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Historical Notes

My life lately:


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Yeah so in writing class today we workshopped my revised 16th c. printerfic. Now at this point everyone in the class *knows* I TEACH printing/print history for a living. And YET, there were a bunch of comments like "Would this be happening then?" "Women couldn't do that back then!" "Were there black people in England back then?" (They got some polite historical footnotes verbally.)

Here's the killer to me though. Here's a line in the first paragraph: . I felt foolish in my boy’s garb, a half-wrought Cesario, with few pennies and less honor to my name than any Viola.

THREE OF NINE ENGLISH PHD STUDENTS DID NOT RECOGNIZE THE REFERENCE.

This...kinda makes it hard for me to want to take any of their other comments seriously.

Am I being pedantic? Snobbish? ...Something? Or do I have a legitimate reason to finish the box of chocolate jo-jos in the cupboard? (That last question, possibly not academic.)

SO HAI GUYS HOW ARE YOU?????

Comments

( 33 comments — Add your .02 )
treksnoopy
Apr. 3rd, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
I grieve with thee.
Finish the chocolates.

How am I?
I'm restless. I need to go somewhere and do something. The question is what, where, and who with. *ignore the grammar. I've been drinking*

caitri
Apr. 3rd, 2012 03:33 am (UTC)
*KOALACLING*

I think you should drink in the Rec with me sometime this week. While I write fic. Cos I've EARNED the right to fluffy ridiculousness for a few hours!
(no subject) - treksnoopy - Apr. 3rd, 2012 03:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caitri - Apr. 3rd, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
anutty1
Apr. 3rd, 2012 04:59 am (UTC)
"Were there black people in England back then?"

Seriously, educated people, seriously? How did you not hulk out at that question?!? Also, thank you for adding black people to your story, we tend to get left out of historical fiction :(. I'm just an undergraduate English degree student who has no great love for Shakespeare and even I recognized the reference. (It is Shakespeare, right? If it isn't, umm...). Also, I'm now totally curious about this story. If you ever want to post it, I'd totally read it!
caitri
Apr. 3rd, 2012 02:05 pm (UTC)
*SQUISH*

I'll post it when it's closer to "done"--I got into a time crunch and had an awkward closing spot. I had an initial beginning I posted here that got absorbed into the rest of it.

Some people thought I was also doing "too many issues" in having a black girl dressing as a boy and then she was 'too easily' accepted by the other characters--which I have mixed feelings about. I am thinking of maybe switching it up though so I can have my girl-dress-as-a-boy plot and then have another character be black. The thing I like about that is then they can both kind of be 'outsiders' together as they observe goings on and such. *ramble ramble*

We'll see. I was thinking about structure and wondering if it might not be more manageble to have a series of novellas that are interconnected through different pov characters or something. But I think I should try to finish this one idea and then see how the rest turns out. *stops rambling, for real this time* *MORE HUGS JUST BECAUSE*
(no subject) - rubynye - Apr. 3rd, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caitri - Apr. 3rd, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
erynwen
Apr. 3rd, 2012 07:55 am (UTC)
You have all the reason to finish the chocolate ^^

If you join Starfleet, can I come with you?

caitri
Apr. 3rd, 2012 02:06 pm (UTC)
Totally. You can sit next to me on the shuttlecraft and I probably won't throw up on you.
morfin
Apr. 3rd, 2012 01:02 pm (UTC)
Classic example of people going to college and remaining uneducated. I'll bet you the English students who didn't get the reference are majoring in 20th century "literature" where grammar, spelling, and punctuation are optional. It's like "history" students studying current events. Sigh.
caitri
Apr. 3rd, 2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
I think they're just REALLY into contemporary literature--like they throw around the names of all these books I've heard of/seen in bookstores but never read because I don't typically do mundane fiction. (Does that sound mean? It wasn't meant to be. But that's how I think of it sometimes.) Mostly I've just never understood people writing about contemporary times if it's not genre--if the main characters aren't going to hook up, solve crimes, or run into vampires or aliens, but just go about being people...why bother? *is honestly perplexed*
(no subject) - morfin - Apr. 3rd, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rubynye - Apr. 3rd, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caitri - Apr. 3rd, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - morfin - Apr. 4th, 2012 12:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caitri - Apr. 4th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rubynye - Apr. 6th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caitri - Apr. 6th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
abigail89
Apr. 3rd, 2012 01:19 pm (UTC)
TAKE ME WITH YOU, BB!!!

JFC, I am no literature person, but even I caught that ref. No, you're not being a snob.
caitri
Apr. 3rd, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
*cling*

Shuttle leaves at 0800 I hear...
(Deleted comment)
caitri
Apr. 3rd, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
Aww. *pets* At K'zoo we shall have a proper geek-out about both fic and writing generally!!!!! <3

I mentioned this in another commment above, sort of, but I wonder how much of my issues are genre-driven (I'm the only one writing non-contemporary stuff, though in this class all my workshops have been historical stories, except for one fragment I brought in that was historical fantasy) or convention-driven. Basically, the others don't know what to do with me, and I look at their writing more as writing than as stories, I suppose. Does it work structurally? does it communicate what's going on? It's unlikely I'd ever look at that type of stuff outside of a class though.

But anyway, altogether ... I have mixed feelings about it all. I do feel like I got some useful food for thought but when we come from different writing worlds it's hard for me to really pick up what's good and what's not, if that makes any sense at all. :/
avictoriangirl
Apr. 3rd, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
EAT ALL THE CHOCOLATE. Some days that's all you can do to in order to get over all the stupid in the world. ;)
caitri
Apr. 3rd, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
Have I told you lately that I love you? <3
(no subject) - avictoriangirl - Apr. 3rd, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
rubynye
Apr. 3rd, 2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
You're being INTELLIGENT as opposed to those gits. You are suffering the pains of a great mind crammed into a narrow pen with shrimpy, pointy ones.

FEH.

(Not that I have opinions on writers groups or anything.)
(And all my lit teacher coworkers would kiss you for that allusion.)
caitri
Apr. 3rd, 2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
*SQUISH*

I just kinda want to tell the "other" side of stories, but not exactly in a "we're all oppressed way." Because, y'know, well-behaved women don't make history, and also, our ideas of how people behave historically are so often wrong and sugarcoated. (I love that the Victorians were total porn fiends, for example.) So maybe it's not conventional or "believable" but...it's still "true" in ways that matter?
(no subject) - rubynye - Apr. 6th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
aadarshinah
Apr. 3rd, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry. People are generally idiots. It's best not to take it personally. (Though you can still have the jo-jos if you want.)
caitri
Apr. 3rd, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
<3333 *SQUISH*
emluv
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
*waves*

So, I wandered over from the J&B friending meme to see if you'd written anything new that I'd missed, and this caught my eye, first with the fun graphic and then with the Shakespeare reference. My former-English-major soul would not let me leave without commenting.

There are way too many idiots in the world, without question. And my knee-jerk reaction here is pretty much the same as yours was. But I do try to allow for differences in background education. We can't all study the exact same stuff, and I know there are gaps in my own studies because I so vastly preferred English lit to American lit when I was in school. But, the catch is I assume that my lack of knowledge is my lack of knowledge, not that someone else has something wrong rather than me being unfamiliar with a subject. That's what I find ridiculous. That anyone at a PhD level could sit there and question you in areas where you're obviously more informed than they are.

Well, except for the part about there being black people in England during the 16th century. I'm sorry, but that comment should have earned someone a serious smack up the side of the head.

On that note, I hope you enjoyed your chocolate fix and that the rest of your week has been better. And I'm very, very curious now about your 16th c. printer fic (which I'm assuming is original...yes?). Also, I'm friending you now because I'm not sure why I haven't before... :)
caitri
Apr. 6th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
*hug* Thanks, bb. I think I just get flummoxed over the oddest things sometimes. And my rant was, I guess, strangely about people questioning me, which is probably uncool, but on the other hand, I think there's an element of trust inherent in both workshopping (I trust you to tell me what's working and what's not, you trust me to give my best effort) and in reading, and I felt like they didn't trust me despite the fact they *know* that I know what I'm talking about? Maybe? *rambles*

Anyway, so, the story itself! I posted a rough draft a while back
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*hug* Thanks, bb. I think I just get flummoxed over the oddest things sometimes. And my rant was, I guess, strangely about people questioning me, which is probably uncool, but on the other hand, I think there's an element of trust inherent in both workshopping (I trust you to tell me what's working and what's not, you trust me to give my best effort) and in reading, and I felt like they didn't trust me despite the fact they *know* that I know what I'm talking about? Maybe? *rambles*

Anyway, so, the story itself! I posted a rough draft a while back <a href="408850.html#cutid1"here</a> and then a snippet of the new draft <a href="431788.html#cutid1">here</a>. (Bonus about 'trust'--my friends get to see additional fiction and nonfiction that I haven't published yet in addition to personal rants about family and work! ...yaaaaay) Anyway I have vague plans for it all and will hopefully finish the draft of the story proper for posting sometime soon. :)

Thanks for commenting, I feel warm fuzzies now!
( 33 comments — Add your .02 )

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