Friday, March 26, 2010

Chapter 13 - In which Naria still hates her essays and slash-fiction fangirls will squee

This post is dedicated to my favourite yaoi-girls! ;D Oh, come on! You know who you are!!

The essay that is presently bogging me down is for the subject called English Literature and Folklore. Now, don't get me wrong: the class itself is fascinating! I wouldn't have chosen it if it weren't! We are studying Medieval literature and how folklore and folktales are included in said literature. It's fascinating what people believed back in the Middle Ages and how much of it transpired into their literature... And it's not just stories about King Arthur and Merlin either! You've got giants (in Ireland), fairy mistresses and lovers, journeys to the fairy otherworld, outwitting of magical foes, and many nonsensical references to how Britain and the ancestry of British monarchs is somehow descended from Troy... (I still don't understand how the Old Kings of England thought it made them more noble and honourable to be descended from Troy, when the Trojans are the morons who were gullible enough to let the horse in... oh, and when Trojan royalty was dumb enough to think they could get away with kidnapping another king's wife!)

Anyhoots. So the class is AWESOME. It's really interesting and very inspiring to someone like myself who loves Medieval lit and folktales... however...
the readings suck.
No, seriously, they SUCK!!
I said so in the previous post. On a literary aspect, when one looks at the style of writing, it's really, really bad!! The stories are interesting, but they are just not readable.
Right now, I am reading The Mabinogion. This book includes the four branches of the Mabinogi as well as a few other stories from Wales. Yes, I am reading Medieval Welsh literature. Of course, it's translated, because I can't think of anyone who's fluent in Old Welsh anymore. Even the Medievalists of McGill can't read the language fluently, though, to their credit, they can pronounce the tongue-twister weird-ass names really well! They can even understand scraps of Old English, Old Welsh and Old Irish... but, let's face it, no one really speaks any of these three...

Now, for my essay, I am focussing on the third branch of the Mabinogi. Here's an example of how badly written the thing is. What follows is a rape scene:
But that night, Gwydion son of Don and Gwilfaethwy his brother returned to Caer Dathyl. And in the bed of Math son of Mathonwy, Gilfaethwy and Goewin daughter of Pebin were put to sleep together, and her maidens were forced out violently, and she was taken against her will that night.
I guess that censorship isn't really required here, is it? The girl isn't even upset about the rape the next morning. She's more freaked out by the fact that now she has shamed her lord than by the fact that she was raped... I mean, seriously???!! This was the rape scene?! Even the state of Michigan would rate it "G" for "general" - this text could go into a family movie an no one would know the difference!

And now I'm getting to the slash... Yaoi-fans attention!
So, the two brothers from the paragraph I quoted earlier raped the girl. Okay, you follow me so far? Check. Now, mister angry husband comes in, and he happens to know magic. So he decides to punish the brothers...
The king turns the two brothers into animals, one into a male and the other into a female and he orders them to reproduce. The year after, he changes them into the oposite sex, the brother who was female becomes male and vice versa. And they MUST reproduce again!! And this was written in the 12th century!!
Now, I don't really understand what you slash fangirls really enjoy about some boy-on-boy (especially because gay men are just not interested in women - ergo: a complete waste!), but I have come to understand that incest between brothers is rather popular in fiction these days... Turns out, it was in the past as well, lol.
Oh, and the funniest thing? When, after 3 years, the brothers are turned back into humans, they immediately forgive angry husband man, even though he forced them to live like animals and reproduce... they must have had a hell of a good time then, eh? ;-D

Okay, I've ranted enough... I've probably traumatized my mum...

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