Aug. 20th, 2012

Take the Snape Showcase 2013 Poll!

[personal profile] iulia_linnea is running an poll to gauge interest in a 2013 round of [ profile] snapecase. This is one of my favourite fests of all time, one that has produced some of the most memorable fanworks in my experience (see the master lists from 2011 and 2012), and it would be a terrible shame if it were not to run this year for lack of interest. As someone who participated in the fest last year, I can say from personal experience that the format challenged me to think about Snape's character in ways I had not anticipated, that I have grown personally as a result of this fest.

Click on the banner below to be taken to the profile page, which contains the fest rules and schedule:

Snape Showcase
[info]snapecase: Celebrating Severus Snape throughout his ages!

Again, you can take the interest poll here.

(My apologies for being brief: I had meant to write a much longer post today, and am terribly behind on responding to comments, but I overdid things this weekend and am barely capable of thought at present.)

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Feb. 12th, 2012

snapecase reveals!

Reveals are up at [ profile] snapecase. Go take a look -- as ever, with a few exceptions ([personal profile] perverse_idyll, [ profile] duniazade, [ profile] cabepfir, [ profile] venturous1, [ profile] sigune) most of my guesses were completely off (the brilliant [personal profile] leela_cat!). I am delighted by this, as I have now discovered a whole new host of authors and works to explore.

I am devastated that the fest is over; it was a constant source of inspiration and yes, distraction, but of the best nature, challenging me intellectually and aesthetically and galvanising me to re-think my favourite character in new and unexpected ways. Fortunately, there are still stories I have not had a chance to read ([personal profile] albalark! for some reason I completely missed your story, but will remedy this soon!), and many more I have yet to comment upon, so I have that to look forward to for a few more days.

At this point, I would like to thank [personal profile] iulia_linnea for running such a fabulous fest, for her golden patience and kindness, and [personal profile] abrae and my dearest [personal profile] delphi for jumping into the fray during a time of great need. Your insightful comments and gentle words were more than I deserved, and I owe you greatest thanks.

Forgive me if I sound repetitive, and for falling so behind on responding to comments. I came down with a fever yesterday and am not doing so well on the mental side of things either. As soon as the fog clears, though, your wonderful, wonderful comments will be my treat to look forward to.

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Feb. 10th, 2012

quick, desperate rec

Oh God. Oh God. I have been waiting with keen anticipation and something almost akin to dread, but positive, electric, for a particular entry at [ profile] snapecase, for The Lost World to be precise, knowing it would spell a new chapter in my life, knowing it would eat me alive just as I devoured it, knowing it would be cleansing, redefining, humbling, devastating -- and above all combine a savage with an angelical beauty in such a way that would pierce my heart and string it up to the wall for all to see.

It's here, finally, and oh fuck I am lost. This story is fucking incredible, I am sorry to resort to the profane, but I am so overwhelmed that I have to. At this point, I have only read through once, and will need to read through several times before I can comment coherently, and I fear that won't happen before Sunday, as things are crazy here. But I want you to go read this before the [ profile] snapecase reveal tomorrow, because I want to talk to you about it. I think most of you will recognise the author and the intertextuality, the relationship to her other work, and in particular how this relates, in a fascinatingly inverse way, to her [ profile] snapecase entry of last year.

Right now I am thinking this: martyred saints, the death of Orpheus, the tragedy of Cupid and Psyche, Paradise Lost, Heart of Darkness, and for some reason, Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. Because the author is experimenting here with dissolution, with falling apart, with decentredness in a way. The decentredness of the self -- our many unrelated masks. Externalisation of inner fragmentation. I think. Here, at least, there is no outsider point of view, no camera lens giving us objective, distanced access to the characters. We are to stay close to Harry (a Harry that is grounded, fittingly enough, unable to fly), to that murky, unreliable, untrustworthy narrator, and oh how untrustworthy and mercurial he proves to be!

Now I am recalling the motif of electric blue. Of ozone. Of dragonflies and how I need to go back and think about this more. Oh am I lost.

Read this, please. And don't just tell me what you think -- tell the author herself.

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Feb. 8th, 2012

snapecase recs

Sadly, [ profile] snapecase is coming to a close. I have not yet managed to read, let alone comment, on everything, and I expect I will be writing another rec post for the last two stories, but here are a few of my favourites so far.

Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree is a story to be read again and again; it lingers with you like fragrant smoke clinging to your clothes, and it is no accident that one of the central motifs here is smell. The author's prose is stunningly beautiful, and yet the story is chilling in a number of ways, not least because of how the title is personified and manifested in the story, because of how numb Severus comes across, because of her use of blankness and space and silence, because of the startling and vivid and at times deeply unsettling imagery. I have not yet summed up the courage to tell the author how brilliant I think her work, but she deserves many more comments than have been posted, and I think you will find the story well worth your while.

Mother is a beautiful portrait of Eileen and young Severus, based on poses of the Madonna and Child, I believe, but very revealing of the HP characters as well.

Valentine's Day Surprise has a wonderfully disgusted Snape and a devious McGonagall and is a pleasure to look at.

It Only Gets Worse features a very snarky, witty Snape in doubly written form, as portrayed by snippets from reports given to the Hogwarts Board of Governors and Snape's own journal entries. The contrast between the reports and the rude entries is amusing. It's interesting to see a Snape who isn't completely depressed and gloomy during what I tend to think of as that "dead period" between his agreeing to work at Hogwarts and Harry's arrival. Which is not to say that this Snape doesn't have his own depressions and problems, but that he is intact, here, and that it is refreshing to see.

Hand-Me-Down is a well-written and unusual take on Tobias. Rather than going the drunk-and-evil route, the author shows Tobias to be a proud father to his magical son. Tobias' feelings are so persuasively conveyed that one warms to him, and his eventual cowardice hurts even more as a result.

The Other Half is another excellent Tobias fic that reinvents fanon assumptions about his relationship to Severus with a nuanced, beautifully crafted and ultimately heartbreaking narrative.

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Jan. 23rd, 2012

fic/art rec: an exercise in futility

There have been a number of wonderful entries at [ profile] snapecase, and I am in the midst of compiling another recs post, but -- I simply couldn't wait, and must direct you to my very favourite story from the showcase so far.

This story is not just a story, but an absolutely fabulous multimedia entry with a glorious bastard!Snape, some very volatile post-war Snarry, a plot that functions well on both the emotional and symbolic level (!) and several complex and thought-provoking illustrations by one of my very favourite HP artists. If you like a Snape who, after the war, has lost his ballast, who is unappreciated and emotionally, physically starved and vulnerable and angry, bitterly angry, ungrateful and lost and horrified to be lost, horrified by his own needs and determined to squash them with a venemous tongue -- if you like a Harry who, literally starved most of his life, has no idea how to respond to the feast suddenly offered up by life after Voldemort, who is desperately in need of help and only just beginning to realise it -- if you like stories set at a Spinner's End that resembles its owner's hair and inner state of being -- if you like stark, expressive illustrations -- if you like even just some of these things, then you will enjoy:

An Exercise in Futility (R; Snarry; EWE)

Summary: Sometimes you can only help yourself by helping others. Sometimes when you're helping others, you realize that it's you who needs help.

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