kindkit: Rupert Giles drinking a mug of tea and reading (Buffy: Giles and tea)
[personal profile] kindkit
1) The first episode of Buffy aired twenty years ago. Buffy was my first fandom, although I didn't start watching until the summer reruns before S7, and didn't connect to the actual fandom until the summer after that. In some ways it's still the greatest fandom experience I've ever had--such excitement and interest, so many smart people writing smart things--and in some ways it was the worst. But fandom changed my life, and I wouldn't have found it without Buffy. Also, the show was, despite some failings, wonderful, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

I feel like I should watch an episode, but I can't decide which one. I've been contemplating a re-watch, so I guess I could start at the beginning . . .


2) I finished the Aubrey/Maturin re-read some time ago, then I re-read most of Jane Austen, and now I've moved on to some new stuff. I can recommend Lyndsay Faye's The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, which is the best professional Holmes pastiche I know of. Faye stays essentially true to the canon, without any of the tedious innovations (Holmes in America! Holmes solve the Ripper murders! Holmes was Jack the Ripper!) that many other writers perpetrate.* The things she brings to the canon are good things, such as a subtle and never preachy concern for the rights of women and the poor and some reasonable attempts at resolving canonical contradictions. What she brings to pastiche is what's so often lacking: emotion. Holmes and Watson's affection for each other is central. My favorite stories are the ones set during and after the Great Hiatus, exploring Watson's grief and then, after Holmes's return, his anger and hurt. There's nothing explicitly queer here, but the stories from Holmes's POV make it abundantly clear, I think, that Holmes is in love with Watson in some fashion beyond friendship. Watson, alas, is shown as even straighter than canon makes him--he's constantly noticing women--but his love for Holmes is deep and enduring.

*She does put Watson in America in one story, set before Holmes and Watson meet. It makes nonsense of Watson's timeline and isn't a great story, but I forgive Faye because the other stories are so good.

Faye is also the author of the excellent Timothy Wilde series, set in New York in the 1840s when a professional police force was developing, and the country was moving inexorably towards civil war. The books are beautifully written in a distinct, fascinating, slangy voice, there's an amazing sense of place and history, and there are canonical queer characters in important roles.

3) Right now I'm reading the late Oliver Sacks's autobiography, On the Move, and enjoying it very much. Things I didn't know about Oliver Sacks: he was gay, he was into motorcycles and bodybuilding as a young man, and he found lasting romantic love for the first time at the age of 75. Cool stuff.


4) I've started doing Duolingo again, on my phone this time, learning German and brushing up my French. I'm trying to read some French every day, which I haven't done for years . . . also on my phone. I never thought I would be someone who would use their phone so much, but it seems I am. Some stuff is just easier that way; I don't know why. I'm staying much more aware of the news, too.

Lest you think it's all SRS BZNS, I admit to spending a lot of time playing Atomas. It's fun and complicated in just the right way for me, because the rules are simple but the nuances are endless. Plus it's completely nonverbal, and since I'm a highly word-focused person, that helps me relax, whereas Scrabble makes me tense.

Date: 2017-03-11 01:43 am (UTC)
vilakins: (books)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
Thanks for the Faye rec! I'm gradually* reading a Holmes book of stories by Donald Thomas and it's slow and hard going, and also breaks my suspension of disbelief by having Watson tell a story from Holmes' POV when he couldn't possibly have got all the (very tedious) details from Holmes.
* Gradually reading because it's my go-to-sleep bedside book.

I've always loved Oliver Sacks's books for their fascinating people and his compassion for and appreciation of them. I'll have to get hold of that one.

Date: 2017-03-11 09:15 pm (UTC)
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
I'll have to track them down somehow. There's one Faye in the little local library (about the ripper, a topic I avoid) and it's not on Kindle. I'll try Kobo next. Books are expensive here and I can't afford to buy to support a big reading habit.

Date: 2017-03-12 07:12 pm (UTC)
halotolerant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halotolerant
Oooh, I really enjoyed the Timothy Wilde books and I don't think I knew there were Holmes pastiches! That sounds very reliably good, must check them out. I've got one of hers which is a Jane Eyre pastiche/parody/spin off called 'Reader I Murdered Him' which I must actually read too, because it's an appealing title!

Gosh, Buffy. I watched it when it started airing in the UK (which was probably about a year after USA at that time) and I was about 12 and I remember being so excited to have a 'teen' show that I could watch, that wasn't just about het romance and cliches. I was deeply, deeply invested in it and it made me so sad that the characters were never happy for more than like 2 episodes at a time before Demon Angst hit again. Oh Whedon.

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