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*grumble* - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
robling_t
robling_t
*grumble*
Oh, Book, and you were doing so well until you cheaped out with that appropriatively faily rape-scene... {sigh}
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ashnistrike From: ashnistrike Date: November 1st, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Oh dear - which book is this?

-Nameseeker
robling_t From: robling_t Date: November 2nd, 2011 06:39 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
The Magician King, which I was actually considering recommending up until I hit that page because it had done a surprising job of resolving the concerns I'd had with The Magicians (the first book couldn't quite get its act together about whether it wanted to be Literary or Genre and doesn't really do a good job at either, whereas this one made up its mind to skew all the way to Literary with better results); the scene in question, which is about 2 pages long and not even all that graphic as such, managed to do the best job I've ever seen of completely wrecking a well-done setup and the entire book connected to it, for reasons that aren't even exactly related to the fact that it's a rape-scene per se. I've been trying to get a handle on why the scene felt so wrongheaded even though a case could be made for it being internally logical, and I think it's that it's because it's, well, the cheap answer: when in doubt, fall back on sexualizing the attack on the female character's integrity. It would, in fact, have broken this specific character more to have left her standing completely untouched in the aftermath of the larger situation as a "you aren't even worth noticing to hurt" gesture... but no, of course there's one and only one way to hurt a woman that counts.

So it felt lazy on that level, and then there was this other level of it feeling like the author was telling a story that wasn't his to tell, which is why I called appropriation as well; for the record, I'd have been just as annoyed if this had been written by a woman, because then it would have come off as "...oh, great, yet another story that turns out to be somebody's catharsis about their own experience" (done well, I don't necessarily mind these, but this one would be one of the I HAVE A MESSAGE! LOOK AT MY MESSAGE! ones) story, but that it's by a guy it was just... Idunno, even if this was his cathartic-writing-about-an-experience story it was still the wrong mouth to tell it through in this case. It just goes skeevy and paternalistic.

...So, um, yeah, you can tell I'm still pissed off about it. :) He'd been doing such an interesting job with that character up until that point that I was genuinely surprised that he went there with it, because he wasn't writing her as the usual victim-of-her-circumstances cipher, and then that one scene collapsed the entire character right back down into the "women are only for bodies, not minds" cliche that he'd been deconstructing up until then...
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