century series

Moriel Meta - in which Moriel is actually a healthy and respectful relationship, who knew?

I dislike the ‘Mor has to fix the Cass/Az/Mor situation/Mor should just talk to Azriel about everything/Mor has to be the one to change things and convince Az that he’s worthy of her’ for a number of reasons, most of which I’ve whinged about before (largely that it’s…kind of gross that all the emotional responsibility for this triangle is placed on..the only female character involved in it which is…deeply unfair) but apart from that I think it just shows a lack of understanding as to these characters and how they work and why Mor hasn’t said anything after all this time? 

And people say she should just get on with it and she should just say something and stop all of this but…I don’t think they consider the more problematic aspects of that? Azriel is in love with her and has been for a very long time and she knows this. I think that…In a way if she confronts him about it it’s like telling him that he has to be with her now. She puts him on the spot and forces him to approach a subject that she knows he’s not ready for

“So if he were ever interested would you … ?”
“The issue, actually, wouldn’t be me. It’d be him. I could peel off my clothes right in front of him and he wouldn’t move an inch. He might have defied and proved those Illyrian pricks wrong at every turn, but it won’t matter if Rhys makes him Prince of Velaris—he’ll see himself as a bastard-born nobody, and not good enough for anyone. Especially me.”

 This scene has been approached in a whole host of different ways from people thinking that Mor is flat out wrong to assuming that this has happened before and she knows this from past experience but…I always just kind of read it as it was written. Az doesn’t think he’s good enough for her. It doesn’t matter what she does. It doesn’t matter if she tells him that she wants him. It doesn’t matter if she peels her clothes off and offers him every inch of her. This isn’t a question of want. It never has been. The problem isn’t desire, it’s not even love, it’s worth. 

We’re talking about the person that Mor spent four hundred years convincing it was okay to take a break from work every now and then and go to a club. We’re told Az’s dedication to his work and the lengths he push himself to border on sadistic. This is not someone who takes what they want. This is someone who struggles hugely with self-esteem and self-worth. This is someone who was locked in the dark as a child and set on fire by his brothers as a game because he was that disposable and that insignificant and had that little value. This is someone who is terrified of ever being in that position again and who therefore works ceaselessly and denies himself the things that he wants, even small things like rest or leisure time, because he cannot let himself not be useful again for even a moment because what if they lock him away again because he doesn’t matter? 

So, fine, let’s say Mor does what everyone says she should do. She goes to Az, tells him how she feels, tells him how she knows he feels, tells him what she wants, puts him on the spot, forces him to do something about it. Either: he does as Mor (who’s known and loved him for 500 years) believes and simply does nothing, freezes up, doesn’t move, doesn’t act. Or, okay, maybe he gives in to her because this is the woman that he loves, you know? The woman he’s devoted to. The woman he would look up from a pool of his own blood and snarl at the king who controls the poison running through his veins in order to protect. So maybe he yields. Maybe he says okay. Maybe he accepts her because well this is what she wants. 

For a start that…Doesn’t change anything? Mor going to him and telling him she loves him and wants him and peeling her clothes off in front of him isn’t going to change a damn thing. Rhys making him prince of Velaris isn’t going to change a damn thing. There is nothing that can be done externally to change Az. (And Mor is not under obligation to change him just because she’s a prospective partner that’s a seriously damaged way of thinking too) Az has to change Az. Az has to decide within himself that this relationship is something that he wants, something that will be good for him (and Mor), something that he deserves, something that he can have. Mor cannot do that for him. 

You can’t fix someone’s insecurities just by telling them that you love them/want them? That’s…Not the way this works, especially not for someone like Az where it’s such a deep rooted thing. This is something that he has to work himself through and in the meantime Mor (and Cassian who is…in this almost entirely for Az) will make damn sure that he has the time and space that he needs. However much of it that might be. 

And for a second thing her doing that would be…really unhealthy? Think about it. She’s essentially going up to this insecure, damaged person who’s deeply in love with her and saying: right, I love you, I’m tired of waiting, I’m making an executive decision here, one that isn’t really mine to make (it’s not Mor’s decision/up to Mor to say when Az is ready) and I’m telling you we’re doing this. That’s…Not okay? Like that’s borderline emotionally manipulative? She knows how Az feels. She confronts him about it and she uses that to get what she wants? And it’d be damaging for him. No matter how much he wants this. He. Is. Not. Ready. For. This. Relationship. 

And so many people call Mor out for this? As though it’s her fault? As though it’s a bad thing that she respects his boundaries, respects his insecurities, doesn’t try and force him to change for her because it would give her what she wants? She waits for him. She has waited five hundred years for this man to be ready. She has never pushed him. She has never pressured him. She never will. 

Because this is Mor. And is it really so difficult to understand why Mor, who suffered horrendous abuse of her own as a child, which shapes her just as much as it shapes Az, would wait? Is it so difficult to imagine her refusing to put Az on the spot and pressure him and control him the way she was controlled? Because oh well everyone around you expects you to do this so you should.

 Is it really difficult to imagine her refusing to tell Az who he should love and when he should be with them even though he’s not ready? The way her family told her that she should be with a prince of the Autumn Court, even though she wasn’t ready and didn’t want that? 

Is it really so difficult to imagine Mor, who spent her early life being broken by the demands and expectations and pressures of others - her family, those who were supposed to be closest to her, love her, protect her- refusing to put similar demands or expectations or pressures on another? Especially someone she loves so much.

 Is it really so difficult to imagine Mor, who was shown so little respect that once she was no longer of use or value she was treated like an animal and cast out to die, to be someone else’s problem, would be able to muster up enough respect to let the person she loves so much make their own choices in life? The things that were denied her? 

Is it so difficult to imagine that Mor wants to allow Az a choice? That she feels he should be allowed to choose what he is ready for? And not have her decide for him? Not have her step up to him and say, this is what’s best for you, this is what you want, this is what I’m deciding that you should have?

Is it really an indication that Mor doesn’t love him that she waits? That she’s waited for five hundred years. That’d she’d likely wait the same again, that she’d likely die before feeling like she’d forced him into a relationship with her because she decided that it was time and he was ready and that this was what was best? And therefore that gave her the right to strip away his choices because she knows what’s best? 

Is it really such a terrible thing for one partner to actually respect the other, their history, their situation, their insecurities and understand that they can’t just make these disappear with ~the power of love~ because that’s not the way that mental health works? And that maybe the best thing they can do is not put any extra pressure onto them and give them time and space and support to work through things in their own time and way? 

And is it really so difficult to believe that this is actually the healthiest and best thing that Mor could do both for Azriel and her relationship with him? And that anything else is unfairly pressuring him and manipulating him and forcing him into accepting something that he himself isn’t ready for? And that an emotional abuse victim doesn’t want to emotionally abuse the person that they love? And that that really isn’t a bad thing, you know; that anything else would be toxic and one-sided and selfish and unfair?

Is it? 

TL;DR: Mor is actually capable of respecting Azriel and demonstrates her love for him through that respect in allowing him space, time and a choice in his own life and the relationships he feels ready to pursue. Her keeping her distance from Azriel, the man she loves, for over five centuries is selfless af and I am tired of seeing it twisted around to make her appear to be the opposite. She’s actually dealing with this situation in the best, healthiest way possible and if you’ve got an alternative to what’s happening that doesn’t involve a fukc tonne of coercion and emotional manipulation backing Az into a corner and forcing him to deal with something he’s not ready to face I’d love to hear it :) 

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Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth in ‘Elizabeth’ (1998).

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He Duoling (何多苓) (1948, China)

‘House with Attic’ series 1: groups

He Duoling is a prominent contemporary Chinese oil painter with a broad range of influences from impressionism and Pre-Raphaelitism to Andrew Wyeth, in a style moving from realism to a more free-form and poetic manner. In my opinion, one of the most ‘complete’ figurative painters from China.

He’s House with Attic series is a set of 44 paintings to accompany Anton Chekhov’s short story usually titled An Artist’s Story or The House with the Mezzanine in English. The choice of an impressionistic style to the works is presumably a deliberate evocation of Chekhov’s period, and He explores the space and psychology between the characters with a striking ease.

Masterpost -- Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century

The series is now complete!

Here’s what we learned from Graham Robb and his brilliant book:

1) What ACD said about Oscar Wilde, how do you know if you have homosexual “characteristics”, and why the colour green is gay

2) Turkish bathhouses, the Achilles statue, and my dear boy

3) Lifting the veil, coded meanings, and red neckties/handkerchiefs

4) Gay marriages took place in secret in the 19th century

5) Knee gropes and “crude symptoms of physical sexual sympathy”

6) Homosexuality in Victorian literature, Part 1

7) Homosexuality in Victorian literature, Part 2

8) Sherlock Holmes and Victorian Homosexuality – original post

9) Sherlock Holmes and Victorian Homosexuality – with extended material on ACD, authorial intent, and Hellenic influences on 19th century gay culture

10) Link to purchase the book from amazon.co.uk

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Claude Monet (1840–1926, France)

Large-scale water lilly paintings

Monet was a French impressionist painter. He is arguably the most famous impressionist, with numerous works that have entered the popular consciousness. As an artist he helped establish the movement’s plein air principle of depicting nature outdoors rather than in the studio. Monet’s interest in capturing the sense of a scene led him to paint many different versions of some of his subjects, each taking pains to represent the changing nature of the landscape or architecture a different lights and seasons.

The water lilies (or nymphéas) is a series of approximately 250 oil paintings produced during the second half of his career, and increasingly becoming the artists main artistic focus. The paintings depict Monet’s flower garden at Giverny during the last thirty years of his life, and many of the works were painted while Monet suffered from cataracts. Many of the paintings were of standard size, but some were multi-metre wide canvas designed to be viewed as panoramas.

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Top 10 Cruel Monarchs (or with Black legend)

youtube

Just started to watch this series on Netflix (idk about other countries, but here in Mexico it was added yesterday). I’m only in episode 3 BUT I have to say that it is fun and interesting. There’s a disturbing lack of wigs and some of the costumes are… suspicious? very inaccurate? But there are some good things to see:

  • LOTS of furs. Of course, that’s practically the theme of the series, the fur trade. So we have a lot of fur garments and accessories. Maybe a little bit too much? (look for the girl with little fur hair accessories). You know, enough fur that if it were real, all of the members of PETA would have a collective heart attack.

Originally posted by jacnaylor

  • Jason Momoa. I don’t think I have to add anything else to this line.

Originally posted by hawaiian-jesus

  • Many Native characters. Thank you. Really we need to see this in more not only historical series and films.
  • There’s a guy who looks as if he were Daniel Radcliffe’s cousin. His Irish cousin. (Who is also the guy from Hemlock Grove but looks SO much younger in this series. A.K.A. Landon Liboiron).

Originally posted by elwinio

  • The locations are breathtaking, as well as the interior scenes and the ones in little cities and forts. I’ve only been in 1 place which was a fur trade spot and the whole isolation and wilderness spirit of the place is very well seen in this series. I guess it’s some Discovery stuff. IDK. It’s supposed to be set in Ontario and so (you know, the whole Hudson’s Bay Company) but it was filmed in Newfoundland.

On the down side:

  • A lot of short hair, and a lack of wigs. Even in the London scenes. O.o
  • The setting is just “late 18th century” but there are a couple characters and outfits that look taken from (at least) the 1810s.
  • There’s a lot of blood. I mean, a LOT. Like, if you don’t have the stomach to see a guy having his throat open on screen, then maybe it’s not for you. This is neither a good nor a bad thing. It’s just a fact.

Well, this is it. For now. This series have only 6 episodes, so I’ll finish quick, I think. I’ll let you know any other thoughts and if you’ve already seen Frontier, let us all know what you think!

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Charles Le Brun (1619–1690, France)

A series of lithographic drawings illustrative of the relation between the human physiognomy and that of the brute creation

Le Brun was a French painter and art theorist. Declared by Louis XIV “the greatest French artist of all time”, he was a dominant figure in 17th century French art and much influenced by Nicolas Poussin.

The goal of physiognomy is to judge character according to features of the face. Le Brun studied the lines linking different points of the head in a complex geometry which revealed the faculties of the spirit or character. Thus, the angle formed by the axis of the eyes and the eyebrows could lead to various conclusions, depending upon whether or not this angle rose toward the forehead to join the soul or descented toward the nose and mouth, which were considered to be animal features.