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people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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huh. squee range.
children of dune - leto 1
Okay, so finally I sat down to sort through my bookmarks to read discussion on cesperanza's new fic--because I have done my homework. (Really. I mean, not all! But you know, some random amount.) So I deserve a reward. And chocolate milk.

Except--um. Is anyone discussing it *not* a member of academia or just really conversant with the themes of that? This is odd--but this is the first time in fandom I've felt my sheer lack of a degree in anything this strongly, because I am seriously *not able to follow* or really get into any discussion I've seen so far. But mostly, I just don't get what's being discussed. Okay, it's more the 'why' of what is being talked about. But it's also the feeling that I'm reading something in German but in this case, even throwing it through the translators isn't helping, as I have no translators and seriously. What are you people talking about?

It's very--I don't know. I wish for squee, but no place is squeeing on a level of "oh my god this is so awesome remember the part with the chair room" but mostly on the "did you notice the dissertation and footnotes of the x, y, z, it reminds me of that time back when I was teaching Very Horrifically Difficult Literature..." I am on a different squee range.

Er. That's kind of an exaggeration, but mostly not, because I'm serious, ,I am seeing in otherwise accessible ljs this entire--I don't know. It's like I'm missing some huge chunk of context. I keep having to fight down the urge to ask "WHY ARE WE DISCUSSING FOOTNOTE FORMAT" or something, because oh my God.

If I ask for an explanation of the squee range, is that going to show just dreadfully my terribly non-high-literature-inclinations so much that all will lose respect for me or something? I'm seriously kind of dazed by how inaccessible I'm finding a lot of these conversations.

Help? I'm kind of moving from dazed to the 'frustrated and annoyed' place and that can only end in staring resentfully at my laptop and eating way too much haagen-daz.

ETA: I now have people doing threads of squee and non-academic meta discussion. I have found nirvana. Yay!

I believe the comments on this post in sheafrotherdon's LJ might have what you're looking for.

Oh thank god I'm not the only one *flails* I got a B in GCSE English and never studied any further and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. I feel like I massively missed something.

YES! *clutches* Okay, I was just--blank. Blank blank blank and that is just--you know, I'm aware fandom is made up of a lot of intellectual academia types? But wow. This was just--something else.

I have no help, except that I sympathize, what with not having any such background either. FWIW I just enjoyed it at a story, and the text fragments and such mostly worked for me not because of any academic squee, but because they fit still in the timeline just like an extra outsider POV nad it still read like a real narrative, rather than some formalistic experiment.

That's kind of what I got out of it, once I got used to it intratext. So I was kinda shocky to find everything being said pretty much not *about* the story, but on the level of meta of meta of *meta* and started feeling--er. Weird.

You know, that is weird - most of what I recall seeing was just incoherent squee of the "OMG SO AWESOME I HAVE NO WORDS" variety. I've been wishing for some more in-depth discussion!

*grins* I may be uncomfortably biased--the first two things I hit were some kind of epic poem and then a thread redirect that was talking about something in regard to literary tradition and *then* about the structure and shut it down to sulk for a while.

Cause for serious, meta of meta is awesome? But direct squee and discussion of source independent of metatext would be nice too.

I completely feel you. I have no idea what all the academics are talking about, and didn't even completely understand aesc's fic.


*sits with you in solidarity*

You mean the poem? *chews lip* Yeah. I'm still not sure what's up with that one.

One of the reasons I didn't go further in my own academic study of Very Difficult Literature is that I realized that I really and truly do not enjoy lit-crit. In any way, shape, or form. It's awesome for some people and they love it to bits, but I found it was actually HURTING my enjoyment of reading, so I stopped.

And now I read fanfiction and literature and books and all kinds of writing from the point of view of, am I enjoying this story? Do I dig these characters and get excited and sad and happy and hopeful for them? If the answer is yes, I settle in and read, content.

So you're not the only one. I loved that story, I enjoyed the cool formatting and the extra media and the clever writing and the STORY, and that's that! *grin*

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Nah. It's a taste thing. I mean, I have a huge thing for JOhn King of Atlantis, so I hit that and went into deep-squee mode. *G* And a huge kink for Atlantis-seceding from earth.

(to be honest, it took me a while to get into the excerpts. I mean, they were really cool once I was? But at first, I kept trying to skip them and get to the *story* and realized that I had no idea what was going on without them.)

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Ideally (although certainly not always in fact), in fandom there's room to approach texts from different perspectives. So yeah, bring on the request for explanations. And dude, there should totally be squee about the plot of the story as well as OMG BIBLIOGRAPHY LOVE. Of course, I say this as someone with a BA from a school where I was definitely exposed to this sort of historical discourse, I'm currently in a masters program, and I've spent most of my life surrounded by academics... So I've got the cultural capital (1) to understand the discussion. At the same time, I sort of get where you're coming from, since I made a decision NOT to seek that kind of academic career, because I didn't want to spend my life making the kinds of arguments the historians in "Written By The Victors" are making. There comes a point where I just don't CARE anymore about academic wankery (2) and footnotes and deconstruction. Though that's a part of what made this story fun for me, I think... Ultimately the story's about our characters, and what they actually did, and why they actually did it. And then we watch the historians fumble around trying to interpret it, and you can see them all going "I wish I could've seen it all" and "I wish we could know what happened for sure," and they CAN'T. But we, the readers can.

I don't know if that was at all constructive or helpful. But it's some of what I've been thinking about with this story.

(1) OMG social science jargon. Think financial capital, except it's knowledge, skills, education, and so forth that I've got due to my family background and such.
(2) oh yeah, do academics have wank. there should be an academic version of fandom_wank. If there isn't already. Is there?

The thing is? I don't know what to ask. The poem's the example that really stood out, but even in the omgsoawesome, I kept getting hit by the feeling I was not squeeing in the same range, that the focus wasn't on the story itself but its metatextual background. which is cool! Just very, very excluding. (for me. Not for other people. Other people? Have a blast.)

Though okay, the meta addition of historical argument helps. Outside of actual history itself, that's very much not my thing (totally personal), so my experience of it is deeply limited.

where is this metameta that's making you go "wtf?huh?"?

i'm curious because i did love the story, but i found the lengthy excerpts from the historical texts on the Atlantis mission a bit tiresome at first, so when i really fell into the story i was a bit surprised. i fell in love with those excerpts when one of the works, by a guy that had repeatedly said imho moronic stuff, included this line about how history was the work of telling the past exactly as it happened. i jumped up and down and squealed and screamed and said "omg, you are an idjit! idjit! omg!" and yes, fell in love not because of John King of Atlantis, but because the author used the flimsly lens of historical interpretation to write fanfiction.

but yeah, i'm getting a PhD in history. though i don't conflate my two worlds much. i hate analyzing fanfic, i don't like meta - i just want a good story and some porn now and then.

sorry, i rambled. i'd be happy to *try* to explain something if you wanted.

Teh big thing that tipped me? The entire poem discussion and squee. I went back several times to read and still couldn't work out the relatinship of poem to source.

but because the author used the flimsly lens of historical interpretation to write fanfiction.

but yeah, i'm getting a PhD in history. though i don't conflate my two worlds much. i hate analyzing fanfic, i don't like meta - i just want a good story and some porn now and then.

Someone above mentioned using the context of a historical argument to explain the meta. I--tend not to read like that usually? I just loved the story as a story. It didn't occur to me to read it as a discussion among fans that are also academics, which explains, since their context and experiences don't mesh with mine at all.

I just gotta say, thank God she posted this at the beginning of the semester, because if something like this comes out later in the year I'm going to be all, "WHY IS SCHOOL INVADING MY FANFICTION?"

Chiming in to say that I'm with you here - my academia experience is all science and I can't follow the literature-squee at all. I can see if you have that kind of background that it would be this amazing huge event, but I'm not really there.

I'm just going "cool story, love the bit where the chair made John orgasm, the whole seceding thing rocked". I did like the texts quoted a lot, mind, but I don't have any discussion other than "that was really clever". And I'm not that bothered about that, you know?

Yes THE CHAIR THING! And the secession thing! And the political marriage thing! And the firing on the Daedalus thing!


I had many moments of squee.

I too don't the academic squee out of it. When I finished reading it the first time I was blown away at the work she had put in it to write a fanfic.

I love the whole actual story. John may have been in charge but he could not have succeded without his team. It was a group effort from every one. John just had to make the hard decisions.

And as to the academic side what I got out of it was here are a group of academic writers that were writing about an event with second hand knowledge. Since no one could interview John and company this is what they could write. It was I am right and you are wrong in your conclusions, no I am right you are wrong no me me I am right.

But the that has been going on with academics about any event. Princess Di, Iraq, 911 etc. Same thing.

I was just really impressed by all work Ces did. Her writing almost had me believing there were real written books about this event. That is what I squee about. It really felt real.

But then sometimes I get really sucked into a story and don't want to come back to real life. This was one of them.

I wanted to comfort John when he made that last decision to fire. It almost broke my heart to read that.

God yes. That moment was pretty pivotal, I think, in how far they'd come from when they decided to secede. Just--a really *amazing* moment.

I want*story* squee too. Don't get me wrong, I loved the academic bits; but just not to the same extent that I loved the plot and the characterization. I understood part of the academic brilliance, but far from all of it, being that I'm not super-academic, just somewhat-academic. ;) Reading the reactions from the literature scholars makes me feel like I'm missing out on some life-changing aspect of the fic. I'm simultaneously impressed and terrified. :P

Really, the meta in this fandom can be very intimidating at times. Everyone is so intellectual and well-read. It's awesome (all squee and no thinky makes Gaffsie a dull girl), but at the same time it means that there are plenty of discussions going on that I don't feel smart enough to participate in. I don't want to drag down the conversation to caveman levels or anything; I just want to talk about the characters that I love, and not about referencing systems.

Still, the fact that I'm even entertaining a fleeting wish for more squee is pretty freaky. I must not forget what happens to fandoms devoid of intellectual pursuits (god, I still have nightmares about the House fandom). NEVER FORGET

*thoughtful* I agree and yet not.

Leaving this particular instance aside:

Much as I respect academia and all, I'm not sure I can face fandom if it continues on a path where squee is measured in academic potential of a fic. I mean, not universal themes or morality/non-morality--but the number one reason I hated my lit class and English classes was the disassembly of the story in favor of the meta commentary on the story, to later be commentaried on by others.

Okay, big defining moment of my earlier academic career--during one of my many Jane Austen phases I checked out a book that was all articles and discussions of Jane Austen's novels. And I read, hten skimmed, then skipped, because I felt like the story had been lost in the historical, political, socioeconimic examination of the author, where I was just intersted in how Darcy's snobbery slowly dissipated. And the thing is, these two things are not alike--one focuses on the story itself, and that, for me, is easily accessible. The former is a focus on commentary *around* the story, and that's where I just really don't care as much. If that makes sense.

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You aren't the only one - I just want to squee about it and feel like I *can't* because I don't analyze fan fiction that way. I just don't, for whatever reason - it's not something I find myself able to do.

So I'll say it here - Squeeeeeee! The story was *fabulous*!

Oh my GOD YES.

Kingdom of freaking Atlantis. Or Pegasus later, possibly.

So. Much. Love.

this is odd--but this is the first time in fandom I've felt my sheer lack of a degree in anything this strongly, because I am seriously *not able to follow* or really get into any discussion I've seen so far.
God, me too. I mean, I really liked the story, and I loved the historic wank between all those authors; the fact that we were jumping back and forth between academia and what actually happened added more life and dynamic to the story, I think, and I found the concept of aesc's poem very cool. However, all the meta after that went a bit over my head (so I skimmed/skipped most of it).