Nans per aspera (a Naissance des pieuvres fanfiction)

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Re: Nans per aspera (a Naissance des pieuvres fanfiction)

Postby Owen » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:02 am

Afterword
(and a wordy one :roll: )

The first viewing of Naissance des pieuvres left me nearly wordless. I couldn’t believe how one could have reproduced so accurately my inner life when growing up. And Sciamma has done it with a story so different from my own! An amazing feat.

So I was struck during the viewing and I floated in a cloud for about a month after that, reliving the story which was intermingling with mine. I was truly fascinated, especially with Acquart ‘s portrayal of Marie, I couldn’t stop thinking of it.

Then some time passed, and as I was searching for other movies Pauline had done, I stumbled on this forum, and you know the rest. I signed up, and started to follow her career, while still thinking about NdP and her intensity in it (unfortunately, besides it and Au 7e jour she did nothing of the same kind, and that’s too bad), which prompted in me reflections on the themes of the movie. I announced that I would probably write an essay about it, but I was not up for the task, apparently (it would have been clumsy, I fear).

But after seeing Pauline (for Andreas in Avignon), I was inspired to write, at last. So I begun to draft what would become the first chapter of Nans per aspera.

Well, as a genre, I don’t really like fanfiction for its derivative nature, and for that too many writers create unfinished stories that just drag on. That is not how I conceive a good story, for me, it has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end, altogether coherent and planned. (That’s why I am somewhat cold to television series too...) But fanfiction offers many interesting writing and literary problems, and there are true gems among it.


In this case, both story and style problems had to be dealt with.

First, how and where to pick up from what the movie ending was showing? I thought of two possibilities for the setting:

1) Immediately after the ending, when the two girls float in the pool, the very night and maybe the following days, during which Marie must cope with her «awakening» and with redefined relations between Anne, François and Floriane.

This could be treated in two manners: either the «awakening» was «soft» or «hard». Was this a life-changing event, a new knowledge and manner of being immediately processed, or something more gradual and subtle, which would make the characters appear as «more of the same» (at the beginning at least)?

2) Several months or years later, to find out how they have grown.

The risk of the first approach is repeating the movie; the risk of the second is doing something barely related.

Because of my interests (and limitations) as a writer, I chose the second approach: it allowed me not to write dialogue (I sort of suck at and dislike it) and to treat characters with a more distant eye. I think that I showed them (her) in a realistic (even though depressing) manner: as people grow and change situations, they part ways, even the closest of friends; the sudden shifts and revelations are rare and their actualization is often complicated by contingencies (so a «soft» «awakening» for Marie).

But I also radicalized Marie’s views stemming from the NdP’s ending, so that in my story she has become aware not only of the nature of feelings, but of their mechanical, cyclic nature, and of the tyrannic structuration that these cycles decree over life. This view, added to incertainty about future, wears her down much more than she was in the movie. (One may object that I subverted Marie’s awareness in NdP’s ending by considering the «desire» not as a concept that opens up possibilities in life, but as one that puts on life a rigid grid, but that’s just my interpretation, and I didn’t want to write a happy story.)


Second, the aesthetics and style. How to translate the movie photography into words? That was challenging. As for visual elements, I wanted to stay true to the slow and heavy summer’s atmosphere, and somewhat static scenery (well, while in the movie, the squareness of structures is contrasted by the girls’ curved bodies and movements, in my vision it’s gone). It was a dreamlike world, almost fantastic, impression reinforced by the near absence of adults. In my story, I also eliminated adults (and even people altogether), leaving only the necessary. The washed-up colors reflect Marie’s weariness.

About the writing style, I tried to create lack by omitting normally expected words (including some pronouns) and displacing structures to unease reading. There are ellipses and many cut off phrases, on purpose. And many other things...


Owen, what’s with the sun eating the sun, and the universe wanting to undo Marie?! :T

Well, it’s a bit complicated, and would be long to explain. When I imagined all that, I had just processed Plato’s Republic, so I was under influence of the theory of ideas. In my story, it’s a twisted take on this theory. That what I called chimaeras and the sun imprinting its vision over the world are two interconnected illustrations of that.


I apologize too for the overlong afterword, which may seem pretentious, but I consider this work important to me, it condenses reflections on the many things going on in my life during that time.
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Re: Nans per aspera (a Naissance des pieuvres fanfiction)

Postby fish » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:34 am

Love the afterword Owen.
It explains much.

I've had a lot of medical stuff to deal with over the last week, but I hope to be able to post my review in the next day or so.
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