athousandwinds: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fannish5: List your 5 favorite unrequited love stories.

My favourite unrequited love stories tend to end up requited, because my heart can't take it otherwise. I hate love triangles with a passion. Still, let's see:

1. Dean ----> Emily, Emily of New Moon. So Dean is highly disturbing in just about every respect to a modern reader: he was best friends with her father, he first encounters Emily when she's prepubescent and expresses interest in her straight away, he's controlling and goes out of his way to destroy her career ambitions because he wants all of her attention for himself. Daddy-Long-Legs has nothing on Dean. But I do like Dean, and he has the advantage over Teddy in that he manages a strong presence in all three books. This seems to be a theme in L. M. Montgomery's books: the romantic interest is absent for a while - Montreal for choice - which gives the heroine time to realise she loves him. I think the only series where this works really well is Anne, because Gilbert is only out of Anne's sphere for half of Anne of the Island and gets mentioned in every chapter anyway.

Dean is so sad when Emily breaks the engagement. I think that's it.

2. Sebastian ----> Charles, Brideshead Revisited. This is the part of the novel which interests me most - I can't stand Julia and I don't know why. I don't think I'm alone on the former, since I can remember reading critics who say the novel goes downhill after Sebastian and Charles separate (in all fairness, I suspect that I'm thinking of Christopher Hitchens, who would say that). Sebastian excites all my maternal instincts, that's what.

3. Basil ----> Dorian, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Basil is another character who makes me feel protective. I over-empathise with him, because being in unrequited love is bad enough, but being in unrequited love with someone who won't hesitate to use you and throw you away when they're done is ten times worse.

4. Martha ----> Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who. I'm kind of batshit about this one. I wouldn't necessarily count it as my favourite unrequited love story; I have too many issues with it (some of them to do with race and Rose, some of them with the writing). But I ship it. I ship it platonically, too. (Technically, I do that with all of these, but I'm not above quarrelling about this one.)

5. Brienne ----> Jaime, A Song of Ice and Fire. Brienne! Who's so loyal and kind and stalwart, and Jaime, who's...well, he's loyal. Up to a point. (That point would be when his idol sleeps with Lancel, Ser Osmund and Moon Boy, too, for all he knows.) And Jaime's learning to be kind, sometimes, when he feels like it.

My Book-a-Day project has already fallen behind, so I'm reading two today to make up for it. First, The Romanovs by Oliver Thomson )

I also read The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling )

Today, I watched Dickens's Secret Lover )
athousandwinds: (icon by prettypictures)
You know, the 2002 film The Four Feathers...

The book is about a man called Harry Feversham who resigns his commission on the day before his regiment go out to Africa. As a result, three of his friends send him white feathers, minus his best friend, Jack Durrance, who argues that Harry must have reasons besides cowardice. But then Harry's fiancée, Ethne, also gives Harry a white feather, and he resolves to redeem himself and save his reputation by going out to Africa and doing...something brave. That's his main plan. He wants to make them all take back their feathers. Cut a long story short, he does.

In the film, they focused on Harry's experiences in the war in Africa, which was okay, I suppose. I liked that both sides were portrayed as pretty damn horrible, though I really think they should have shown more of the British atrocities if they were going to go that route. And, um, wow, Abou Fatma does a lot for Harry while getting fuck-all in return and they don't ever talk about this. Also, the white friend who gave Harry the feather in the first place seems to be more important to him than the black friend who got tortured for him. That's uneasy, to say the least. (Bearing in mind that this is an improvement on the actual novel, which is about as racially sensitive as Boris Johnson.)

The big thing from the book that they changed, though: the book spends a lot of time focusing on Ethne's journey as a character. You find out what Harry's done when his friends come to see her, and the novel focuses a great deal on how she feels about it and how she changes from the idealistic girl who was disgusted at Harry's cowardice to the mature woman who understands what he's been through. Whereas Kate Hudson's Ethne is hardly in the damn film. And also crap. I think what bothers me most about the change was that Ethne was probably the most complex character in the novel (and again, this is an Edwardian novel, a period where complex female characters were few and far between) and the story was preoccupied with her experiences as a woman left at home in a time of war. It's not something you see much. Of course, it's also very internal and claustrophobic, so I suppose I can see why.

One positive: Durrance/Feversham/Ethne were still OT3. Possibly even more so, because the film's ending is left fairly ambiguous, considering.
athousandwinds: (icon by hyel)
Something that no one seems to get about feminism: it is a thought movement. That is to say, it has a political dimension on which we all agree - universal suffrage, equal pay, equal treatment - but at its core, the feminist movement is about changing the way people think about things through debate and discussion. And one of the advantages - and perils - of being a thought movement is that no one agrees about everything. (What constitutes a feminist work? If it obeys Bechdel's Law? If it passes the Miller Test?) There is no such thing as a hive vagina, as recent events have shown.

tl;dr: when people say "I hate arguing with feminists" "Feminists always take everything so personally", etc. etc. ad nauseam, I want to scream through my teeth and possibly scratch someone's eyes out (a most unlikely event - I bite my nails).

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Angharad

September 2012

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