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Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

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The good, the bad, and the annoying:
* I finally get to see Let the Right One In tomorrow night. Yay!

* I've been trying to get myself to do the new round of Chapter 2 revisions on the Ph.D. for four days now, but I can't seem to focus. I'm too preoccupied with poetry prompts and accidentally writing novel prologues all over the inside back cover of my husband's notebook on the beside table - oops.

* I'm depressed on account of a very good book I finished reading last night. HAPPY ENDINGS, PEOPLE. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE ONE HAPPY ENDING TO A SAME-SEX ROMANCE THAT IS NOT, PER SE, GENRE FICTION (because it seems to me that there are happy endings all the time in books that are explicitly classed as GLBTQ-themed, but when same-sex romance is just incidental to the plot or subtextual in most other genres of fiction, whoa, look out - they're usually doomed!) I'm sure that's why pieces like "Journeying" and "Answer Me" and my trying-to-kick-free novel happen nearly every time I set my pen to paper in a particular mindset (and, actually, "Journeying" is what happens after the curtain closes on the novel, at least in theory; it's what I believe happens, but perhaps my future readers, if I'm ever so honored to have them, will choose to believe something different). I almost pointed to my "Cold Covers," but that one's actually a very sad re-working of a relationship dynamic in Hamlet with respect to the actual landscape surrounding the castle in Denmark (that's one ending I can't rewrite legitimately, although believe me: I've rewritten it anyway. Some of you have read it.)

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I've seen a happy ending to a same-sex subplot in a historical romance, of all places. Hero had been pointlessly jealous of sidekick for most of the novel, until finally sidekick sat him down and explained NO SRSLY IMMA GO TO ITALY CUZ I GAY. And in the novel's epilogue, the author mentioned the sidekick's letters, which were theoretically about the Italian countryside with only the occasional mention of this other guy he met, "but their real content was happiness."

But it's rare. Which is probably why I remember the above as clearly as I do.

I've finally put The Celluloid Closet on our LoveFilm queue so that I can show James and Laura what I keep screaming about. Also, Ink & Steel is gorgeous - Shakespeare/Marlowe - but quite sad. I wish that Swedish opera would tour the rest of Europe...

Edited at 2009-04-23 12:39 pm (UTC)

Once you've seen it, you can't un-see it. (And of course it is. Damn RL canon and your dead people!)

I have been told there is a companion book in which things are...clarified. And possibly made easier to bear. Hmmm. Off I go to find it.

If by some mere chance you haven't read Sarah Waters, her books (which are usually classified as LGBT much to my annoyance but are really historical fiction) often have happy endings! Or ones that land me in despair.

I haven't read her work yet, no - but I'll definitely seek it out now!

I love Sarah Waters' stuff!

I saw the movie a few weeks ago and enjoyed it quite a lot. I hope you will, too. I currently have the novel out from the library and should make myself read it before it's due.

Much luck with the Ph.D.

My brother and his companion of the past twelve years are such a great, and entertaining couple. I'd like to see a movie about them, maybe even a weekly TV series, although I don't think either entertainment product will be going into production, any time soon.

I've rarely seen such praise heaped upon a film. Plus, I like vampire storylines when they're done well.

The very good book (which I adore, by the way) isn't complete in itself. You should probably read Hell and Earth, which is less sequel to Ink and Steel than other half of the book, before coming to a conclusion about how the Marlowe/Shakespeare functions. Not that you're exactly wrong about how it functions... but the book's Elizabeth Bear, and therefore complicated.

I do have the same problem you have about GLBT romance in genre, alas. Have you read Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint? It has a happy ending, or at least that book (one of three stand-alones in the series) stops where the protagonists are happy.

Yes, Hell and Earth is the next logical step. And I'm not really sure I've reached a conclusion about how it functions, to be honest, beyond the obvious that's hinted in the first book. I mean, what's there is enough to satisfy me on the level of, whoa, that's excellent (as far as the depth of it and the emotion behind it) - but, still, ow. Those final post-daring-rescue scenes between them hurt (the curse-thing that's going on with Kit...oh, hell, spoilers - well, people will just have to deal). Of course, you know, I'm used to this. Really I am. Curses and ghosts and having to settle for half-measures that aren't completely workable for anybody...

Just out of curiosity: have you read any of the other ones beyond the two we're talking about? It would seem that series has a lot of tangentially related other books in it, too.

Edited at 2009-04-23 01:29 pm (UTC)

I think only two of the tangentially related books (Blood and Iron, Whiskey and Water) have been written, sold and published yet. I've bought them, and they're sitting on my couch waiting for me to finish my next two seminar papers.

As for the rest of your points... yeah. Insert noise of frustrated agreement here.

Yeah, those are the other two I had caught wind of in some web-searching (and, to be honest, her own description of them on her website makes me less inclined to be interested right from the off - I'll play snoop and ask you what you thought of them once you've read them).

I've read them now. Blood and Iron and Whiskey and Water aren't as good as The Stratford Man. They have far too many characters, some of whom aren't nearly as interesting as they ought to be, and the Thirty Xanatos Pileup plot structure gets too intricate to follow.

That said, I did enjoy both books as fun weekend reading, and I like Whiskey and Water better than Blood and Iron. (W&W includes the conclusion to the Lucifer&Kit plotline that The Stratford Man sets up. Although if you're planning to read W&W you might also need to read B&I in order to understand the previous moves in the enormous multiplayer human+faerie+devil chess game that Lucifer's playing.

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Ooh, Let the Right One In is a fantastic film. Beautiful, bleak and creepy. (Feels so funny to type the English title - to me, it's Låt den rätte komma in.)

I like the Swedish title better, to be honest; it has a very satisfying rhythm. It makes me want to say Let the Right One Come In - on account of "komma," I'm sure.

Yeah, I really like the rhythm in it too. And wanting to add "come" to the English title is definitely only logical. :)

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...which is now on the way. I'm too broke to be buying books at this rate, swear to God.

How strange, I had never heard of Elizabeth Bear before Race Fail, and now I keep hearing her mentioned, often by people who have no idea about the aforementioned debate.

I actually tried to think of a book that gave a same sex relationship a happy ending the other day, and because I don't read much modern fiction, the only one I could think of was Maurice.

She was mentioned in Racefail, really? In what context?

I believe that the whole discussion started in the first place because people were unhappy about a post she made on the subject of writing the 'other' and things got rather messy when some other people jumped to E.B's defense in an insulting way.

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Weirdly, I was cheered by the ending of the film. I kind of sat there smiling instead of thinking of all of the more sinister implications.

Have you read Annie on my Mind, by Nancy Garden? It's a really lovely YA romance novel between two girls with a happy ending. The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson is another happy-ending YA novel for a girl who loves other girls and ends up with a good one. And Boy Meets Boy, by David Levithan, is just fantastic, a really beautifully-written, feel-good YA romance between two boys.

So in other words...look to the YA genre! ;p

Oh, wow! I'll have to find those next :)

Having just read your comments on the paucity of happy endings, in non-genre literature portraying same sex relationships, I was reminded of k d lang's remark (some time ago) about peoples expectation of melancholy or bitter sweet songs from someone of lesbian orientation and, consequently, they weren't as pleased when she wrote/performed "happy" songs.

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