Living for the Revel (catvalente) wrote,
Living for the Revel
catvalente

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Life and Deerskin

I made this last night, which is just stupidly good and easy to make.

Of course, upon realizing we had nothing for lunch the next day, we tasted it, wrapped it up, and went out for wings. So I will be enjoying my delicious BBC pie shortly.

I've been working on new collage pieces for Saloncon since early this morning, and only now have reached a stage where things can dry and I have some time to do something else. I sometimes have concerns that my piddly attempts at visual art are not really art at all, but damn do they take up a lot of time and effort.

It is probably impossible to achieve all my ambitions by Friday. I have a list and everything. It includes a finished novel, and that's looking less and less likely without some kind of Blogathon-style effort. If I manage it all, I should get a whole cake. But I'm trying to be ok with the idea that I probably won't.

Other than that, nothing much is shaking. Saloncon and NYC this weekend, on my own tonight, Planescape tomorrow. Life proceeds apace.

I finished Deerskin recently, and have been troubled by it ever since. While it is a lovely novel it left me a little cold. And I think part of what bothers me is the True Bride modus operandi--all other women are obviously wrong, and are held up to ridicule for not being tailor made to the prince's specifications (which of course the heroine is--and he to hers.) There is a princess who is presented as a laughable, contemptuous character, beneath our concern because she is made up in ridiculous fashion instead of something grey and modest like our heroine, and is obsessed with finding a husband.

Except that both the prince and Deerskin bemoan the system of arranged marriages, and how they must pretend to love society and people they do not, and how they hate dressing up. Yet they mock this poor Wrong Woman mercilessly, never considering that she too may be dressed that way because people forced her to--incredibly likely, actually, as it is pointed out that poor Trivelda is both short and "chubby," and so she has probably been dressed in an attempt to hide those defects, that she too may hate this whole theatrical show, but be aware as Deerskin is too beatific and rarified to be that marriage in the medieval world is deadly serious business. She is the princess of nowhere in particular, and the question of marrying is not simply one of love or inclination, but pretty much life or death, protection or exclusion. Why does she deserve less kindness? Why should she be mocked? Why should the woman who is not tall and silvery and preternaturally wonderful, so that all who see her know she is noble, be the target of behind the arras snickering by the couple we know from the beginning of the book are True Lovers?

Sigh. I think about things too much. On top of all this Deerskin lives an almost impossibly charmed life, considerably less fraught with danger than in the original story, where the prince was not nearly so fabulous and dog-friendly and nice. (The dogs are so ubiquitous I wanted to rename the novel Must Love Dogs.) The rape was much worse than in the source, of course, which is where the novel gets its "adult" header.

Ultimately, I was just unsatisfied by it, though. Once we were out of the king's house (the most fascinating and awful part of the book by far), it was the story of an upper class girl remaining upper class, and I'm used to a little more hardcore awesome in my fairy tale retellings.
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