May 20th, 2010


A question for my US friends.

I'm currently reading a modern detective novel set in Maine, and there's a reference to the Poor Farm. We had those here -- they were abolished in the early 20th century -- so I know what they are. But the book implies that this poor farm is still active in the 21st century. Is that really so, please? (My googling suggests that they mostly vanished in the US the same time as they did here, with some lasting into the 1950s).
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Cold Aramis

I've been thinking about characters and how we become invested in them -- and, indeed, how we become invested in other people's characters. On some level, it makes sense that I'm invested in Gracielis and Thiercelin and Jehan and Aude and Owain. They started out in my head. It is a delightful surprise when people not in my head like them too.
But I also invest hugely in other people's characters. I care about them, I want to spend time with them, I want to see them succeed and grow. Most of the time, this stays within sensible bounds, but every once in a while the irrational button goes off and that weird little inner voice says 'mine!'
I am all about Aramis. Those of you who've known me a while will know this. Aramis is my ur-hero, my archetype, my perfect fantasy. If Aramis is in it, I will read it (or watch it), even though I know that the only true fix will come from reading about him in the works of Dumas. I am possessive of him: when another person mentions investment in him, I can feel myself bristle. My Aramis (my> marquis!>). It's crazy. This is someone else's creation, built on a minor figure from French history about whom we know almost nothing. I don't want to share him. There is currently a series of mysteries featuring the Musketeers which I buy and read religiously even though the writer -- in my head -- has my Aramis all wrong. In my head, I know he's not mine, he's a character everyone can read about and think about. My adult self knows to play nicely, and is delighted when someone writes something or films something where they have him right (for my value of right). My child self wants to hang on to her things.
I'm not the only person who does this, I suspect. We can become extraordinarily attached to characters and react very badly when something happens to them, even in canon, that hurts them. In my head are various other places where certain characters did not die, did not leave, did not make choice X. This love for the fictional, this engagement, is clearly something we can all do. There is something about Aramis that just works for me, that resonates with me, that works with the way I work, something archetypical, perhaps, that slight, dark, dangerous thing.
So, here's my question: do you do this too? And why?
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    curious curious
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New words: 645
First new line: His eyes narrowed as his attention turned once again to Owain.

Chapter 2 finished and chapter 3 started: the king of Ceredigion is about to arrive. Owain is worried about what to tell the king, the king is very annoyed, and the abbot is smug. Gif is feeling left out.

Stopped short as my neck started hurting, and I had to switch to Dragon naturally Speaking, with which I'm still not fully adept. It's learning the Welsh names very fast, though, which is impressive and I am getting faster. It's a good programme and I should learn to be more comfortable with it, as it is better for my shoulders.

Also had a very pleasant afternoon sitting in the garden, and inflicted an Indian film buddy song on woolymonkey. Have eaten too many crisps, but I can do penance later, I guess.

Skirt of the day: silk patchwork.