[LMB] Why is Aral bisexual?
M. Haller Yamada
thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 12 05:03:50 GMT 2015
(-: Let's see if I remember how to post so it's readable on the archives.
Two things I haven't seen mentioned in this discussion:
1) Characters often come from the zeitgeist, and in the early 80s, AIDS had
brought a lot of people out of the closet. Society as a whole heard a lot more
about sexuality in general, and not just homosexuality and bisexuality.
I look at my own writing. Why is one person a photographer? Why is one person a
were-cheetah? Because my brain threw pictures from the internet together in funny
ways. Now, why do they stay a photographer and a were-cheetah? Because I keep
coming up with interesting narrative qualities for them -- interesting to me,
and I'm the only one who counts at this stage. Eventually I hope they will be
interesting to publishers and readers, but there's a whole lot more STUFF that
must go into them first. All I can say is Thank Nature and Nurture for Lois's
brain. It combines things in a most interesting fashion.
2) Could all of Shards of Honor be a reaction to romance tropes? It's pretty well
documented that SoH is a reaction to SF tropes. One of the most annoying tropes
I find is the "One Twu Wuv, forever and ever." A lot of rapey bastards
(especially in the 70s and 80s) attained hero status and the true love of the
heroine, often because He Was Her Destiny. (I'm talking about fiction. I'll
leave real-life to other folks.) A lot of things were excused because One Twu
Wuv. The poor heroine had to play with the cards given to her, because There Was
No ReDeal. (Although, as always, there was fiction that bucked that trend.)
So, if One Twu Wuv isn't the model, what could be? Aral, let it be noted, had at
least two serious relationships before he met Cordelia and (spoiler). I don't
think Aral is Cordelia's One Twu Wuv even at the Shards/Barrayar stage. He is the
Best Damn Thing She's Ever Seen, which is a different trope. Precious. When he's
gone, he leaves a huge hole in her universe, but he doesn't destroy the entire
universe wholesale with his death.
I like this trope a lot better.
I don't really want to get into the oath thing; I suspect the marriage oaths are
not the same as whatever they read off in 50s comedies. I don't have time to dig
them out. (Are they even spelled out? Possibly ACC or Winterfair Gifts.) But in
any case, have we forgotten the reset button? Oaths are important, but survivors
have to figure out how to reset their lives and honor and get on with getting
back to an honorable path.
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