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02 June 2004 @ 09:13 pm
Slashy Nominations 48: Slashing the Classics  
As it turns out, really good slash based on classic works can bring the text alive and make you think about it new and interesting ways. (As opposed to in ways that are likely to lead to a thesis, at least three supporting points, and a conclusion, which is all too often how I find myself thinking about classics.) So read on, and prepare to see some old familiar stories in a slightly different light.

Best FF Featuring False Teeth: The Exquisite Yellow Ponies of Insomnia, by norah. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Jose Arcadio Buendia/Melquiades. This story is just right; for me, at least, it blends perfectly with the canon - the characters, the plot, the overall tone of the novel. In fact, that's something that can be said of all four of these stories. With some slash, it's pretty clear that the author is reaching, fabricating, doing things with the characters that they themselves would not do. And I like that sort of slash. Well, I mean, obviously, given some of my past nominations. But today's stories make so much sense that it's like the FF authors are simply pointing out something that the canon authors also knew but chose not to mention. And in this case, what norah is telling us is that there was something, um, slightly unusual about Jose Arcadio Buendia's relationship with Melquiades. And something even more unusual about Melquiades' relationship with Buendia.

Best FF That Teaches Us the Important Lesson That We Should Always Try to Get a Good Look at Our Lovers Before We Have Sex with Them: Enough to Make a Cat Laugh, by Gloria Mundi, viva_gloria. Fairytale, Dick Whittington/Puss-in-Boots. Those of you who have seen Shrek 2 may have a slightly easier time picturing this pairing, because that movie contains the most obviously bisexual - no, omnisexual - Puss-in-Boots, or cat of any kind, that I've ever encountered. (In fact, the most omnisexual character I've encountered in a movie since Jack Sparrow.) Antonio Banderas's voice work may have had something to do with that. In any case, if your stomach is churning at the mere thought of this pairing, well, I don't blame you. Mine did. But Gloria makes it work without a single squick; she makes it work so well, in fact, that she's completely changed the way I see these characters. Let me put it this way: I read this story just to prove to myself that I'd hate it, and I loved it anyway. Trust me. Or, more to the point, trust Gloria. And go read the thing.

Best FF That Makes Me Sincerely Sorry for a Character I Once Despised: Lean and Hungry, by copperbadge. Julius Caesar, Brutus/Cassius. If your jaw doesn't hit the floor when you read this, check your pulse: you may be dead. It's that good. For me, this totally made up for the time I invested in reading the play (as it turns out, I do not so much love Shakespeare's histories), but I think you could read this without reading the canon as long as you know the basic plot. (If you don't, check your planet of residence: you may be on Mars. Or even further away from my world. Which is, for the record, Earth.) This, for me, is the relationship between Cassius and Brutus forevermore. And, really, I can't imagine that Shakespeare would disapprove, or even be surprised.

Best FF That Raises Some Truly Challenging Questions of Guest Etiquette: Sweetly and Steadily, by Torch, flambeau. Arthurian legend, Gawain/Bercilak. Again, I'm fairly sure you don't need to know the canon to read this, although, really, you probably should read one of the many variations on the Arthurian theme; it's a goldmine for fans of slashy subtext. Depending on your level of familiarity with various translations and interpretations of Arthurian legend, you might feel a little weird about the modern, colloquial speech patterns of the characters in this story. If you do, read through it; it will eventually start to work for you. And as for the challenging questions of etiquette - well, let me say that I have no idea what I'd do in Gawain's situation at Haut Desert. And I don't think Emily Post would've been able to come up with a good suggestion, either.
viva_gloria on June 3rd, 2004 02:24 am (UTC)
*swoons and blushes again* Truly you will go to my Head. Believe it or not, I hadn't even seen the trailer when Enough To Make a Cat Laugh occurred to me -- and still haven't seen the film (UK release is 2nd July). It's all guede_mazaka's fault for alerting me to the Banderas-voice.

Have just had a text message from a friend telling me that feline genitalia are pointed. Suspect she has missed the point.

::off to glean new fics in strange fandoms::
guede_mazaka on June 3rd, 2004 02:54 pm (UTC)
Lemme tell me about the 7th grade trip to the zoo and the Asian elephants in mating heat sometime--now that was damn impressive.

And torch's fic? Rocks my world. Her Vampire Chronicles spec fic is so much better than Anne Rice's writing that it makes me want to slaughter some publishing houses.
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 3rd, 2004 04:23 pm (UTC)
Well, I have seen the movie - never did see the trailer, though - and trust me on this: that is the swishiest damn feline in existence. He's a striped, furry, Spanish-speaking version of Jack Sparrow. And I do think people who have seen the movie will be able to swallow your fic with less difficulty.

I found myself seriously wishing the whole movie was about P-i-B, actually. Because, you know, ogres? Seen 'em, and am somewhat tired of the whole inexplicable-accent thing. Smart-ass talking animal voiced by Eddie Murphy? Seen way too many of 'em, thanks. Swashbuckling, be-booted and be-hatted felines with cushy Spanish accents and remarkably florid gestures? New to me. And there just wasn't enough of that.

I'm sad to report that I didn't actually realize it was Banderas's voice until the credits. (I also did not realize Prince Charming (he of the blond mullett, let me add) was voiced by Rupert Everett. I laughed so hard when I saw that that I impeded the timely exit of other patrons.)

And, hey, if you're looking for strange fandoms, do I have some suggestions for you. (I realized a few weeks ago that I had finally reached Slash Saturation: I see slash potential in everything now. My poor Best Beloved, who doesn't even read slash outside of this LJ, is in the same boat. These days, we quite often find ourselves exchanging Meaningful Looks and suppressing chortles when no one else in the, for example, theater is laughing. And we totally disgraced ourselves at dinner the other night, eavesdropping on the exceedingly loud-'n'-subtextual conversation of the diners near us. I will surely go to hell for what I've done to Best Beloved, formerly an innocent and trusting soul, but I was headed there anyway, so I'm not all that sad.)