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1. Which is the author who contributed most (fiction or nonfiction) to your view of human sexuality as it stands today?

Probably Mary Renault. I found The Persian Boy at the home of a babysitting client when I was 15 or 16, and it introduced me to the concept of homosexuality. This seemed to me to be natural and right and something that had somehow been missing in my picture of the world. If you're not familiar with this book, it's the story of Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia and points east, from the viewpoint of his lover Bagoas, a young eunuch who was previously part of the court of Darius the Great.

2. If you had to give up seeing in colour or listening to others' voices, which would you choose and why?

Seeing in color. As much as I enjoy the colors of the world, the ability to see color is not all that necessary in interactions with other people. But to me, losing the ability to hear others' voices would be a tragedy.

3. What is it that draws you most to Hakkai and Gojyo's relationship? In what ways (if at all) is that comparable to Tenpou and Kenren's?

I think you may already know that I'm not nearly as fond of Tenpou and Kenren as I am of Gojyo and Hakkai. Gojyo and Hakkai are very broken people. They need each other, and in many ways, they complete each other. This is true whether you think of them as lovers or just as best friends. Tenpou and Kenren are crazy about each other, but the relationship is neither as complex nor as intense as that between their later incarnations.

4. Is there a common thread between the women in fiction you feel drawn toward? What is it?

I'm not sure I can split the female characters from the male characters that cleanly, but I'll try. The characters that really grab me are smart and independent, but they care about things deeply - they have strong emotions - and they're always broken, at least a bit. I find it hard to be drawn to characters who are too perfect and too cool-headed, whether male or female. It's interesting that one review I read of P.C. Hodgell's Godstalk said that the reviewer found the protagonist, Jame, uninteresting because she was so uber-powerful and dangerous. The reviewer couldn't see at all that Jame's desperate longing to be accepted by her people without giving up her independence was a fierce source of conflict and trauma for her. But the thing is, those characteristics are true of male characters I like as well.

5. If there were one source of conflict in the world that you could erase forever, what would it be? (it can be a person, ideal, anything).

The tendency of people, nations, religions, and others institutions to say "For me to be right, you have to be wrong." The refusal to coexist with other modes of thought is the source of an awful lot of the hatred, violence, and oppression in the world.

ETA: Anyone want me to ask her/him five questions? Just sing out in a response!

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
lawless523
Sep. 19th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
For me personally, 585 is fairly far down on my list of Saiyuki ships, but I agree with you that they need and complete each other - the two broken pieces that together make up one whole.

Part of the fun of the 'traditional' Saiyuki ships is how complementary their individual members are. If anything, Goku and Sanzo are even more opposite than Gojyo and Hakkai.

I don't find 10K as interesting as 585, either.

I'd probably answer the same say as you to #5.

Ask away!
chomiji
Sep. 22nd, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)

1. What is it that draws you to Eiri and Shuichi's relationship?

2. What us it that fascinates you most about religion?

3. What is your most vivid childhood (ages 0-12) memory?

4. Tell me about a place you've always wanted to visit.

5. What is your favorite time of year, and why?

lawless523
Sep. 23rd, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
I just posted my answers in my journal.
smillaraaq
Sep. 19th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC)
Heh. Once again, so similar and yet so different, says your weird little sis the voice-chat aversive dirty Hephaistion shipper. ;)

It's interesting that one review I read of P.C. Hodgell's Godstalk said that the reviewer found the protagonist, Jame, uninteresting because she was so uber-powerful and dangerous.

Say WHAT? Yes, she's powerful and dangerous. And she also frequently is deeply confused and has NO FREAKIN' IDEA what she is doing and gets by on dumb luck and sheer bloody-minded stubbornness more than anything else!

And if you don't mind me not memeing properly and can think of something we haven't hashed out endlessly, fire at will.
chomiji
Sep. 22nd, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)

1. smilla and cho are RP characters! What type of scenario are we in, what types of characters are we, and what is our quest or challenge?

2. You do all sorts of handicrafts. What's one that you have never done before but would like to try?

3. What's your favorite item(s) of clothing (now or something you had in the past)?

4. You're having 8 people over for dinner (or have the wherewithal to have them out at a private banquet room). Whom do you invite? For bonus points, what do they eat, and what happens during dinner?

5. Desert island books! You can only have 5: what are they?

smillaraaq
Sep. 26th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
Oh geeze, you picked some really, really hard ones that I don't even think I could answer properly if I thought about them for ages! TT_TT

1. Assuming you mean trad tabletop RPGs, I've done so very little gaming (and no GMing), and never with you, so I really don't even know where to begin with this one, on multiple fronts! And neither of us do the MMORPG thing, so I can't answer from that angle either. And even if I could cheat a bit and tweak this to the more journal/IM-based style of informal roleplay where you play as existing media characters, I can't really bend my brain into thinking what the scenario/plotline would be -- those things are often kind of directionless and impromptu compared to a trad RPG where someone is actually steering the players into a planned scenario, it's more like collaboratively brainstorming fanfic; but the obvious characters would be Kio and Soubi. (Or else Gojyo and Hakkai, but since we both have such strong affinities for both of the guys it would have to be a more oddball sort of situation where who plays which character switches back and forth on the fly depending on who has more of an idea for a particular scene, or is more comfortable with certain aspects of a character. For instance, I think I'd have an easier time than you in getting into some of the darker corners of their minds -- Gojyo's Banri-era self-destructive empty hedonism, for instance, or Hakkai's vicious streak.)

2. Hmmm, that's a little tricky, because for the most part the arts and crafts I haven't done are either things I'm just not sufficiently interested in to bother with, or else they're so similar in many ways to things I already know how to do that I'm quite confident I *could* pick them up pretty quickly if I ever sat down to try. I've never made traditional kanzashi, for instance, but after looking into how they're made and seeing obvious parallels in the construction to things I do know -- origami, corsage-making and other floral work, beadwork/jewelrymaking, various textile crafts, etc., I don't really have any doubt that I could adapt my existing skills to that particular craft without much trouble. There are plenty of things I've never tried that look somewhat interesting, but even if time and space and the cost of acquiring a completely new set of specialized tools, books, raw materials, etc. weren't issues, I'd really rather put all that investment into refining my skills and/or upgrading my equipment for things I already know how to do on some level.

3. I can't really pick just one since it sort of varies by mood or function or category... Stuff I currently own, I'd have to say for the more flamboyant dressy side it'd be my corsets or this amazing dark olive Dior trenchcoat I found in a thrift store for just twenty bucks, that fits like it was custom-tailored for me. For more everyday practical stuff it'd have to be any of my various pairs of boots: from the weird SF-futuristic brown suede MBTs to the warm soft cushiness of the New Zealand sheepskin uggies to the classic stompy androgyny of the tall laceup black Fluevog combats, or the black Double H and dark plum Frye harness boots. It's kind of funny, I'm honestly most comfortable barefoot or in sandals that I can slip on and off easily; I do love sexy impractical uber-femme heels but just spend too much time walking to be able to wear them as an everyday sort of thing, and I just don't like the feeling of real closed shoes in general if I can find any way to avoid them. I don't even remember the last time I wore sneakers for anything, I find them just dreadfully ugly for any situation outside of a gym and have a variety of shoes and boots and sandals that are more interesting to look at and just as comfortable for me to walk in. But I've got some sort of weird "in for a penny, in for a pound" thing going on where if it's cold enough that sandals or more open shoes aren't the best choice, I pretty much jump to the opposite extreme and go into really tall boots. I guess on some level they feel sort of costumey and exotic, since growing up in the islands I never had any reason to own boots as a child; and I find them just as sexy and fun as high heels, although in a different (and less impractical for someone who walks a lot) sort of way.

Edited at 2010-09-26 05:57 pm (UTC)
smillaraaq
Sep. 26th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
For stuff I no longer own, no contest, it's this gorgeous brown fur-felt wide-brimmed fedora I bought when I was 18, back when Banana Republic was less like the Gap's snootier, yuppie-er older cousin and more like the prototype for the J. Peterman catalog, full of funky retro-inspired outdoorsy styles. It was gorgeous and comfortable and solidly made and I wore it to bits for years, but somewhere along the way either it shrank a bit or my head got even bigger, and I finally gave it away in my late thirties after finally admitting that I didn't really wear it any more because it just didn't quite fit as comfortably as it used to. I've got a bunch of other hats these days, including one hand-made traditional Hawaiian lauhala that's a work of art, but they're pretty much all summery straws -- I've not yet managed to find a new felt hat to take the old one's place. The ones I see most often in stores are never quite right...brim's too narrow, wrong color, cheaper-feeling rough wool felt, "one size fits all" that doesn't, etc.; I've seen plenty online that might be good candidates, but I really hate buying something that costly without even being able to try it on first.

4. Eeeeek, if the point is good conversation, and that always seems to be the point to me in "you can meet/visit anyone you want", eight is just TOO MUCH for me to deal with for an in-person situation (online chat would be a different story) -- too many people to be able to focus on any one person or subject and have a really intimate and in-depth conversation, not enough to feel like a party where you can drift from subgroup to subgroup if need be, or just sit in a corner and listen! A group that large and food would only work for me if they're all people who know each other at least somewhat well so it doesn't matter if you can't keep track of all the conversation, because a lot of it is going to be disjointed and distracted and fairly low-content "try this, it's yummy" and "please pass the shoyu" sorts of small talk.

5. Let's see...the two most immediate, don't even have to think about it answers are a nice single-volume edition of Lord of the Rings, the doorstopper single-volume-in-microscopic-typeface (with included magnifier lens) complete edition of the Oxford English Dictionary; then Yeats' Collected Poems, because of all my many favorite poets he's the one with the fattest and most densely rereadable single-volume collections. Then if I could cheat a bit and request something custom-bound, I'd want a collection of my favorite fanfics, gen and shippy alike from a number of fandoms, the ones I go back to time and again, as many of my favorites as I could squeeze into the page/word-count allowed to count as "one book". And if this isn't one of those magical desert islands where food and shelter and such not are all taken care of, I'd want some sort of good general wilderness-survival reference book with practical guides on first aid and shelter-building and the like; alternately if this stuff is all taken care of and I don't have to lose a slot to purely practical material, I'd go over all my Hawaiian language references and try to pick out whichever one seems like it would be the meatiest one for long-term study. (Although it would be very, very tempting just to go straight for the Pukui-Elbert dictionary, because I can easily get lost for hours just poring over that! I wouldn't have much more of a grasp of grammar and verb conjugation by the time I'd read the whole thing, but by gum I'd at least have a TON of extra vocabulary.)
estara
Sep. 19th, 2010 09:48 am (UTC)
*raises hand* Yes, please, ask me five questions ^^. I totally agree on 2 and 5, so those questions are answered.
chomiji
Sep. 22nd, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)

1. What was your favorite book when you were 10? Can you still enjoy re-reading it now?

2. What contemporary person do you admire most?

3. You have 7500 Euros that you must use on travel. Where do you go, and what do you see while there?

4. What's your favorite type of weather, and why?

5. You're a character in the Chronicles of the Kencyrath! What type of character are you, and where would you be (location) at the end of Bound in Blood?

estara
Sep. 22nd, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
Okay, question number 5 may require a re-read. And a few of the others I will have to really think about. Thanks for asking meaty questions ^^.
(Deleted comment)
chomiji
Sep. 24th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)

Here you go - sorry about the delay!

1. What do you see yourself doing/being 10 years from now?

2. What is your most prized possession, and why?

3. Describe your perfect day. What would you do, and whom (if anyone) would you do it with?

4. For dessert/afters: cake, pie, pudding, or other? (Details, please!)

5. What's the best thing about living where you do now?

nouvellebrielle
Sep. 19th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
OMG. This is a scary coincidence but it was The Persian Boy that got me thinking as well. I found a very old copy of the book in the house, I'm guessing it's my sister's.

And I totally hear you on point 5.

Ask away if you like! (:
chomiji
Sep. 24th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)

I think that may be because Renault is such a well-regarded writer that people who typically would not have any books with gay themes would still have that one, especially when it was new and selling all over.

And here are your questions at last!

1. What member of your family (either by blood or by choice ... it could be someone like a family friend) had the most positive influence on you while you were growing up?

2. Which of your Saiyuki fics is your personal favorite?

3. Is there a plotbunny that you aren't going to write yourself, but really wish someone else would write? (Details, please!)

4. What is your favorite comfort food?

5. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

smillaraaq
Sep. 25th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
I think that may be because Renault is such a well-regarded writer that people who typically would not have any books with gay themes would still have that one, especially when it was new and selling all over.

It also probably didn't hurt any that the sex scenes were all tastefully non-explicit and the setting was Long, Long Ago and Far Away -- much less offputting or threatening to some mindsets than Real Live Gay People actually daring to exist openly in one's own society.
flemmings
Sep. 19th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Still Renault for me, but those extra years make a difference. First Encounter was The King Must Die when I was 13. I was in uni by the time Persian Boy came out. (And Renault was in her mid-60s when she wrote it. Now that's encouraging.)
chomiji
Sep. 24th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
Renault and Sexuality

I did not realize she was that old when she wrote The Persian Boy! She expressed Bagoas' teen angst remarkably well.

It's an impressive book in a number of ways. She does an outstanding job of making things very, very sensual without giving explicit details. (Although as ignorant but fascinated teens, my sister Amy and I both wished there had been more details ... .)

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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