Ys

Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

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December Blogging Meme Topic #9:
Strength
ajodasso
Do you have fictional buttons, character constellations, or themes that you particularly love to read (and/or write) about? Are there clichés that you love?
rheasilvia

This will sound slightly absurd, but I didn't catch on till this year that I have a definite thing for thwarted apocalypses wherein the world (whether it's the microcosm of a relationship or the world as in the world) gets a second chance. Good Omens hitting my radar in 2004, sticking, and never going away wasn't even sufficient to clue me in; it took Pacific Rim hitting my radar in late 2013, sticking, and (so far) having not gone away to make me stop and think, Wait a minute. If I operate under this assumption and consider most of my other narrative preoccupations, the pattern holds. Hot Fuzz is another great example, and you can also make the argument for Toy Soldiers. Past that point, you really are getting down to looking at relationship microcosms wherein something cataclysmic happens, the relationship survives it, and then I'm left dealing with fall-out and all of its bewildering, miraculous consequences. You even get the relationship microcosms within the worlds where an almost-apocalypse literally occurs at the broader-world lever. It doesn't matter if that apocalypse is the one mentioned in the Bible or a plague of alien monsters emerging from the sea; it doesn't matter if it's a quiet English town threatened by murderous civic officials or a rural prep school besieged by terrorists. When worlds very nearly end and then don't, I'm left standing in awe at the enormity of life being handed back to the characters I love. These are only a few examples in the broader scope of my fascinations over the years, but if you've been here for the past twelve years (and most of you have), this is the most accurate explanation of what will enthrall my devotion and never let it go.

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Thwarted apocalypses! Neat - and yes, Good Omens may be the prototype for that theme. :-)

I completely understand the attraction of the symbolic rebirth through a near-apocalypse. It's hard to think of a more harrowing fire to make characters go through, or a more meaningful and hopeful new beginning.

Actually, if we're looking at sheer timeline, Lord of the Rings is probably the precedent-setter in my world for beginning to prefer that kind of paradigm. Good Omens and Pacific Rim are the far more obvious ones that just happen to have been the ones to stick around. And who knows what new worlds will come.

(My existence has been one small apocalypse after another, and I'm still waiting for a happy ending; if I can't have one, I can at least give them to the characters I love best. I think that's the heart of the matter.)

Well, in terms of literary history, you'd have to go back to the original heroic epics (whose conventions Tolkien drew on for LotR) to get to the first recorded instances of the apocalypse storyline. Even the bible qualifies, as do the other heroic epics of the time (such as the Gilgamesh epic).

My personal favorite is the Nibelungenlied, which is just... lovely. :-) It's a little short on the happy ending, but (as always in heroic epics) some people do survive and carry the tale out into the world. Probably not what you are looking for in this kind of story, though! (I can't resist reccing the Nibelungenlied whenever the opportunity presents itself, though, so, sorry. *g*)

Ugh, I love Gilgamesh. I know the Nibelungenlied as well, but for some reason it never grabbed my fascination to quite the same extent.

I love Gilgamesh too - its only problem is that it suffers from a lamentable absence of Hagen. ;-)

Edited at 2014-12-13 06:19 pm (UTC)

I can't remember if you've mentioned watching the British show In The Flesh. Sounds like it might interest you, along the lines you mention here (haven't seen it myself, but have friends who highly recommend it. Maybe you were one of them :-)

I am such a fan of In the Flesh that there are already 30,000 words out there to prove it ;)

Yeah, had a niggling feeling you were one - I can't keep track, sorry! :-)

Anyway, you can defnly add it to your list of near/post-Apocalyptic fandoms, I think.

(Sorry, but I can't find enough interest myself in trying it out - I watch so few shows and movies at all these days.)

You're absolutely right about that.

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