Playing Cupid

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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby Lilygloves » May 25, 2012 10:54 am

Sometimes romance in novels seems cheap. Couples get together in a predictable way and it doesn't add anything to the story or character development besides the romantic feelings. I appreciate that Lewis only included romance when needed. For example, Rilian would never had been born if there was no romance between the Star's daughter and Caspian and HHB would not have been able to progress if not for the potential romance between Susan and Rabadash. However, it is important to keep in mind how difficult it would be to include a detailed, romantic relationship between characters because the protagonists of the books for the majority of the time were children- not even old enough for real crushes. Besides, a romance between a Narnian and someone from our world would be ridiculous because they don't belong together or even to the same world! (*Suspian cough cough*)
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 25, 2012 5:30 pm

SnakeEyes wrote:I like the love interests in books/movies. It really adds to the story. Having romance gives more depth to characters and makes people feel for them more. Even hardcore action films need a bit of romance. I am not to big on fanfiction because they are usually weird but some are funny because of how weird they are. Aslan+Robocop=love


I quite take your point, SnakeEyes. Some fan fiction writers tend to stress the romantic action at the expense of the other action and the storyline, which I noticed mostly with the HP novels. And films often do the same thing, adding romance where there wasn't really supposed to be any love interest in the original book (Suspian?). For some reason they often don't pay enough or even any attention to the actual romances that were genuinely included. For example, last year I saw a most disappointing movie adaptation of Rosemary Sutcliffe's book, Eagle of the Ninth, which was all action and left out entirely the genuine love interest in the story, that of Aquila and Cottia, the neighbour who had befriended him.

Ithilwen wrote:That would be awful; to disappoint -- even anger -- a favorite author of mine like that. I would feel a bit paranoid, watching every word I said. Whereas, I would love to talk to Lewis about Narnia. Because I know he was more open toward that sort of thing. In fact, I even remembering him sending a letter to a child who was asking him to write more Narnia books, and he told that child to feel free to write Narnia books of his own. And I admire him greatly for that. It's what I admire in all authors, and it's what I hope to emulate if/when I am an author myself
.

According to Doug Gresham's opening and closing commentary to the FOTF radio LB, C.S.Lewis also felt he could not write any more Narnia stories, himself, as he felt that if he did, it would become too forced. The seven he wrote, are the ones he had inspiration for, not more. And that is why I think that he wrote LB the way he did, to keep the series firmly and unequivocally the Chronicles of Narnia. I know that Tolkien was a perfectionist, and almost obsessively detailed about his Middle Earth world, and that C.S.Lewis was quite the opposite with Narnia. I also expect that is why CON would be a good choice for younger children, who might find even The hobbit too difficult to read.

On the other hand, how would you feel if you were discussing JK Rowling's work? She had fans galore wanting to practically rewrite her HP stories, according to their own ideas, even before the last two books were actually published. Some were disappointed with the second last book (HBP), being quite adamant that the hero should always end up with the heroine, due to their belief that this pairing is a literary convention. But this was a romantic choice that JKR, herself, lampooned rather pointedly in the last of that series. Writing fan fics might have been flattery, as you said, Ithilwen, but sometimes the fandom got a little too pushy with it, I thought. Even after the last book was finally published, as a Leaky Lounge mod, I found myself the reluctant targetted reader of at least one fully written fan fic which the eager author claimed was the real deal, not the final published novel JKR, herself, wrote. 8-|

By keeping romance to a necessary minimum, by keeping it resolutely in the adult sphere, and by refusing to describe what sort of person Susan eventually ended up with, I think that C.S.Lewis avoided a real can of worms, to be honest.

Lilygloves wrote:Besides, a romance between a Narnian and someone from our world would be ridiculous because they don't belong together or even to the same world! (*Suspian cough cough*)


Now that is a good point, that Susan, herself, made in Adamson's movie of PC, after she kissed Caspian. What would have happened if Susan had remained stuck in Calormen with Rabadash? Would the four Pevensies forever remain in Narnia, as three of them eventually did? Or would Susan have remained in Calormen alone, never to return to Narnia, as in PC?
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby Varnafinde » May 25, 2012 5:38 pm

Ithilwen wrote:People don't write fanfics and come up with non-canon ideas because they don't think you did a good job. They do it because they love your books. They love the world you have created, and they don't want to leave that world once the book is over. They don't want to just put it back on the shelf and forget about it. They love it so much, they want to stay and play a little longer.


Often fanfiction writers, when they write disclaimers about not claiming rights to the stories and characters, say that they just borrow the author's sandbox and play in it.

waggawerewolf27 wrote:But why not Digory and Polly, when Lewis went out of his way at the end of MN to say that they always remained friends?


I think the main reason is that in LWW, the first chronicle, professor Kirke very clearly has no wife. Since that cannot be changed later, Polly has to be just a friend.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby Ithilwen » May 25, 2012 9:20 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:On the other hand, how would you feel if you were discussing JK Rowling's work? She had fans galore wanting to practically rewrite her HP stories, according to their own ideas, even before the last two books were actually published. Some were disappointed with the second last book (HBP), being quite adamant that the hero should always end up with the heroine, due to their belief that this pairing is a literary convention. But this was a romantic choice that JKR, herself, lampooned rather pointedly in the last of that series. Writing fan fics might have been flattery, as you said, Ithilwen, but sometimes the fandom got a little too pushy with it, I thought. Even after the last book was finally published, as a Leaky Lounge mod, I found myself the reluctant targetted reader of at least one fully written fan fic which the eager author claimed was the real deal, not the final published novel JKR, herself, wrote. 8-|

In that case, if I was JK Rowling, I would probably shake my head and laugh a little at the more overly confident ones, and take part of it as a sort of unintended compliment. After all, those fans must have really liked the beginning a good deal if the ending was that important to them.

If I disappointed my fans with an ending they disliked, I would find out why they disliked it; and if they had good reason, I would use that as a learning experience for next time. If they didn't have a good reason, I would just shrug it off. They can't legally take the story away from me just because they would have done it differently. Some might come across as annoying and pushy, but I don't have to fear them.

If they choose to view their own version as more canonical than mine, or choose their own version as their own personal canon, they can feel free to do so. It wouldn't be the first time people preferred their own hoped-for ending rather than the actual ending. People do that all the time. I know I have in the past. If they act really haughty about it, it can be aggravating while talking to them. But it doesn't do any real damage.


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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 26, 2012 6:55 pm

Ithilwen, your generous attitude to fan fic writers does you great credit. :ymhug: Unfortunately, few writers can afford to be so tolerant in the cutthroat world of publishing. :| In most cases where authors have succeeded, it is because they have something to say and a worthwhile story to tell, in their own way, and they have stuck to it as their intellectual property.

This is true of JK Rowling, who planned and plotted her series meticulously over fifteen years from 1992 to 2007. During that time she has found herself in legal battles over plagiarism, where people have claimed she imitated their own ideas, or over fans trying to make money from her creativeness, eg Steve Van Der Ark. Even a local clothing label, which might have something to do with a popular Australian newsreader, whose name was actually Harry Potter, also got into trouble with Warner Brothers & Bloomsbury, but this time won against them. Only to fold as a business later on. And just because the Harry Potter books were so wildly popular is no guarantee that J.K.Rowling's next book is going to be so well-received.

Unlike JKR, C.S.Lewis was already an established Magdalen College academic and writer when he wrote the Narnia books, being, like Tolkien, a Professor of English. His Narnia stores were driven by his Christian convictions. He had those stories to tell, no more and no less. Which really annoyed atheists like Philip Pullman, whose own His Dark Materials trilogy has been described as the Anti-Narnia.

Publishing and the book trade was a unit of my Master's degree, in which I learned that 99% of fiction books ever sent to a publisher do not get accepted for publication. Even the ones that do, have often been rejected by other publishers beforehand. There are better odds of acceptance if an aspiring author signs up with a literary agent, who does all the negotiating with publishers and lawyers on an author's behalf, if they think the work is good enough. The odds improve further if the author has successfully written other books, and especially if the book is non-fiction, written by an acknowledged expert in that field. A book is most likely to succeed if it is a solicited textbook on a subject. Once a book is published and reaches the bookshop, if it hasn't sold much within a short period of time, then it might find its unsold copies on the remainder tables at local flea markets at a fraction of the price of publication per copy.

Yes, fan fiction writers do flatter the original author by "playing a little longer in his/her sandbox", to quote Varnafinde. But there are limits. Pretending that one's ending is better than the author's ideas would be pushing those limits somewhat, in my opinion, especially as the JKR imitation I mentioned wasn't a patch on the official Deathly Hallows book, being too full of romantic interludes and a little too light on sticking to the main storyline.

Varnafinde wrote:I think the main reason is that in LWW, the first chronicle, professor Kirke very clearly has no wife. Since that cannot be changed later, Polly has to be just a friend.


You are quite right, of course. It would also change the dynamics of LWW if Professor Kirke had a wife who might feel some responsibility for the welfare of the Pevensies, rather than a paid housekeeper, Mrs Macready, only there to keep the house tidy, keep the children from intruding on the Professor, and show visitors around.

And having introduced Polly Plummer, she couldn't be a friendly ex-wife in LB, could she be? Besides, if I was Polly I wouldn't want to marry someone who had told me that 'girls never want to know anything except gossip and rot about people getting engaged.' (MN P.50) And who looked like his wicked uncle Andrew as he said it. :D
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby Varnafinde » May 26, 2012 11:49 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:And having introduced Polly Plummer, she couldn't be a friendly ex-wife in LB, could she be? Besides, if I was Polly I wouldn't want to marry someone who had told me that 'girls never want to know anything except gossip and rot about people getting engaged.' (MN P.50) And who looked like his wicked uncle Andrew as he said it. :D


Oh, she might be able to forgive that, if he had changed - but she would have to be extra cautious to be sure that he really had changed ...

But she cannot be a wife, and I agree that she couldn't be an ex-wife either, so a friend she is.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby Ithilwen » May 27, 2012 2:23 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Ithilwen, your generous attitude to fan fic writers does you great credit. :ymhug: Unfortunately, few writers can afford to be so tolerant in the cutthroat world of publishing. :| In most cases where authors have succeeded, it is because they have something to say and a worthwhile story to tell, in their own way, and they have stuck to it as their intellectual property.
This is true of JK Rowling, who planned and plotted her series meticulously over fifteen years from 1992 to 2007. During that time she has found herself in legal battles over plagiarism, where people have claimed she imitated their own ideas, or over fans trying to make money from her creativeness, eg Steve Van Der Ark....Yes, fan fiction writers do flatter the original author by "playing a little longer in his/her sandbox", to quote Varnafinde. But there are limits. Pretending that one's ending is better than the author's ideas would be pushing those limits somewhat, in my opinion, especially as the JKR imitation I mentioned wasn't a patch on the official Deathly Hallows book, being too full of romantic interludes and a little too light on sticking to the main storyline.

I believe authors should write the stories exactly the way they believe the story is intended to be. And if someone is trying to steal the story in a monetary fashion, or making accusations, then of course the author must take legal action. None of my posts were referring to actual plagiarism. I was referring only to fan fiction, like the kind one sees on fanfiction.net. Yes, if someone is legally trying to claim a book as their own when it really isn't, that can hurt the author and they must take action. But some random fan who writes stories online and happens to like their own version better? That's a matter of their own taste; and what's viewed inside their own imagination as the "real story" isn't really anyone's business but their own. As for the girl you personally encountered, I couldn't say, since I don't know how far she took it. But I don't believe there should be any action/concern unless someone takes it out of the fanfiction level and into the genuine plagiarism level, where money, sales, etc. is involved.

Varnafinde wrote:I think the main reason is that in LWW, the first chronicle, professor Kirke very clearly has no wife. Since that cannot be changed later, Polly has to be just a friend.

Unless he keeps "a mad wife" shut up somewhere like his Uncle Andrew was accused of. ;)) No, but really, that's a very good point. I wasn't rooting for them to be married or anything. But I didn't realize, until you said it, that it wasn't even really an option.


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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 29, 2012 4:38 am

Ithilwen wrote:As for the girl you personally encountered, I couldn't say, since I don't know how far she took it. But I don't believe there should be any action/concern unless someone takes it out of the fanfiction level and into the genuine plagiarism level, where money, sales, etc. is involved.


I'm not at all sure it was a girl. I think it was a boy. And since Leaky Lounge has rules against posting fan-fiction, especially at that time, much like is the case here, I had to behave appropriately as a moderator, and warn the person to remove the links. I haven't seen much of that http://www.fanfiction.com site you mentioned, and I agree that keeping such matters to one or two suitable sites or to livejournals, facebook etc is probably okay.

I've a feeling that fan fiction works best when it is used to work out a plot-hole, or other mysteries within a story, or else with minor characters and incidents alluded to but never explained fully. EG. people like Swanwhite the Narnian Queen, or how King Gale defeated the Lone Island dragon. Or how Jadis got control over Narnia in the first place.

Varnafinde wrote:I think the main reason is that in LWW, the first chronicle, professor Kirke very clearly has no wife. Since that cannot be changed later, Polly has to be just a friend.


I expect that is also the reason why Susan couldn't really marry Rabadash, however she liked him at first. She had to get back through the wardrobe and down to Earth, so as to visit Narnia a second time in PC.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby narnianerd » Jun 08, 2012 12:45 pm

Entered, planning just to sharpen up his regular forum skills in preparation for July, But was presently surprised to be interested by the topic. :D

Time for my opening statement, shipping (or fan fictions in general) usually = bad for me. It takes away from the originality of Narnia or any story when thousands of writer hop on the coattails of a successful story.

With Narnia however, fan fictions work. If done right and with a certain degree of discretion. I absolutely refuse to read a fan fiction that is centered upon the main characters, but since Narnia is so vast and huge with so many stories mentioned and yet left out from Lewis' writing (Wagga pointed out multiple examples).

Other example would be perhaps the story of the Telmarines and their struggle to survive in Talmar. I'd read a fan fiction about that, heck I'd write that if I had the time.

Like I said, shipping usually = bad. But it gets worse when the author writes it terrible. Prince Caspian was a perfect example of how NOT to play cupid, stupid, immature and totally useless to the plot. If they had done it decently at least then I could appreciate the effort, but it was horribly done.

So, fan fictions if it is done right = cool. Shipping the main characters: Bad and terrible if written horribly. :P


Waggawaggawerewolf27 Wrote: Besides, if I was Polly I wouldn't want to marry someone who had told me that 'girls never want to know anything except gossip and rot about people getting engaged.' (MN P.50) And who looked like his wicked uncle Andrew as he said it.



Not to put sunshine on your Polly/Kirke raincloud, but they were what, 12? 13? Things could have changed. :P Not saying they did because obviously they didn't, but your logic is somewhat flawed. :ymsmug:

In the end as an author, if someone touched my characters I'd probably kill them. Better yet, I'd take their characters and write a fan fiction about them being murdered in a very nasty way with very descriptive terms. :ymdevil:

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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jun 16, 2012 3:38 am

narnianerd wrote:Not to put sunshine on your Polly/Kirke raincloud, but they were what, 12? 13? Things could have changed. Not saying they did because obviously they didn't, but your logic is somewhat flawed.


It doesn't make any difference about their ages, and yes, surely Polly and Digory were the very main characters you meant when you said in your post: "I absolutely refuse to read a fan fiction that is centered upon the main characters".

Yes, being young, there was room for change for both Polly and Digory, but spiritual changes not necessarily adolescent changes. In Digory's case he had to apologise and repent of his attitude to Polly in the Hall of Statues in Charn. Polly did have to forgive him, but would she ever forget? Somehow I think not. And what we see of Digory in LWW bears me out. It was not only the internal logic of the series, plus the author's say so, which ensured that Digory would not marry Polly.

If all Professor Digory Kirke wanted for his domestic arrangements was a housekeeper to keep the place tidy, the children kept from disturbing him from his work and visiting tourists kept informed and entertained, all he had to do was employ Mrs Macready, which he did. He didn't have to get married, any more than Uncle Andrew did.

Besides, I doubt Polly would have been too happy with being Professor Kirke's housekeeper. I expect she might have been a work colleague, or have a vocation, herself, in nursing or teaching. If you wanted to write a fan fic about her life at all, it would be how both Polly and Digory equally volunteered for the WW1 war effort, thinking it was their duty, in Polly's case as a military nurse. If you wanted a romantic life for Polly, she might have lost the man she loved during WW1 in the trenches. And if you wanted to know what was so offputting about Digory's saying 'girls never want to know anything except gossip and rot about people getting engaged' (MN P.50) you could consider his flawed logic when men are also part of that problem. Without 'rot about people getting engaged' there wouldn't be a society, would there? Or at least not in that day and age.

Furthermore, it is far too close to what Uncle Andrew said when he claimed that 'rules, however excellent they may be for little boys - and servants - and women...' were not for great thinkers and sages like himself, claiming for himself 'a high and lonely destiny' (MN P.23). And Digory had been impressed by this statement, thinking that Uncle Andrew did look grave and noble. Just like he would be impressed by his initial contact with Jadis, who said something similar about her 'high and lonely destiny' concerning how she destroyed everyone in Charn, rather than yield the throne to her sister.

Lewis said something extremely important when he wrote the words that were placed on the gate of the garden at the top of the hill. ''Come in by the gold gates or not at all, Take of my fruit for others or forbear...' (MN p146). Neither Polly nor Digory would want to do anything more that was wrong. And romance is truly 'for others or forbear'.

But another fan fic that could be written is how Uncle Andrew came to be sponging on Aunt Letty. It was her house, after all, not his. I wouldn't have been surprised if Uncle Andrew's study actually encroached into the neighbouring vacant house.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Jun 16, 2012 4:54 am

Wagga wrote:Furthermore, it is far too close to what Uncle Andrew said when he claimed that 'rules, however excellent they may be for little boys - and servants - and women...' were not for great thinkers and sages like himself, claiming for himself 'a high and lonely destiny' (MN P.23). And Digory had been impressed by this statement, thinking that Uncle Andrew did look grave and noble.


Codswallop my friend ;). The quote following this from Digory, says "All that means is that you think you can do anything you like to get anything you want."

Digory didn't think Uncle Andrew was a high and noble man. . . he thought he was scum.

What that has to do with fanfiction, by the way, I do not know ;)).

This is the kind of thing that I dislike about fanfiction, people start ascribing attributes to characters that are non-canon. Just because it might make a character more interesting, doesn't make it good literature. . . and if it's not good literature, why right it?
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jun 17, 2012 10:57 pm

DiGoRyKiRkE wrote:Codswallop my friend ;). The quote following this from Digory, says "All that means is that you think you can do anything you like to get anything you want."

Digory didn't think Uncle Andrew was a high and noble man. . . he thought he was scum.


Codswallop?? /:) The full quote from page 23 of MN (my copy) is:

"But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys - and servants - and women - and even people in general, can't possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny."

As he said this he sighed and looked so grave and noble and mysterious that for a second Digory really thought he was saying something rather fine. But then he remembered the ugly look he had seen on Uncle Andrew's face the moment before Polly had vanished and all at once he saw through Uncle Andrew's grand words. "All it means," he said to himself, "Is that he thinks that he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants".


On page 25, we have Digory "who was interested, despite himself".. Of course Uncle Andrew was a creep. But was it all Uncle Andrew's manipulations, dragging in how Digory was going to explain Polly's absence to her parents, the consequences to Digory's own dying mother, and even "showing the white feather" (p.28), a very powerful WW1 allusion by the way, to get Digory to go after Polly?

What Uncle Andrew is also doing is to exalt himself and his idea of manhood at the expense of everyone else and every other consideration. This is a societal manipulation, not exclusive to Uncle Andrew. He is forcing Digory into risk-taking behaviour he wouldn't take himself, by alluding to the absence of Digory's own father, away with the army in India, and that Digory has been consequently brought up among women. And Digory has been already embarrassed by his tears for his dying mother. Something that Aslan, himself, allowed as right and proper.

Should we then be so surprised that Digory is so reckless and impulsive in the Wood in the Worlds, so prepared to explore Charn, and so ready to disparage Polly for not wanting to take unnecessary risks, like ringing that bell? And when Digory resorts to disparaging women, in particular, hadn't he been stung by what Uncle Andrew had had to say earlier, into exalting himself at Polly's expense? Forgetting his poor dying mother was also one of those women he so thoughtlessly disparages?

DiGoRyKiRkE wrote:What that has to do with fanfiction, by the way, I do not know ;)).

This is the kind of thing that I dislike about fanfiction, people start ascribing attributes to characters that are non-canon. Just because it might make a character more interesting, doesn't make it good literature. . . and if it's not good literature, why right it?


Discussing this key conversation with Uncle Andrew has everything to do with fan fiction and why you do not like it. Because how often do fan fiction writers go to the trouble of analysing from the actual canon the characters and personalities of the literary characters they borrow, even the main ones, before writing what they do? And isn't that also possibly why you dislike people ascribing attributes to characters that are non-canon?

Rather too many fan fictions, from the little I have seen of them, are Mary-Sues, saying more about the writers of fan-fictions than the main characters they portray.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Jun 18, 2012 4:42 am

Wagga wrote:As he said this he sighed and looked so grave and noble and mysterious that for a second Digory really thought he was saying something rather fine. But then he remembered the ugly look he had seen on Uncle Andrew's face the moment before Polly had vanished and all at once he saw through Uncle Andrew's grand words. "All it means," he said to himself, "Is that he thinks that he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants".


Are you reading the parts of the quote that you didn't bold? Yes, for a second Digory was taken in by Uncle Andrew, but that didn't last very long. That text clearly states that he remembered the ugly look of Uncle Andrew's face, saw through his grand words, and condemned him as resorting to any means in order to get what he (Uncle Andrew) wants.

This passage really only supports your claim if you take that first bolded bit and let it stand on its own. . . when coupled with the rest of the passage (and indeed the rest of the book) it becomes clear that your argument is baseless.

Wagga wrote:Discussing this key conversation with Uncle Andrew has everything to do with fan fiction and why you do not like it. Because how often do fan fiction writers go to the trouble of analysing from the actual canon the characters and personalities of the literary characters they borrow, even the main ones, before writing what they do?


Excuse my wording then. I meant to say, "What this has to do with the romantic interests found in fan fiction (or "playing cupid") is beyond me ;)).

Wagga wrote:And isn't that also possibly why you dislike people ascribing attributes to characters that are non-canon?


I pretty much like nothing that is "non-canon." I'm a purist. . . always have been, always will be. To assume the author's role in his or her world is to say "Hey, I love your books, but you didn't do this right, so I have to fix it for you," and would be tantamount to a mad scientist usurping God's role in creation (if that were even possible).

Rather too many fan fictions, from the little I have seen of them, are Mary-Sues, saying more about the writers of fan-fictions than the main characters they portray.


And you are basing this on the admittedly few fan fictions you have seen? At any rate, I don't have to stick my head into a dumpster to be able to tell you that it smells. There are very few fan fictions that I would ever even consider reading. . . and even fewer that would even merit ever being read.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jun 18, 2012 5:49 pm

DiGoRyKiRkE wrote:And you are basing this on the admittedly few fan fictions you have seen? At any rate, I don't have to stick my head into a dumpster to be able to tell you that it smells. :D There are very few fan fictions that I would ever even consider reading. . . and even fewer that would even merit ever being read.


=)) If I hadn't had even a nodding acquaintance with fan-fiction, I wouldn't know what a Mary-Sue is. That is to say, something in which it is the fan fiction writer's wannabe exploits are portrayed rather than those of the literary characters that have been 'borrowed' for the occasion. At first I thought a Mary-Sue was a style of court shoes. :D And just because you don't have to put your face in a skip to know it smells, doesn't mean you don't have to sort the garbage into recycling, toxic, building and organic, or identify the smelly elephant in the dumpster or do the forensics on it. :ymsmug:

DiGoRyKiRkE wrote:Excuse my wording then. I meant to say, "What this has to do with the romantic interests found in fan fiction (or "playing cupid") is beyond me ;)).


We were discussing why a fan-fiction discussing a romance between Digory and Polly wouldn't work, no matter how cute childhood sweethearts are, how long-lasting their lifetime friendship was and however respected and worthwhile their single lives might have been in the interim. One reason is that C.S.Lewis, himself, ruled out their getting married. Another reason was that Professor Kirke was unmarried or already widowed in LWW, so he couldn't have married Polly after MN. And I am suggesting a third reason as well, namely that Uncle Andrew's influence was the 'elephant in your dumpster', or in the (bed)room or study if you prefer. ;) Especially as due to Aunt Letty's limited accommodation, Digory was forced to share Uncle Andrew's bedroom, even if Aunt Letty could limit Uncle Andrew's talking to Digory at dinner.

Yes, childhood sweethearts are cute, which is exactly why Uncle Andrew thought it was a clever idea to use Polly and Digory for his experiments in exploring other worlds. He probably was aware of Polly's Pirate cave. He might have even seen them around together prior to their blundering into his study. The rest of MN shows exactly why Uncle Andrew's unethical spiriting Polly away for the wrong reasons in the wrong way at the wrong time to suit his own purposes would actually ensure that Digory and Polly would not marry each other. Uncle Andrew even admits to Digory he planned what he did (p.28) when Digory said 'I suppose you planned the whole thing, so that she would go without knowing it'.. And Uncle Andrew uses Polly's plight to manipulate Digory into going after her in terms of "showing the white feather" and the "honour and chivalry of going to the aid of - er- a lady in distress".

Boys and girls of that era did not normally play together if there was a choice in the matter, and in Polly's case, the only reason why she went out of her way to show Digory her pirate's den was because she felt sorry for his grieving for his dying mother. The trouble is, that when Digory thinks of exploring the attic space at the top of the adjoining terrace houses, they find out that Polly is not the only one who has had that idea. Uncle Andrew already has his study there, possibly encroaching into the vacant house space beyond Digory's place. If Polly had been alert enough in the Wood between the worlds, she might have even suspected that Digory led her there, for Uncle Andrew to trick her into taking the ring he offered her, even though that would have been wrong and unjust. Digory had been trapped, also.

DiGoRyKiRkE wrote:Are you reading the parts of the quote that you didn't bold? Yes, for a second Digory was taken in by Uncle Andrew, but that didn't last very long. That text clearly states that he remembered the ugly look of Uncle Andrew's face, saw through his grand words, and condemned him as resorting to any means in order to get what he (Uncle Andrew) wants.This passage really only supports your claim if you take that first bolded bit and let it stand on its own. . . when coupled with the rest of the passage (and indeed the rest of the book) it becomes clear that your argument is baseless.


Yes, I did read all the quote, even bolding the bits of your own quote where you misquoted, as well as the bit I wanted to emphasize. Unless your copy of MN is somehow different from mine, Digory was at that stage too scared to talk back to Uncle Andrew at the end of that quote. We are privileged to share Digory's thoughts throughout that quote, unlike Uncle Andrew, whom Digory was trying to shut out and not listen to, apart from reminding about Polly. Until on page 25, when Digory 'was interested, despite himself'.

One of the bits of that quote which I didn't highlight was this bit: "Men like me who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures (such as romance? - my guess). Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny." Is that why Uncle Andrew was so impressed by Jadis, later on? Because, unlike rules or ordinary women, like his own sisters, he couldn't consider her as beneath his notice? Either physically or behaviourally?

And I still say that in quarrelling with Digory Polly would have been put off Digory romantically for life by his lofty Uncle Andrew-like vapourings about "Girls never want to know anything but gossip and rot about people getting engaged". (p. 50) Even if one day she did get engaged, herself, I bet she wouldn't even have wanted to discuss that happy event with Digory, even though by the end of the book, she and Digory had become lifelong friends. And even if her fiance happened to be any of Digory's own friends.

To assume the author's role in his or her world is to say "Hey, I love your books, but you didn't do this right, so I have to fix it for you," and would be tantamount to a mad scientist usurping God's role in creation (if that were even possible)
.

Sounds like Uncle Andrew, the 'mad scientist', doesn't it? ;;)
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby Lilygloves » Jun 24, 2012 11:03 am

waggawerewolf27 wrote:I've a feeling that fan fiction works best when it is used to work out a plot-hole, or other mysteries within a story, or else with minor characters and incidents alluded to but never explained fully. EG. people like Swanwhite the Narnian Queen, or how King Gale defeated the Lone Island dragon. Or how Jadis got control over Narnia in the first place.


I agree, the main focus of fan fiction should be to explore what the author felt best to leave out. (Not necessarily plot holes-but it could include that- plot holes implies that the story does not make sense logically). It could be something the author mentioned but chose to not expand or something that happens beyond the story. (I do confess I wrote an alternate ending to the musical Love Never Dies, which in my opinion is a much better ending- but don't tell Andrew Lloyd Webber). The main focus should not be so much to alter what the author wrote, although at times it is necessary, but to expand upon the already existing story. Fan fiction is a great way to express oneself and improve one's writing; however, fan fiction at it's lowest point in my opinion is the slash fan fiction. In any case, these stories go way too far and are just plain disgusting.

To get back to the main focus of relationships in Narnia, there really is no need for romance within the stories Lewis already gave us. He chose what relationships were needed and avoided ones that complicated the story. He was obviously not opposed to romance, since Cor and Aravis later got married to each other and he mentions that even Hwin and Bree found a significant other. Beyond the stories we already have? It would be interesting to imagine what would have happened if Susan had married Rabadash or the wives of King Frank's sons.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jun 28, 2012 12:43 am

Lilygloves wrote:To get back to the main focus of relationships in Narnia, there really is no need for romance within the stories Lewis already gave us. He chose what relationships were needed and avoided ones that complicated the story. He was obviously not opposed to romance, since Cor and Aravis later got married to each other and he mentions that even Hwin and Bree found a significant other. Beyond the stories we already have? It would be interesting to imagine what would have happened if Susan had married Rabadash or the wives of King Frank's sons.


:ymdevil: I don't think that Susan would have married the wives of King Frank's sons. :D But I think that asking what would have happened - logically - if Susan had married Rabadash is quite a good question. Why, exactly, if C.S.Lewis only put in the romances that were necessary, did he have Susan knock back Rabadash? For example, how would it have affected the rest of the series if she hadn't? Does C.S.Lewis infer in any way in HHB or any of the other books that Susan would never marry? Or that she would be turned off the idea of any sort of romance entirely? And if Susan was dabbling with romance in HHB, what do you make of that well known criticism of LB that "Susan was debarred from Narnia heaven because she had discovered romance"?

narnianerd wrote:Prince Caspian was a perfect example of how NOT to play cupid, stupid, immature and totally useless to the plot. If they had done it decently at least then I could appreciate the effort, but it was horribly done.


Er, by that statement, do you mean "Suspian"? I understand from the material included with the DVD of Walden's Prince Caspian, that Andrew Adamson felt that Susan's character in the books suggests she would flirt with Caspian if she had the chance, because that was also part of her character curve. Also, having messed with the Prince Caspian timeline and omitted much of the Narnia romp of the book, it was necessary to find something else for Susan to do besides being the wet blanket who criticised Lucy, in particular. And, if it was inappropriate for Susan to get involved with Prince Caspian romantically, how was it more appropriate for her to get involved at all with Rabadash in HHB, which has never been filmed?

Lilygloves wrote: (I do confess I wrote an alternate ending to the musical Love Never Dies, which in my opinion is a much better ending- but don't tell Andrew Lloyd Webber). The main focus should not be so much to alter what the author wrote, although at times it is necessary, but to expand upon the already existing story. Fan fiction is a great way to express oneself and improve one's writing....


If at any time you did meet Andrew Lloyd Webber, you might ask him why he ended his story the way he did instead of, say, your idea, whatever it was, or living happily ever after, or riding off into the sunset? I'm surprised he even supplied a sequel to Phantom of the Opera, which wasn't lacking in strategic deaths to round it off.

Nevertheless, I agree with you that some fan fiction might be a good way to understand the story as well as improve writing styles. One of my daughters, obliged to study an Australian novel, Criena Rohan's The delinquents, had to write a fan fiction style alternative ending to it as a class project. Is there anything wrong with writing such material when it is for school, or for a competition? Or do such efforts illustrate Ithilien's idea that it truly flatters the author?

Some authors do also write novels etc as commentaries on other literary works. Neil Gaiman, the author of Coraline, wrote a short story called 'The problem of Susan',which can be found in his volume, 'Fragile things', published in 2004. Here the alleged Susan Pevensie briefly revisits her romantic past before the train accident. And I've just finished reading another, similar, sort of literary work, Macbeth and Son, in which Jackie French, the author, explores the stark differences between the historic Macbeth and the Macbeth of Shakespeare's famous play. Ms French even goes to the trouble of including at the end of the book the sort of society Scotland was at that time, the sort of diet they had, the way they lived, their methods of selecting kings and she, herself, supplies within the book, some cogent answers as to why Shakespeare basically lied about this king, however good the play was.

What is your take on this sort of 'fan-fiction'?
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