toujours_nigel: BFT (Default) came out in support with gorgeous vintage photos. yum.

Go here for the article.


Oct. 26th, 2013 10:04 am
toujours_nigel: Michael from Mike Carey's Lucifer (christianity)

Just read Hopkins' Carrion Comfort, after a gap of about six years. We were taught him in undergrad, and very briefly at that. His homosexuality was mentioned in passing, and while I thought at the time that it could be used to examine his various conflicts, Hopkins himself constituted a very small and often confusing part of our syllabus and I didn't pay him much attention. Six years later, I can see that his romantic leanings needn't play much part in his overall emotional turmoil: there are several other things he did that must have been cause enough, not least of which were conversion to Catholicism and depression.

But then I look at Carrion Comfort, and I think, gods but how well it must have spoken to countless queer people, especially religious ones who felt conflicted about their sexuality. Carrion Comfort, the text of which I'm reproducing below, was published in 1918. I cannot stop thinking, just now, of a younger Dave reading it, despite the vast differences in religion. Or even of passing the first edition to Andrew, to lie beside Phaedrus. I'm not sure whether it would have helped, but here was a young man, passionately in love, who fought his nature into submission and emerged closer to God.

(Carrion Comfort)

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

A compelling text, that. And in fact the whole business where he falls for Dolben, a boy some years his junior and his mentor/confessor forbad any contact except through letters and that Dolben dies tragically young and emerges this muse Hopkins loves with a deeply Tennysonian yearning... it hasn't any direct parallels to TC, maybe, but it makes me think very much of Laurie, Andrew and Dave.
toujours_nigel: (writer)
The [ profile] lgbtfest is up and running, and it's where I'll spend a lot of my fic-reading hours, for the next weeks. I love this fest, I wait for it every year, I've been reading from the beginning, and I wrote two stories last year, and will be putting up one this year as well. I flatter myself that my stories aren't half bad, though perhaps they are, and certainly they aren't anywhere near as brilliant as some of the fic that comes out of this fest. Which is all to the good, which means I can wallow in great fic, and save them to my hard-drive and bookmark them, and send links to everyone online.

The [ profile] lgbtfest is a huge deal for me, always. I came into fandom at thirteen, though at the time I only read, and wrote stories in my diary to show my friends. My first proper fic was Sirius/Lily, but that didn't last, it became Sirius/Remus, then Sirius/James in huge, drawn-out rp with my classmates, crouched on a bed one vacation, talking, talking, making them the masks we could don to sort out our own problems. My ex was one of the people I played with, and we were Padfoot and Prongs before we were actually a couple, and even during, and even now it's easier to think of Padfoot than to think of G. It isn't that I transferred my life to the characters, not that, never that, my life is too boring and I like story-weaving far too much. But it helped, certainly, especially since I was so sure that Sirius was queer, and not even really trying to pass, but passing simply because he wasn't obviously gay: he wasn't effeminate, he didn't swish.

It was a big deal, the way Willow was this amazing person to me, because she was a geek, and she read, and she was a witch, and she had a girlfriend. It was a big fuckling deal, because seven, eight, ten years ago, when I was groping towards a knowledge of myself, there were no role-models, there were no Bollywood movies that included queer characters, not even just for a laugh, and I wasn't old enough to read queer literature, not yet, not then. I bought and read the Iliad when I was twelve years old, and that was another of my fallbacks. My kid sister's growing up in a culture that's grown, if not tolerant of, at least with the idea of homosexuality, and I am happy that she has, that she can name, if pushed, so many 'real' people who are queer, where I had books with oblique references. If you can't fix it, to quote Ennis del Mar, you gotta bear it, and I've borne it silently, all this while, though there’s something wrong with Caliban. Is it her shape? Is it her size?

I'd always thought I wanted to be the hero, and rescue the princess, but my queer rolemodels are Hephaistion and Patroklos, and my female rolemodels are Clytemnestra and Pramila and Draupadi and Medea. I love strong women, but I've not really read much or any lesbian lit, which is sad, and my fault, sure, but I'm a slasher, and pretty boys go well with pretty boys, and writing women together would be cutting too close to the bone. My [ profile] lgbtfest story this year was going to be a Padma Patil story, but ended up being about Blaise Zabini, who I love, certainly, but who's male and black and British, and writing whom does not involve cutting pieces out of my self, which writing Padma apparently does.

But all of this sounds too drear, and that's stupid, really, because the [ profile] lgbtfest always fills me with this low-level joy, because this is about me, and people like me, and people unlike me who I can still connect with and think of an analogue to, and though I know 'real' people who are queer, for me the best people are people in books and films, still and always, and my friend Zephyrus will never fill me with the same glee that Ralph Ross Lanyon or Izzie&Ruth or even Bunny or Clive will, simply by the very fact of existing, of being in print, and reel, and on my computer and on the silver-screen. I've been reading A Song of Ice and Fire, and I was angry, at first, that Renly/Loras was being brushed under the carpet where Jaime/Cersei was not, but then I realised that Ned/Catelyn was being as easily (dis)regarded, and nobody was paying much attention to the gay couple because it was normal, and then I was practically jumping around, I was so happy.

And that's what the [ profile] lgbtfest happiness is, that someone wrote queer characters, (or didn't write queer characters) and fen care enough about them to craft stories for them that are real, and hard-hitting, and wonderful, and despairing, and reduce me to tears and hysterics and unreasoned laughter. Thank you.

toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)
What jati are Patils? Maharashtrians?

Also, what is Mr. Patil's father's sister to Padma and Parvati.

This question brought to you by Rhea's brain which has decided to abandon her [ profile] aubigbang story in favour of [ profile] lgbtfest . All answers greatly appreciated, thank you.


Mar. 19th, 2010 10:43 am
toujours_nigel: (writer)
The [ profile] lgbtfest is up and running. I'm rather irrationally happy about it.

My prompts are here, and here.

Are you guys playing?

toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)
to this post. Apparently (you might be able to read code, I can't) the gender specification-thing has been pushed back. So, a cautious yay.
toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)
So, now you can't be on lj if you don't identify as male or female. tata, gender ambiguity. And why? So they can litter your pages with better ads. Sheeesh.

In the interests of full disclosure, I have 'female' selected. Whatever. I identify as female. Doesn't make me better. Doesn't do a single damn thing, really, other than get me pelted with diet and dating advertisements. Four years ago, I'd have picked unspecified. Five, I'd prolly have picked male.

Ironically, I'm half-way through an essay/article/whatever about how cool it is that you can construct your own identity online. Way to fuck that up, lj.

Anyway, constructive things. Set your gender to unspecified, if you'd rather. Head on over here for more and better info. Send lj feedback.

I have one Dreamwidth invite left, so, if you want, drop me a line.
toujours_nigel: (omgewwww)
Of course I'd find this today. This post was going to be a random and rambling discussion on The Charioteer and Maurice and how the 'ideal' lover in both rejects the idea of sex, and how odd it is to unironically call Renault comparitively explicit, but, as is, please go kill her? She thinks homosexuals didn't exist 100 years ago, *sigh*

Please? Thanks. She just ruined my entire fannishness about Alexander. My life is a lie. How will I surviiive?


toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)

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