of making the Founders of Hogwarts make historical sense, and, unbelievably enough, he's succeeding. He disdains the Founders' "crappy little nom de magiques" (Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor) as "14th century additions"; it's the only reasonable explanation I've ever heard for the philological mess that is "Gryffindor". In the post-1066 world where [livejournal.com profile] the_gentleman places the Founding, Godric (later called Gryffindor) is a displaced Saxon nobleman, Rowena (Ravenclaw) is an educated nun from an obscure Northumbrian convent, and Helga (Hufflepuff) is the daughter of a Danish trader. The real stroke of brilliance here, though, is Salazar (Slytherin), revealed by [livejournal.com profile] the_gentleman to be a Norman-Jewish moneylender whose name as we know it is an Anglicized form of Eliezer. No wonder Salazar and Godric didn't get along.

**

In my much-belated applause-of-friends meme, I'm up to [livejournal.com profile] muffinbutt. [livejournal.com profile] muffinbutt is an intelligent, funny lover of books. As the puppetteer for Bernard Wrangle, Head Bartender, Milliways Bar, she regularly has me laughing loudly enough to irritate my roommates. As a writer of Good Omens fic, she earns my admiration, and as the person who suggested to me earlier today that there was something unwholesome about Anne Shirley's love for the ghost of Matthew Cuthbert, she ... causes my mind to boggle. Wonderfully so.

**

It seems that instead of teaching Emma this spring, I will be teaching Great Expectations. This may very well be my least favorite book ever written. Charles Dickens is, in fact, one of the lesser-known reasons why I am a medievalist now. Oh, joy.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Hello, all.

I'm back in my apartment, after two very pleasant weeks spent with my family in Philadelphia. In the words of Jane Austen (from Emma, which I am reading this week in preparation for teaching it next month), "It was a delightful visit; - perfect, in being much too short." Although it was wonderful to see parents, assorted relatives and old friends, the best part was the amount of time I could spend with my sister; we are very close, and generally talk to each other five times a week via telephone, but we hadn't spent more than seven consecutive days together in the last year and a half.

Of course, since I didn't really use the computer much while home, my friendslist is now at skip?some unreasonably high number. If any of you have important news or writing you posted in the last weeks and don't want me to miss, please comment here. Also, I will applaud the rest of the friends I promised to praise in the next few days, and I will finally read [livejournal.com profile] jandersoncoats's novel, which has been sitting unopened in my mailbox waiting for me to have three consecutive hours to spend reading it for weeks. Sorry!

I did, however, glance briefly over some [livejournal.com profile] yuletide tales others recommended, and I am absolutely thrilled to report the presence of excellent stories in the two fandoms I wanted most to see.

The Water-Horse by Thamiris.
Fandom: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Rating: NC-17 (The rating is only earned near the end of the story, but it is definitely earned. Be warned.)

In the fourteenth-century Middle English poem that inspired this tale, Sir Gawain passes several kisses from his host's wife to his host. Gawain's omnisexuality has not attracted nearly as much attention, at least from fanwriters, as it really ought. There's a fine trilogy by [livejournal.com profile] irisbleu out there somewhere (I can't find the link; Irisbleu, could you link it?), but the world certainly needs more Gawain/Green Knight. The cheery, sexy, hilarious "The Water-Horse" is a wonderful addition to a nearly nonexistent fandom.
Brilliant, if bawdy, tapestry joke behind the cut )

Freawaru's Lament by [livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon
Fandom Inspiration: Beowulf and the Finnsburg Fragment
Rating: G

Freawaru, one of a handful of female figures wandering quietly and unobtrusively through the text of the Old English epic Beowulf, fascinates me. Her doom, an unhappy marriage capping a failed alliance, is sketched in brief allusions and foreshadowings. [livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon takes up Freawaru's story in a verse fragment paralleling the fragment that tells the tale of Hildeburh, another one of those mysterious women of Beowulf. She uses an alliterative meter, which, although not quite identical to Beowulf's alliterative meter, is about as close as any English translation could ever come.

[livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon knows the presence and absence of women in Beowulf well. Her username suggests a longstanding interest in the subject; ellen fremedon, from line 3 of Beowulf, translates to "they performed courageous deeds" and is the punchline to the geeky medievalist joke, "Who is the most interesting woman in Beowulf?" When she recites Freawaru's story, then, she does so with infinite understanding of exactly what the incompleteness of Freawaru's tale does to Beowulf, She signals the importance of incompleteness by leaving one careful, intentional absence in the fragment. The woman in Freawaru's Lament is never named.

Wretched the woman who wakes alone... )

---

Breaking news: [livejournal.com profile] muchabstracted is a queen among women, a jewel among friends, and a selectrix of the very best presents, like a copy of The Fall of the Kings signed by both Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, with a note from Delia Sherman, "To: Andrea - who appreciates the academic in-jokes."
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Hello, everyone. I'm in Philadelphia now, with access to a computer whose monitor blinks horribly and constantly. This will not be a long post.

I do, however, have to point any fanfic readers on my friendslist to the following perfect stories from the Yuletide challenge, both still anonymous:

To Remember for Always, fandom The Dark is Rising, PG, mild Will/Bran. It has alder trees, foxes, Owen Davies, enough really obscure references to make me extremely happy, an excellently portrayed Will and a Bran who... is absolutely and completely and perfectly Bran.

Paolo and Francesca, fandom His Dark Materials

I cannot summarize this story. You simply have to read it. If I could reinterpret Dante as this snippet does, I would be content. )
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Hermione secretly desires Meg Murry

What's Your Ultimate Fandom OTP?
Shiver My Timber--A Pirate RPG




Kazul smooches Bran Davies

What's Your Ultimate Fandom OTP?
Shiver My Timber--A Pirate RPG




If anyone writes me Hermione/Meg Murry, I will die of love.

I might just have to write the Kazul/Bran myself, though.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] calanthe_b considers the model of the modern literary theorist here:

When I know what is meant by 'deconstruct' and 'ideology',
When I can spot assumptions hegemonic from a mile away,
When I accept my preconceptions all need reconfiguring--
When I learn words like 'feminist' and use them without sniggering...

When I learn how to jettison all concepts common-sensible,
When I forget entirely what is meant by 'comprehensible',
In short, when I've adjusted to kaleidoscopic spectacle--
Well, then I'll be postmodern which is equally respectable!
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
I was in a bad mood for no particular reason. Then I reread Ordinary People by [livejournal.com profile] daegaer, which is not so much Good Omens fanfic as an original short story about two Jewish men in London that happens to have a number of Good Omens in-jokes. Am much happier now.

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