[LMB] OT: Social structures, was Build your own Emperor

baur baur baur at chello.at
Thu Sep 28 10:34:04 BST 2017

>     "A. Marina Fournier" <saffronrose at me.com> hat am 28. September 2017 um
> 08:54 geschrieben:
>     On Sep 27, 2017, at 06:42 PM, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>     Gwynne: Totally agree! I love history, especially particular periods or
> cultures,
>     and I find it almost impossible to read books set in those times. That's
> one of
>     the big pluses for fantasy and SF, for me - the rules are whatever the
> writer
>     says, so I don't spend the whole book muttering '...but no woman would
> say/do
>     that in THAT culture, it wouldn't even be considered! And THAT was against
> the
>     law... and that's not a concept they even thought about....' By which time
> I've
>     lost all sympathy with the characters.
>     Marina:
>     Wallbangers.
>     The electronic equivalent for me is a folder marked Never Buy This Author
> Again.
>     If I can't connect well to the characters, I'm not going to continue
> reading the book--especially if there are other impediments in the way, such a
> complete lack of attention to grammar, or internal consistency.
>     My favorite example of a wallbanger was a short story, allegedly set in
> the Regency Period of England. The lead female is at a ball. Suddenly she's
> dancing to the Blue Danube Waltz. There is no space station in sight.
>     •late 19th C., not early 19th C.
>     •composer's parents haven't even met yet, and perhaps not even born yet.
> They themselves may not yet have been a twinkle in a parent's eye yet.

composers parents might have met - johann strauss sen. was 16 at the end of the
regency period 8) and he this most definitely was born - johann strauss jun.
(the composer) was born in 1825 .. "An der schönen blauen Donau" was written end
of 1866

>     • If you're going to dance to that music, which is a waltz-*time* tune,
> not an actual tune for a waltz, it has to be carefully choreographed as a set
> piece, due to the tempo fluctuations. Yeah, I tried it. Once only.

you CAN dance to it 8) - both partners have to know the piece pretty well, top
know the tempi changes - and it helps if the ball room is so much filled that
everyone can basically just sway in place (the classic Vienna Opera Ball



>     I hadn't liked the character much to begin with. I have mercifully blanked
> on author and title.
>     Gwynne: 
>     Contemporary writers are fine, they know their own rules. Some (few)
> writers
>     do the research and are true to the times. But way too many stomp in with
>     modern ideals and impose them on a culture that was completely different,
> with
>     no .... ok, don't start me. This could go on for some time, with examples.
>     Marina:
>     Oddly enough, one well-known historical novelist climbed on a high horse
> about women being written into historical periods with modern attitudes and
> sensibilities, with little care about facts. Alas, the author has played fast
> and loose with historical fact when it worked better in a story.
>     However, in condemning other writers for giving power to women in periods
> where that wasn't common, said author forgot that there *were* women in
> certain positions in each region/country/etc and time who *did* have power and
> influence, which we know of as modern women. A blanket statement of "women
> couldn't/wouldn't do X then" falls short of accuracy when exceptions are not
> mentioned. Not all women, certainly, but privilege changes things. It is then
> the responsibility of the writer to show the reader the situations which allow
> those anomalies.
>     In some ways, there's a parallel to the idea of "traditional marriage":
> one has to define that term by era and area, and any other factors, because it
> is not a monolith. We know this because Thus Spake Zarathustra is not playing
> in the background.
>     Gwynne: 
>     As for marriage - it was your job. Your parents got you the best deal they
> could,
>     for status or wealth or hopefully both. Your job was to breed, to push
> your
>     family's interests, and to run the household or fight the wars or
> whatever. You
>     expected, or at least hoped, for respect and affection. And.... again,
> I'll stop or
>     I could whitter on forever.
>     Like, say, Penric.
>     I came across this short video on the National Geographic website. I have
> no idea--and it's not mentioned--whether it was an arranged marriage, but I
> think it likely, given the time it began, but awwwww.
>    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/video/shorts/married-for-88-years-this-couple-shares-their-secrets-to-love/
>     But they should get it RIGHT or not do it at all!
>     Some people apparently can't see what underlying assumptions they are
> injecting into history, possibly, because they haven't read enough of it to
> see what's modern and what's not. Let us not get weighed down on modern
> phrasing in historical mouths, or I, too, shall scream. I send a gentle note
> to inform, when possible.
>     Underlying assumptions are hard for people to examine, and it often has to
> be pointed out to them.
>     --
>     Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to baur at chello.at
>     Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
>     http://lists.herald.co.uk/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lois-bujold

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