elsane: clouds, brilliance, and the illusion of wings. (Default)

  • I'm reading Les Miserables (very slowly). I've read excerpts from it before, usually in watered-down French -- my high school French teacher was notable for migraines, scattershot lesson planning, and deep, disorganized passions for Hugo and Impressionists -- but I've never tackled the whole thing. It's great fun though I haven't hit the parts with Marius yet. I have the itch to live-blog every other page and argue back at Hugo, which I have been heroically repressing.

  • Here, have a fic rec: Dolce et decorum est, featuring Les Amis in Temeraire!verse. Enjolras is captain to the dragon Patria, deadly earnest human and draconine republicanism abounds, and so does gleeful gender confusion. Clever, cracky, and fun.

  • And another one: With Faith Unfearful, by [personal profile] carmarthen. It's not very easy to write believable ship fic for Enjolras and Grantaire and stay true to their canon dynamic, but this works beautifully well, partly by not being the sort of thing one would ordinarily call ship fic.

  • Something about Enjolras lends itself to genderfuck remarkably easily, and I think I know why. Enjolras is one of the Les Mis characters who's halfway to being a symbol, and symbolic embodiments of abstract virtues are female in Western thought. Think of Liberty, leading the people, and Marianne; the Virtues, the Graces. Enjolras is written to be the embodiment of the revolutionary spirit, and his appearance, his demeanor, all hark back to those feminine abstract archetypes. He was gender-bent from the beginning; no wonder he bends back so easily.

  • More links: today I was amused to note that as part of the New York Times' ongoing "Disunion" Civil War history project, posted today was an article about how Les Miserables, hot off the presses, was received in the US. Not much has changed: "The New York Times called the novel 'remarkable' and 'brilliant, but in the same notice labeled Hugo 'a prosy madman.'" It's fascinating to read reviews from the Southern side and see the doublethink involved, as Hugo and his messages were fairly obviously abolitionist; this is only briefly touched on in the article, and it would be interesting to read more.

  • So the thing about writing people who started out as Enjolras snip for those who aren't interested in writing blather )

    ...in other news. Uh. So, does anyone want to watch Sandglass with me?
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    elsane: clouds, brilliance, and the illusion of wings. (Default)

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