my failsafe cure for the blues is thinking about things.
yesterday two pieces came across this screen:
hilary mantel on “royal bodies”
another piece on feminism in fantasy, which is starting to get tagged in my mind as stating the bleeding obvious:
on the mantel: it reminds me of the lesson i am learning, and re-learning, every day: that history is a subtle beast. (also, i often use two colons when i’m not awake yet.) that you cannot grasp every nuance, but that there are nuances, thousands of nuances. that nothing is as flat and straightforward as a textbook would claim. that nuance is at once wonderful and a rabbit hole. that i can, if pressed, make a case for just about any presentation i choose to write, because so much of it is nuance and the gaps between, that we must of necessity fill in with our present-day understanding.
i have never been a fan of either series in the bookriot piece, and i am growing tired of these debates about them. it is like peering with a magnifying lens at their respective canvases: oh here is a little bit that’s a good depiction of women, oh here is a little bit that isn’t. i have only read the first in each series, but considering how many debates i have seen about these two i feel like i have read them all. (which is not the same as claiming to have read them all, only that i feel as exhausted as if i had slogged through several volumes of each.) if there’s no there there, then let’s move on and write better things.
but for ****’s sake, don’t use history as an excuse, in either direction. “history told me to.” yes the past was a violent place. the present is a violent place. how you shape that violence is your call. there is little in history that is as definitive as the spine of richard iii, but there is a lot of nuance, which is a malleable substance. admit your choices.