maddington (maddington) wrote,
maddington
maddington

yuletide letter

Dear (dear, dear) Writer,

Holy shit! I'm so excited to be doing Yuletide! It's my first year! Thank you so, so much for whatever you offered to write, because I have actually never seen fic online for any of these fandoms. So let me say this first and foremost: I will be happy with anything. Seriously. I really mean this. The excitement of reading anything at all based on any of the things I have requested is almost too much to deal with. So if you've already got an idea, absolutely feel free to run with it. However! If you want some inspiration, here are a few things I like in general, and things I like about these fandoms in particular. Use them - or don't - at your discretion.

I'll read anything, from gen fluff to dark NC17. No triggers or areas to avoid. I like, but don't necessarily need: unrequited love or unequally-weighted affections; people not knowing how to deal with their emotions; repression; friendships that stretch back into the past; masochism and submissiveness; domesticity; injokes; fights in place of feelings; co-dependence. And, oh, I don't know, everything.


Literary RPF
So! Isherwood and Auden! I ship these two pretty intensely, and slash would be lovely, but their platonic friendship is equally important to me. Describing Auden leaving for the Spanish civil war, Isherwood sums up everything I love about them pretty succintly himself in Christopher And His Kind:

Christopher could never have done alone what Wystan was doing. He was too timid to have taken such a step independently. Would he have gone to Spain with Wystan, if it hadn't been for Heinz? I think he would, despite his timidity, because he could have found no other good enough excuse for staying behind. As things were, he didn't feel guilty about this, only regretful for what he was missing.

Christopher wasn't seriously afraid that Wystan would be killed in battle. The government would probably insist on his making propaganda for them, rather than fighting. Still, Byron and Brooke had died by disease, not weapons, and a war-zone is full of potential accidents.

This was a solemn parting, despite all their jokes. It made them aware how absolutely each relied on the other's continuing to exist.

Their friendship was rooted in schoolboy memories and the mood of its sexuality was adolescent. They had been going to bed together, unromantically but with much pleasure, for the past ten years, whenever an opportunity offered itself, as it did now. They couldn't think of themselves as lovers, yet sex had given their friendship an extra dimension. They were conscious of this and it embarrassed them slightly — that is to say, the sophisticated adult friends were embarrassed by the schoolboy sex partners. This may be why they made fun, in private and in print, of each other's physical appearance; Wystan's 'stumpy immature fingers' and 'small pale eyes screwed painfully together'; Christopher's 'squat' body and 'enormous' nose and head. The adults were trying to dismiss the schoolboys' sex-making as unimportant. It was of profound importance. It made the relationship unique for both of them.

On January 13, Christopher saw Wystan off on the train. Wystan had a bad cold but was otherwise cheerful. His only anxiety was about his luggage, which had been sent ahead, by mistake, to the Franco-Spanish frontier. He was afraid that it was lost forever. Luckily, he was wrong.

I almost don't know what to add to that. I happily follow the school of thought that suggests that Auden was probably unrequitedly in love with Isherwood around the Berlin era; the overlap of their very close friendship, their offically non-romantic sexual relationship, and Auden's possible romantic attachment is really interesting. I like that Auden is brittle and terse and sarcastic and became the better-known of the two but sort of looked up to Isherwood as a mentor; I like that Isherwood is a bit of a paradox, both the wide-eyed English traveller and rather blasé, promiscuous, and unshockable. I just really love them both. Do with them what you will.

If we didn't match on this but maybe you hit a block on the fandom we did match on, or - well, if for whatever reason you're considering writing this but without much prior knowledge - it's worth watching the recent BBC adaptation of Christopher And His Kind! There are download links all over the internet for this; here is one. There's not a huge amount of Auden in it but what there is is excellent. I'd be happy with fic based purely on this adaptation!


The Pride
Oliver: It's a history of sorts.
Philip: Yes.
Oliver: You and I...
Philip: What about us?
Oliver: We have a history of sorts.


So I love this play to pieces and I don't even have time to go into that here. I can't pick favourites in terms of the 1958 or the 2008 characters, so feel free to run with either or both. In 1958, I love the repression, the stiltedness of conversation, Oliver's quiet self-knowledge and Philip's outward composure versus his inner turmoil. The build-up of tension and restraint until it rips out in short, sharp, irrepresible bursts of emotion or physicality. How did Oliver and Philip's affair begin? Who instigated it? How did it end? Does it end? How did Philip cope with his therapy? In 2008, I love the brutal reality of it all; Oliver's addiction and masochism are fascinating. (Does it reflect anything in 1958?) If Oliver is addicted to sex with strangers, Philip is addicted to him - he keeps coming back - why? And we don't see as much of Philip in 2008 as 1958, so there's plenty to explore there. How similar to his past counterpart is he? A crude analysis might say that in 1958, Philip is the barrier to their happy relationship; in 2008, it's Oliver. True? Untrue?

(You don't have to answer any of those questions!)

I didn't list Sylvia as a requested character in case I could only be matched with people who wanted to explore Oliver and Philip alone, but if you want to feature her too, feel free.

If we didn't match on this but you want to get acquainted with the canon, there are pretty cheap secondhand copies on Amazon! (if you are in the UK. if not: apols.)


Holy Flying Circus
Okay. I think that basically this show screwed my mind up so much (in a good way) that the only way I know how to deal with it is to work through it with some fic. PLEASE HELP ME.

I requested Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones and Jones the wife, but not all of these necessarily have to feature (although if you've got an idea where they all do: AMAZING). Also happy for any other characters to be used! Gen is fine; any pairing also great - particularly Palin/Cleese, Palin/Jones, Palin/Joneswife. (Jones/Joneswife??)

Most of my feelings on Palin/Cleese can be summed up by that amazing "I DO LOVE YOU M-MIKE" scene in the corridor. (Tension between them, admiration and frustration on both sides; a perfect, fairly intense love/hate relationship, all tempered by the fact that the Holy Flying Circus world is mental.) Most of my feelings on Palin/Jones can be summed up by the fact that the same actor plays his fucking wife. (Writing partners, BFFs, earnest university days together, etc.) Most of my feelings on Palin/Joneswife can be summed up by the word "what". (Has Palin married a woman who is mentally and physically identical to Terry Jones? Has he, in fact, accidentally married Terry Jones? Has he noticed? If they are different people, are they aware of each other? What happens if Palin starts cheating on his wife with the real Jones, and is that real Jones actually a different person or not? etc etc. These are the questions that keep me up at night.)

If we didn't match on this but you're considering switching, this is all over the internet too, but here is a download link! Plus, if you're interested, the original real-life televised debate.


Anyway. If it helps you to ignore everything I have said above, please cheerfully do so. Can't stress enough: so happy to read anything in these fandoms that you literally cannot fail to please me. Hooray!
Tags: chrisherwood, monty python, the pride, yuletide
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