The weather today is warm and damp, with more rain on the way.
readingthedark arrived early in the evening, and the three of us had dinner at Trinity Brew House. I had a very raw hamburger, a thing I was greatly desiring. Back home, there was an hour or so of conversation. Not nearly enough. But sex and tentacles, that came up, the octopoid bauplan as an eight-penised vagina, something of the sort. Prehensile penes, at that. But also cats, shaved heads, energy drinks, open sims, polygon mesh vertices, and book trailers.
I wasn't able to get to sleep until after five-fifteen ayem. The sky was going grey and lavender.
Back on the 7th, both hollyblack and matociquala wrote rather good entries on the "Mary Sue" problem. The misapplication of the term to fiction that isn't fanfic, and other deeper problems with a very problematic phrase and a concept fraught with problems. You can read Holly's post here, and Elizabeth's here. I found myself agreeing with most of what was said in both, which was hardly a surprise.
My only significant quibble would be with Holly's list of what is used to identify a "Mary Sue." Read it for yourself (don't be a lazy bastard), but it basically comes down to one word that repeatedly appears in her list: unrelatable. For example:
The reviewer believes that the female protagonist of the novel is so perfect as to be unrelatable.
The difficulty I have here may only be one of personal habit and preference. I don't see fiction as something I do expecting people to relate to any character. I only expect readers to read and consider and experience the story, to have individual reactions to the various characters, and to draw whatever conclusions they may. I'm most emphatically not doing something in order for people who don't write stories to project themselves onto. So, to me, whether or not a reader can relate is immaterial. I don't see the ability to relate to a character as a prerequisite for, say, sympathizing or empathizing with a character. Otherwise, yep. Brilliant posts, and thank you.
Oh, this bit from matociquala, which was basically a quick summation of Holly's quote for those too lazy to follow a link: "It's frankly misogynistic to identify a competent female protagonist as a 'Mary Sue' because she's at the center of her story. She's at the center of her story because she's the goddamn protagonist."
For my part, I continue to maintain the term will never have any authentic utility beyond fanfic, and even then...okay, not going to beat dead horses today. It only attracts flies.
A Bit Player,