greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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Shells for Ships, Dead Horses, La Mer

Since I mentioned it this morning, here's the clip Spooky shot yesterday of me experimenting with the buoyancy of clam shells, filmed near Moonstone, on the stream connecting Trustom and Card ponds.

Clamshell Boat, Riding the Current from Kathryn Pollnac on Vimeo.

It's starting to look as though my shadow is destined to get a lot more screen time than I ever will. Which is probably for the best. If you listen, you can hear the foghorn at Pt. Judith, almost five miles southeast of Moonstone Beach.

I'm still mulling over the whole silly "Mary Sue" thing. And yes, I still find it a painfully silly and generally useless concept. Though, I think there's something more insidious here. The idea that characters must be mundane to be believable, and a sort of elevation of the ordinary, that I find undeniably repugnant. Great literature is most often about extraordinary people, even when it purports to concern itself primarily with the "common man" (consider Tom Joad in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, for example). The whole idea of this sort of character police, it makes my skin crawl. We are good writers, or we are not, whether we are professional or amateur, whether we write fantasy or sf or genre mysteries or what so many mistakenly refer to as "literary" fiction (a grand redundancy). There is no place for dismissive categories like "Mary Sue." I see why it's happened. I even see why it's being applied beyond fanfic. Sure, I can understand the appeal of dismissing Stephanie Meyer or Laurell K. Hailton's distasteful and absurd heroines by simply labeling them "Mary Sues." They are undoubtedly idealized avatars in the service of the authors. But if we do that, given the inherent subjectivity of the concept, we must, wholesale, also dismiss thousands of other characters who have the same relationship to their authors. People are trying to invent a very simple solution for a problem that has no simple solution. And it's just dumb. I keep coming back to that, and I can't fathom why I'm wasting so much energy on such a completely reprobate idea. That which irks me gets my attention, more than it usually deserves. And, for the record, I do not, necessarily, have any problem with fanfic. But I've said that lots of times before.


I'm currently obsessed with NIN's "La Mer," from The Fragile (1999). Here are the original French Creole lyrics, which are spoken on the album by Denise Milfort:

Et il est un jour arrivé
Marteler le ciel
Et marteler la mer

Et la mer avait embrassé moi
Et la délivré moi de ma cellule

Rien ne peut m'arrêter maintenant

Which may be translated into English as:

And when the day arrives
I'll become the sky
And I'll become the sea

And the sea will come to kiss me
For I am going

Nothing can stop me now

Or, somewhat more literally:

And the day has arrived
To thresh the sky
And to thresh the sea

And the sea has embraced me
And it has dispensed me from my cage

Nothing can stop me now
Tags: characterization, fan fic, music, nin, the sea, writing
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