maddington (maddington) wrote,

yuletide letter, 2.0

Dear Writer,

Yuletide is happening! I'm so excited! I've been excited about this for about three months in advance! That's acceptable, right?

Thank you so much for offering whatever you're offering, because receiving fic in any of these fandoms is genuinely going to make my Christmas. So first off, I want to be clear about this: I will be happy with anything. If we've matched on a fandom for which you already have a fully-formed story desperate to be written, go ahead and write that. All of these fandoms are so tiny and precious that the idea of reading anything at all about them is almost too exciting in and of itself. However! If you want some inspiration, here are a few things I like in general, and about these fandoms in particular. Feel free to take everything, or absolutely nothing, on board.

I will read any rating and have no triggers to avoid. I'd rather not read explicit non-con, but am aware that the source material for some of these fandoms deal with rape and dubious consent, so I do not object to it featuring in a non-explicit way if that's something you want to explore.

In general, 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 (verbal or physical) in place of feelings; co-dependence. And, god, 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.

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, irrepressible 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 she is obviously excellent, so feel free to feature her too.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
This is the most recent addition to my roster of 'oh god all the feelings everywhere' problems! I only finished this book a couple of months ago, and, I don't know, I just want morrrrre. This is probably the vaguest and least helpful of my requests, which is really great since this is also the largest and most unwieldy wodge of canon with a million directions to go in. So I bet you're super pleased with me right now.

I didn't nominate any specific characters because I really did love everybody – Sammy and Joe both captured my heart pretty equally, and I'd really enjoy anything filling in the blanks in their relationship with each other, or with their significant others. I'm also enthralled by the fictions they create, so feel free to explore the worlds and characters of The Escapist or Luna Moth or even one of the comics we never really see – what about that guy being kept alive by the antigravity fluid in his veins that also meant he could fly? I can't even remember his name and I don't have the book on hand, but, you know, that guy! What kind of adventures was he having?

If you want to explore romantic or sexual relationships, I loved Sam and Tracy, and Joe and Rosa; I'd rather not read out-and-out Sam/Joe (though have no objections to Joe's presence complicating Sammy's sexual confusion).

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, kavalier & clay, the pride, yuletide
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