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[personal profile] reenka
You know, before I spent too long in fandom, I had squicks. Now I just have preferences and a whole lot of pet-peeves, where it's just that you'd have to work harder to please me if I've a peeve about it. Like, y'know, I remember in the good old days, where Kirk/Spock sex pretty much squicked me, even if I liked the idea of the pairing a lot; I couldn't get over my adolescent vision of them. I remember when Ron/Draco and Snape/Draco and even Harry/Hermione seemed Deeply Wrong... and now I just don't prefer them. I remember when H/D was the alpha and omega of my fannish universe and I had all these ideas about how it 'should' and 'shouldn't' be done (and okay, I still have those), but I've become quite lax about thumping my chest and hyperventilating, alas.

Anyway, I meant to talk about a specific comment in this Wincest squick post, but it also made me think a bit, 'cause yeah, the sheer prevalence of that reading of a show's canon bothers me a bit-- though that's my 'canon, bitches!' thing, not any anti-incest squick, exactly; actually, I don't think I've ever had a 'traditional' squick in the sense that it's based on my real-life beliefs (I mean, I tend to like characters in fiction I'd probably clobber in real life, for a start). Like, if it's well-written, anything challenging or transgressive can only make the story more interesting, as far as I'm concerned; for examples, look to the many instances of incest in classic literature and also some of the best genre lit of today (okay, mainly Song of Ice and Fire). I cannot imagine seriously reading something good and then stopping and going, 'but this is WRONG, HOW COULD THIS BE??! NOOOoooo'. If I really felt like that, I mean, I wouldn't have graduated from books for toddlers, because isn't there always something unpleasant and 'wrong' and unfair even in (good and/or classic) children's books?

    (Btw, this is where some of my friends woujd just say I'm not a critical enough reader, so I clearly suck. Hehe. Because yeah, while I was careful to say 'well-written' and 'good' stories, the truth is I also suspend a lot of judgment/personal issues/disbelief when reading stuff I just... like a lot for whatever reason. I wouldn't call it a 'kink'; like, I don't have a 'kink' for HP canon, y'know? Most of the time the only reason I'm critical is when I either really love something or really hate it, usually because of aesthetic/story-construction reasons. This mostly applies to stuff that's really bad. How do I explain it. It applies to purple-prosey fantasy books with ass-stupid names & the majority of post-OoTP fanfic I read, hahaha; it very rarely applies to content, in other words, and only to execution-- the big exception being OOCness in fic and stuff I find relentlessly bleak. Because I'm a huge romantic dork. But I try to keep that under control. :P So yeah, it's a personality issue, basically, and one I can't really do anything about, so nyah.)

In any case, I'm veeeery touchy about actually projecting slashiness on any canon... and in fact I can't think of any where I would do so with all honesty. There's liminal cases like Star Trek, The Sentinel and Gundam Wing, but I wouldn't go so far as to explain anything that happened with the characters through that lens. It's just subtext, take it or leave it.

Aaanyway. It's funny because I have the exact opposite reaction-- usually if something squicks me in text/theory, it squicks me less in a visual representation, because I'm more of an aesthete-- I always look at art as an 'art piece' first and a 'statement' second; in other words, I can easily disengage any moral/ethical/other biases and just enjoy the pretty because pretty is what matters with visual media to me. This is why I have no hard pairing preference with fanart, for instance, and why I tolerate and enjoy extreme cheesiness in fanvids of the sort that'd make me run screaming from a fic.
    Coincidentally, it's also why the 6A/LJ wank sticks in my craw like mad. It's really the art-critique aspect that drives me mad, the double-standard where fanfic is okay but fanart isn't-- fanart needs to be judged by outsiders who don't have the first clue what they're looking at. That just drives me mad. Visual art just... the idea of judging it in such pedestrian terms without even realizing that's what you're doing-- it makes my blood boil.

Regardless, I meant to just quote [ profile] harriet_spy's comment:
    To be honest, there's no way you can take a dynamic that hinges even a little bit on transgressiveness, have ten thousand squeeing fangirls stampede over it, and have anything left but flatness.

I just thought that was really... very true. And it really applies to some of my favorite pairings (*cough!*) rather than just Wincest. It's not that I hate fluff... it's that I'm just so bored & frustrated by the sheer glut of narratives that make the transgressive and raw as acceptable and 'easy' as possible. Actually, the reason I wouldn't ship Wincest is probably because you can't reasonably expect it to be remotely healthy or resolvable in any positive way-- and I'm still a romantic. It's kinda figures that the incest is intinsically everyone's problem, but yeah. This definitely reminds of the sheer flatness I felt before I stopped reading H/D altogether; this sense that the pairing has become... completely predictable and 'easy' (in fandom, not in canon). I can't really think of a transgressive pairing that actually consistently captured its own problematic areas... which is why I'm really way too wary to read S/L, but oh well.

Date: 2007-08-23 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
they were wrong about Harry now -having- to see Draco differently

Well, they weren't exactly. Whatever position you had on that theory back then, I feel shouldn't theoretically change now, meaning nothing in canon has happened that's relevant to its validity. I mean, obviously it wasn't part of JKR's vision, but fanfic (and post-OOTP you did agree with this, right?) isn't about the canon author's vision.

I mean, if your drive to fic disappear when you see your vision and the author's diverge, that's a totally different matter, because that's a private matter, but the theory per se wasn't wrong. It resonates even more strongly with me now that I know what the canon is about, not just for Draco but for what he can be made to represent/can be connected wtr the whole narrative. And that's both the end point of a critical reading *and* an emotional reaction -- it's not just about being critical/rational :P I'm not being combative, but I wanted to ask if you do still have emotional reactions in that direction. I mean, we call them "subversive" but that's just one way to name them that I'm afraid make you uncomfortable with fandom politics around the word.

Date: 2007-08-23 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hm, well, my combativeness/overall resentment post-HBP was because people were saying that was now going to be part of 'JKR's vision', so it wasn't 'just about fanfic'. People were all excited post-HBP because suddenly it seemed like the fanon vision of Harry & Draco and the canon were close to being on parallel trajectories. People were talking about Harry & Draco in the 7 year, the future, without specifying whether it was canon or fanon they were discussing. There was a general optimism in that sense, with people thinking that now things had to change, now Draco was going to get his own narrative-- the ground for the disappointment later. It's the expectation you say you never had for Draco, but others did-- that's what I was reacting to here, not the theory itself.

And who knows, I guess-- maybe my memories are now skewed and biased. Seems likely enough. But that's what I remember. It's actually that my drive weakened from too much convergence in HBP, not too much divergence; it was because DH stepped away from the slashy 'issues' and territory that it felt like a relief, was kinda rejuvenating. The more canon diverges and seems hopeless yet charged-- the more there are unresolved issues-- the more inspired I am to write. If canon resolves issues but in a way I didn't quite want while also retaining enough of what I want to have treaded 'my' ground-- that's when I have difficulty; which sounds like I prefer to subvert, in a way, doesn't it :> I like to have my breathing room, my space between canon & fanon, and the tension between them.

I agree, actually, that it's more resonant (for me too) now that I know canon went in a totally different direction-- ie, now that I see the blank spaces much more clearly. To me, those blank spaces are interesting and important, just not in an emotive/shippy way, necessarily (meaning, we may see much the same landscape-- as usual-- and just respond differently 'cause you're more focused on those spaces and possibilities as motivators whereas I'm always waiting for the passion to strike). Harry's emotional arc did complete in DH, or at least he's nowhere near being at a hair trigger. Draco's emotional arc totally diverged from Harry (though it's interesting to me). Perhaps it's about emotional reactions to different sorts of stimuli?? heh.

Do I still care about...? The theory, about Harry's seeing Draco differently? Of course. It's more difficult because in a way there's been a sort of peace already made (ie, some treading of my ground) because he did 'accept' Draco on some level I think by rescuing him, etc. I'm not sure. They're at different places now, emotionally; they're not the lost teenage boys in the middle of a confusing tableau of a war that's too big for them and shoes they don't know how to fill. All those choices of Draco's and Harry's that I wanted each other to influence-- those choices are largely made & the war is pretty much over, so there's only the fall-out. The issues seem fundamentally different in some ways, the same in others; perhaps what's different is the catalysts-- those aren't the same simply because events happened, the crucible came and went, Harry confronted his demon, so to speak, and literally came out the Other Side. A lot is different in terms of overall larger context that makes it difficult to see the old ideal the same way, but.

I mean, of course. In a way, this is unchangeable and constant-- of course I want them to see each other truly. Not even in a shippy way; and I was never that into The War anyway. I'd love to read a Harry+Draco gen fic where they just talk and figure more things out; it's not like Harry's 'enlightened' now; there's the fall-out to deal with, to get to the point of the nod & him naming his child Albus Severus, that I feel wasn't shown post-pensieve, so. It's not necessarily 'H/D' to me, if that makes sense. I dunno. In some way I think Harry sees Draco differently, but I dunno about 'truly'. There would have to be whole new catalysts & a big plot arc, though. I dunno if it inspires me, but I do think there's room for others to work with it...? I really like the wand thing, and the idea of them going on a quest together, stupid/unlikely as it is :))


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