Summary: "When I get away from skating, two L words come to mind, Life and Love. I’ve been neglecting both for over twenty years.“ - Victor Nikiforov
Victor makes friends with depression before he knows its name, grows up with the ghost of it in his bones, gets acclimated to the chill. He’s a changeling’s child, a chameleon; he makes himself into all the things people want. He’s acclimated to his winter life, cold and stark and glittering success.
He has everything a person could possibly want. There’s no reason for discontent.
That is, there’s no reason for discontent until Katsuki Yuuri tumbles into his arms in Sochi. Suddenly the lies Victor has told himself about his own happiness for years are pouring through his fingers like sand and the things he doesn’t have at all are thrown in stark relief: he has a career and no life; he has a passion and no love.
Or: a retelling of those twenty years of neglect, that one night in Sochi, and why the season that gave both of those things back to Victor Nikiforov was the one he spent being Katsuki Yuuri’s coach.
Notes: Victor backstory
Review: Where do I even start???!!
Do I start with the incredible exploration of Victor’s family life? Who do I start yelling about first, his father or his mother? Is my favorite part the characterization or is it the exploration of setting? Is it the language, the prose? The A+ handling of sensitive content?
thehandsingsweapon handles all this deftly and with the same grace Victor has on the ice: clean, technically masterful, and with a confident dignity that never crosses the line to too showy.
The fic hits you in the face with its Russian-ness from the very first paragraph; the author has clearly done their research and St. Petersburg comes alive in their words. It’s not just the St. Petersburg of the Mariinsky and of the Yubileyny Sports Palace, but also the St. Petersburg where Victor’s grandmother lives in a Soviet-era house with a guest bed mattress that “probably predates Stalin.” This conception of St. Petersburg feels lived-in, feels real; it feels less like a space that is logically required to predicate the existence of Victor and our St. Petersburg characters, and more like a womb that nurtured them all to life.
And the life that thehandsingsweapon gives Victor never feels overwrought or too dramatized. Victor, in this fic, strays far from fandom headcanons of Extra and instead settles into a life remarkable for its normalcy. He lives with family and doesn’t entirely get along with them, he makes friends and fails to keep them, he’s a moody teenager who listened to The Cure too loud and thinks that no one understands him. But therein lies this fic’s masterstroke – in immersing us in the humdrum, by holding a mirror to our boring daily lives, thehandsingsweapon reminds us of the quiet tragedy of unhappiness. They made Victor’s sadness a tangible thing, solidifies it to the bitterness of ash in your mouth. They take the vaguest statement from the original anime – I’ve been neglecting life and love for over twenty years – and articulates it in image after image of Victor trying to live a life patterned after what people tell him counts as a meaningful life and failing.
There’s lots of great things packed into this WIP: Victor’s string of exes are well-thought out characters (shout out to Viktor and pegging, man I love this fic so much); a lot of canonically ignored characters make in-depth appearances here. Georgi, in particular, is a dear, and I AM SO THERE for Yakov and Lilia’s splintering marriage. We have only just managed to breach canon events with the newest update, but I’m hella excited for more Yuuri content because AAAAH I’m so in love with their Victor already, and am now just waiting to watch him fall in love.
reading, caesura during (looking up, sideways, inverted) 5 March 2017
These would-be thoughts are the emblems of “the practice of everyday life,” the verbal blazons of union, permissible only if not taken to be thoughts. They are indices of an order of existence… of which we are not held to produce a concept. For this order there is no terra incognita on our map of Being… Maurice Merleau-Ponty, “Eye and Mind” (“L'oeil et l'esprit,” 1964) in Galen A. Johnson, ed., The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader : Philosophy and Painting (1993) : 137
via Fernando Zalamea his Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics (2012) : 151, wherein — In fact, it is not even a question of ‘reading’ in Grothendieck, but rather a listening. An articulation between images, intuition and ear as opposed to other merely formal manipulations of language, seems to be fundamental to him.
The shape of Hanbok in early stage is found in Ancient Goguryeo Era, its original form being represented by Chima(skirt) and Jeogori(blouse).
The most remarkable change of Hanbok was during Joseon dynasty when Jeogori became shorter and narrower.
Hanbok slowly disappeared from mainstream society after 1895 when the western clothing was introduced into Korean Culture.
The basic features of traditional Chinese clothing are cross-collar, wrapping the right lapel over the left, tying with sash and a form of blouse plus skirt or long gown. These features have been preserved for thousands of years till the time of the Republic of China (1912 – 1949AD), when Chinese Tunic Suit (Mao Suit) and Cheongsam ( Qipao) prevailed.
Originally, “kimono” was the Japanese word for clothing. But in more recent years, the word has been used to refer specifically to traditional Japanese clothing. Kimonos as we know them today came into being during the Heian period (794-1192).
From the Nara period (710-794) until then, Japanese people typically wore either ensembles consisting of separate upper and lower garments (trousers or skirts), or one-piece garments. But in the Heian period, a new kimono-making technique was developed. Known as the straight-line-cut method, it involved cutting pieces of fabric in straight lines and sewing them together.
During the Meiji period (1868-1912), Japan was heavily influenced by foreign cultures. The government encouraged people to adopt Western clothing and habits. Government officials and military personnel were required by law to wear Western clothing for official functions.
Nowadays, Japanese people rarely wear kimonos in everyday life, reserving them for such occasions as weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies, or other special events, such as summer festivals.
Colors and symbolistic
Korean traditional costume’s basic color is yellow, red, blue, black and white.
Yellow- center and ground.
Red- north and fire.
Blue- east and tree.
Black- north and water.
White- west and gold( gold symbolizes emperor, so the general public can’t use it)
Vivid violet- used by young people
Deep violet- used bysenior people
Three central colors:
red (happiness, wealth, fame, good luck), black (sadness, suffering, evil, death), white (purity, honesty, life).
Yellow and dragon embroideries- used by emperors only
Purple: used by the fifth or higher rank officials in Tang Dynasty( 68- 907 AD)
Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911 AD), the higher a person’s social rank or the richer one was, the more embroideries and borders there were on his attires. Ming Dynasty, the embroidered pattern on a first rank civil officer’s uniform was a crane, second rank a golden pheasant, third rank a peacock, fourth rank a wild goose, fifth rank a silver pheasant, sixth rank an egret, seventh rank a “purple mandarin duck”, eighth rank an oriole and ninth rank a quail.
The patterns that adorn kimono are very significant, for it is through choice of colour and, most importantly, decorative motifs that the wearer’s gender, age, status, wealth, and taste are articulated.
The images used on kimono often have complex levels of meaning, and many have specific auspicious significance which derives from religious or popular beliefs.
Crane- believed to live for a thousand years and to inhabit the land of the immortals it is a symbol of longevity and good fortune.
Pine, bamboo and plum are known collectively as the Three Friends of Winter (shōchikubai), and are symbols of longevity, perseverance and renewal.
Birds, animals, butterflies and dragonflies also appear on kimono, along with other motifs drawn from the natural world such as water, snow and clouds. On some kimono whole landscapes of mountains and streams are depicted.
Colours too have strong metaphorical and cultural connotations. Dyes are seen to embody the spirit of the plants from which they are extracted. Any medicinal property is also believed to be transferred to the coloured cloth.
Preview: Despite the fact that painting was one of the most advanced arts in Ancient Greece, only a few, but important, examples survive today. The great majority of it has been found on funerary buildings, on grave stelai, cist graves and burial couches in the region of hellenic Macedonia, with an overwhelming amount concentrated at the necropolis of Aigai, in contemporary Vergina, Imathia.They give us a small but well articulated image of the colour palette, the conventions and capabilities of ancient greek painting.
Wall paintings- encaustic on marble- from the necropolis of Aigai and the tombs of Philip II of Macedon and Meda, Nikesipolis, and Alexander IV. Photography: Socrates Mavrommates, from the book Aigai: The royal metropolis of the Macedonians, by Angeliki Kottaridi.
Third row: Decorative motifs with ribbons and flowers from a cist grave found in Sedes. The grave today is housed in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. (photography mine)
Here’s a hot n’ spicy 2AM take: the reason that discourse and social justice oriented discussions on tumblr go to seed so quickly isn’t a sign that the discussions aren’t worth having, or even that the individual people having them are unfit to be having them. The circular nature of discussion and the way an idea can gain traction only to have an immediate backlash here is instead the result of trying to engage with a form of social justice which has never in the history of its development been applied on such an individualized basis as it is on tumblr, with each and every person taking on simultaneously the roles of theorist, activist, and what you might call a body-in-the-world (impacted by various structures, impacted by the social justice discussion). The way tumblr works quite literally doesn’t allow for the sorts of necessary generalizations that theorizing a structure has to make, and moreover, because what we produce here is a blog and not an activist project, or even an organized piece of writing on a subject, there is never any setting aside of differences to move under a united front–the process of doing that on tumblr doesn’t present itself as a logical action, because it reads as silencing individual voices “for the cause” rather than, as it usually is in real life, a multitude coming together for a single purpose. Imagine if you spoke to every individual person at a protest, and debated with them about the terms of that protest, and discovered not only that, but their interests, flaws, personality, as well as other traits which might seem to discount their very interest in the cause you were united for–it would be absolutely impossible to move forward, because you would be applying things that had no relevance to that cause to your view of the individual situated within that cause. You would begin to see them as the lump sum of everything they had to offer as an individual entity, on the terms that they could articulate themselves through images and text–that’s what tumblr is like. I don’t know if it’s good or bad but to me it certainly explains why people run into frustration trying to have “discourse” of any kind or even when trying to unite people under a generally stated set of ideas and principals.