Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Bible - Council of Nicea
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
Emma - Jane Austen
Persuasion - Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Dune - Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Dracula - Bram Stoker The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
Ulysses - James Joyce
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Germinal - Emile Zola
Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession - AS Byatt
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web - EB White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Watership Down - Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
27 8 / 2014
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any form or fan shipping must be the expression of personal feelings and desires. I am not thinking Mary Sues here, don’t get me wrong, but I believe that the pairings we ship from behind our computer screens work as some mirror of Erised reflecting both ourselves and our deeper, sometimes unacknowledged wishes and expectations.
This being said,I’ve had my mind on one particular pairing lately : SwanQueen. For some time now I have been wondering, really wondering, why Swanqueen matters.
Really, why does it matter so much to all Swen out there that we get genuinely upset when SQ is shunned down by people we don’t even know ? Also on a more personal level, why does it mean so much to me ? Why now, when I though I had finally stopped making a fictional pairing a major part of my life the moment I let go of my student discount card ? Why did I fall so hard into Swanqueen ? And by hard I mean that I have all those shelves full or fantastic classic and modern books and yet I find myself digging the internet for more SwanQueen fanfictions day after day, even reading
some most of them twice.
So yeah, I have been doing some soul searching, you got that.
And I think I got an answer (please not the use of the indefinite article : I got an answer, not the answer, that would be too presumptuous of me), and that answer is “Swan Mills family”. I realized that in the majority of SQ fanfictions, no matter how the plot turns out, the happy ending is not so much Emma and Regina together as a couple as Emma, Regina and Henry together as a family. (And right now I’m thinking about that cute AU piece in which Emma and Regina are teenagers in a homeless teen shelter and yet the author managed to include a 10 year old Henry as part of their makeshift family.)
Which bring me to the subject of what we’ll call “the magical baby plot”.
I’ve been lurking around numerous fandoms since my early teen (back when there were no broadband but 56k modems, yes, I’m that old.) and I have probably shipped hundreds of pairing, femslash and het alike. And though not all of them got the same intense reaction from me as SQ does, there is one thing that they all had in common : somebody somewhere created a piece of fan work including a “magical baby.”
It doesn’t matter if it comes from science or actual magic, or any other forces or circumstances as imagined by their authors. In those stories what we get is our current OTP either brought together or finding their happy ending through a child, it doesn’t matter if it’s an infant, a todler or even a teenager, as long as that kid is legitimately, unequivocally theirs and there is nothing anyone can do about it. It can be the main plot or it can be the epilogue. It can be explained or not. All that matter is that that magical baby is endgame (a world my dear Swen love to use a lot, I reckon.)
Sometimes it even ends up being canon (I’m thinking The X-Files, season 8).
What I see when I read fanfiction about such and such pairing is the author’s and readers’ yearning for romance, but when the “magical baby” plot is used, it suddenly becomes so much more than that. It is about family, stability, home. And it doesn’t matter how awkwardly or clumsily this plot bunny is used (I never said all fanfiction was good, far from it) the fact is : it is very popular.
Hell, when I think about it, the first piece of fanfiction I ever wrote – at 13 - was a (not so sadly unpublished and since then lost in multiple hard drive reboots) BTVS magical baby Fuffy fanfiction (though even I was unaware of the Fuffy dimension at the time).
Anyway, when we look at it, Emma and Regina may be the luckiest subtextual pairing on TV ever. And why is that ? Henry is that magical baby ! He is already there and already canon. All that is left now to SQ shippers is to resolve that sexual / romantic tension between the two protagonist.
While one may argue that ” it is the tension between [Regina and Emma] that makes it fun to watch " *, let’s not forget that the show is actually about that kid who gets his birth mother involved in his adoptive mother’s shit.
OUAT is about family and especially the relations between the three member of that awkward family and I dare any CS or OQ shipper to show me otherwise!
Even if they only interacted through threats, lies, insults, or just ruining each other’s lives, nothing would change the fact that Emma and Regina are Henry’s legitimate mothers.
Both in their own way, yes, Emma by being his birth mother (like, you know, genetics and all, can’t do much about it), Regina, legally, by adopting and raising him (and loving him, but I don’t think we need to get into that debate). The important thing here is that no one will ever deny their status as the boy’s mother.
And frankly, this is more than a lot of lesbian mothers out there could wish for.
I have this couple of friends, let’s call them K. and D. who share the most precious 4 year old boy. It would always break my heart to know that as far as the taxes were concerned, they were a double income household, but were anything to happen to D., K. would have no right at all on her son, just because she did not give birth to him even if she raised him together with his birth mother. As if K. could never fully be his legitimate mother too, just because French law does to provide for those situations. (The story got better actually, they got married last Fall, when the law for marriage equality was passed.)
As far as I’m concerned I know I want children. I also know I’d like to make my life with a woman. And it has always been clear to me that it would be impossible (or at least terribly difficult) to have both, for practical reasons. I mean, what if I had a kid, would the woman who shared my life be as legitimate a mother as I ? What if she were to have one, would I be ?
So yeah these are some of the things that go through my mind when I read Swanqueen. Because then I have that example of those two lucky, lucky ladies both already sharing a kid in a way that no one can deny or even question.
Of Course, this is something that will never happen in my real life, I know that. But at least with Swanqueen / Swan-Mills I have got all those nice mental images, as something to hope for - the same way, probably a white heterosexual girl might find herself hoping for Prince Charming after watching Disney’s Snow White – an unattainable fantasy, yes, but a pretty comforting one.
These are my personal feelings on the matter, but I am sure that most Swanqueen shippers will feel the same or something close.
Though SQ smut has its perks, I do believe that what we express through fanfiction (or fanart, fanvid, manip or any other way we claim our allegiance the Swanqueen nation) is not a fantasy of two beautiful women sharing hot lesbian love and sex, but really something deeper.
It’s a longing for the possibility of making Swan Mills happens, of making gay parenting a reality.
This is why, at a time when there are such intense debates about marriage equality, Swan-Mills family as the representation or a possibly fully functional homoparental family is probably one of the most important – and political – thing on TV.
This is why Swan Queen matters.
On a darker note, now, I fear OUAT is taking the Xena road. The beautiful gay couple will probably never make it explicitly into canon, but years from now, it is the only thing the show will be remembered for. (anyone remember Ares ? Hum ? Okay, now look at Hook ^^ !)
*Yes, I am quoting Lana Parrilla, because, well, I can.
18 8 / 2014
My fictional character crushes over the years.
Last couple of years :
Okay, I’m not 100% sure but there might be a pattern here.
08 8 / 2014
when aaaall your friends are getting married and having babies. and you are still here hanging out on tumblr and reading fanfictions.
01 8 / 2014
When a customer asks you to order a book for her.
And it turns out to actually be a SwanQueen fanfiction.
29 7 / 2014