heartbreakingly romantic

fantasticalnonsense18  asked:

Lately I've been pondering the development of Beauty and Beast's relationship, chiefly in Villeneuve/Beaumont's and Disney's versions, and of course you're own; each retelling is unique in its own way, and each has different lessons to teach. My question to you is, how has this relationship developed over the centuries (i.e. how we interpret it), and who do you think learns more from the other, or has more character growth, due to this relationship: Beauty or Beast?

Ooh, that’s a GREAT question, and not one I can really give a short or glib answer to…

Most older variants of the story are interested in Beauty getting what she deserves —wealth, station and an appropriate mate. This makes sense, as it’s a story about a woman told by women —first at great length in Villeneuve’s novella, and then in a much shorter bowdlerized form by Beaumont. The primary concern of the story is Beauty being respectfully courted by a remarkable patient and good hearted, but ugly, individual. This is, heartbreakingly, a deeply romantic fantasy when we consider that its authors were women who had been foisted into loveless political marriages with less than kindhearted men — it’s the story of hoping the man with whom you are forced co-habitate will turn out to be a kind prince, in spite of first seeming to be an unknowable monster.

The details of the characters aren’t precise —these are fairy tales after all. The Prince has no name, and neither does the heroine (she is so pretty people call her a beauty — this isn’t actually her name). Villeneuve glories in setting her stage and painting her set details, but never gives us much idea of the characters’ emotional lives. Beaumont trims the fat (and the backstory) but leaves us with even less to build upon. All we really know is the Beauty is kind, optimistic, hard-working and good, and her Beast is patient, self-effacing and perhaps a touch melodramatic.

It’s when we begin moving into cinema and the modern trend towards broader retellings that we start to see some digging into the character’s emotional state;

Cocteau’s film gives us a remarkable sensual Beast, and a stern, restrained Beauty. The story, abstract in places, relying on metaphor and surrealist imagery, can be taken as an emotional one — Beauty’s strange journey towards realizing her own sensual desires, as depicted by a man who seems to be an animal… or is he her brother’s friend? She’s not sure. They run together in her mind. Although Cocteau’s Beast is a powerful image with his smoking claws, his diamond tears, and his stalking bloodied through Beauty’s bedchamber, the emotional journey is not his.

Robin Mckinley gave us our next step in her fully realized novel, Beauty — a straightforward and no- nonsense story told from the heroine’s straightforward and no-nonsense point of view. Here, Beauty’s interior life is on full display. It is most definitely her story, her growth, and her revelations we care about. Her Beast is already more or less a complete person — one who is happy to rediscover his love of horses, yes, but not with any great emotional journey to make. Once more, it is Beauty who must grapple with herself, while the Beast waits patiently for her to come him as the inevitable conclusion.

When Disney arrives (borrowing much of McKinley’s Beauty for their own bookish, horse-loving Belle) they begin an exploration we haven’t seen before —one into the Beast’s interior life. Gone is the gentle patient soul waiting for the girl to open up to him. Here, suddenly is the angry young man raging against circumstances and lashing out at the world. For the first time, we have a Beast who is every bit as beastly as he appears. For the first time, we have a Beauty who is awaiting the maturation her partner, her own journey already complete.

Leading up to this point, we’d seen a number of explorations of the story that allowed the Beast to become a metaphor for Beauty’s awakening sexuality, her exploration of unconscious desire, or her self actualization. We hadn’t seen a Beast who was a person in and of himself since Beaumont trimmed away Villeneuve’s backstory of a boy cursed by a caregiver-turned-predator.

Since then, we’ve seen a number of adaptations concerned with the Beast’s journey back to humanity — Donna Jo Napoli’s “Beast”,  Alex Flinn’s “Beastly” , and Disney’s Broadway adaptation of the animated film among others. Rare is the appearance of the patient and polite monster suitor we originally knew. The Beast has become a masculine metaphor for self-loathing, for fear of one’s desires and impulses, and for the conquering of one’s aggression. His winning of love and subsequent return to shining humanity is a promise that even the most unlovable of us can grow and change and be redeemed. It is an interesting cultural shift, that this once very female-centred story is now often one of masculine growth and change.

So, in trying to sum up, traditionally Beauty and the Beast has been a story about a young woman’s journey to accepting an unconventional male partner. In the twentieth century, it become a popular metaphor for the awakening of female sexuality and power. Now, more and more, we see it as a metaphor for the channeling of negative masculinity into positive masculinity. The story evolves. We pull new meaning from it, stretch it this way and that, examine it in the mirror, and take it apart to see how it ticks. It changes to suit our cultural needs, and it will continue to change.

In my own work, I’m trying to move a step further — to write a story about equals. Two people growing in complimentary ways, rather than one partner awaiting the other. We will always have our separate initiation rites, but for now I’m interested in seeing how a relationship blossoms. A particular quote has stayed with me through the development of the comic adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and it is this:

“A generation ago, great writers and editors like Jane Yolen, Ellen Datlow… reclaimed the traditional heritage: dismissing soft-focus, Disneyfied Snow White and Cinderella, rediscovering grim truths and quick-witted, resourceful heroines. That’s fine, that’s excellent work. But what I’ve wanted to do is to reclaim the relationships. To bring the prince and the princess together, instead of sending them off on segregated initiation trials. To let them meet as human beings, as friends, and fight side by side.”

—Gwyneth Jones”

Who they really are (pt. 2)

Okay so I forgot to mention in the first post that we actually have heard Sherlock’s theme played romantically, at the end of a finale episode: the moment with Sherlock eavesdropping on John in the graveyard, at the end of series 2:

(For context, here’s the end of series 4:)

There’s also a kind of light, playful version of Sherlock’s theme at the end of TAB:

Now, I don’t think series one had this, because it ended with that pool scene cliffhanger and the frantic violins, but I just checked and series three does end with Sherlock’s theme too, this time the usual “the game is on” version:

So, yeah, it’s probably just a thing that the show does, because we get that recognizable motif right before the other big recognizable motif (the credits), but I think it’s interesting to see how it changes based on the context. Series two was playful, hopeful but also with a lot of weight and romantic wistfulness because it showed Sherlock forced to stay away from heartbroken John; series three was completely straight and playful, as John told Mary “there’s an East Wind coming;” TAB was all light and bouncy as the setting faded from the Victorian era to present day; but series 4 was very heavy and romantic, almost heartbreakingly sad, with a full orchestra. In fact, it kind of reminded me of this song, which was used when Sherlock looked out over London in TEH, and then during the waterfall scene in TAB:


A Conversation with Royla Asghar

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing our May Poet of the Month, Royla Asghar. Royla is a 20 year old student who was recently accepted to Malmo University, where she intends to study human rights. She is half Romanian and half Aghan, and she was born and raised in Romania. She currently lives in Denmark. In her free time, Royla enjoys cooking, reading, and learning how to be patient. She spends much of her time exploring Copenhagen and visiting her friends and family. Royla plans to publish a collection of her poetry in the near future, so stay tuned!

Jennifer: Hi Royla! I have been following your poetry blog on Tumblr for a few years now. I’ve always been attracted to the brutally honest nature of your style. Your writings are so paradoxical - heartbreakingly realistic yet sweepingly romantic at the same time. Have you always been so upfront in writing about your emotions?

Royla: Hello Jennifer, I am so flattered and so happy that you feel that way about my poetry. It is always so delightful knowing someone can feel like that about my poetry. It’s amazing. But to answer your question, no… I haven’t. And honestly, sometimes even now I feel like I can be more upfront, so when I write a poem, it’s always to make it more honest, rawer than the last. I used to dress many of (my) poems in great metaphors - you can see that in my Astronomy Series. Everything is written behind a metaphor, and even though it can make the poem delicious, it takes away the “up fronting.“ Now I am very focused on less metaphors, more nudity in my poems.

Jennifer: What inspired you to begin writing? Are your current inspirations the same?

Royla: I have always been writing. Since I was a little girl. Not poetry, at first, but I always had a journal writing in it. And then I got into quotes. I read a lot of those and then I kept a scrap book with all of my favourite quotes - I still got them, haha! And then I remember at school in 6th grade, we had a modern poet visiting our class and “taught” us poetry, and then I got a crush on a boy and he did not like me back. I wrote him a bad poem and then I wrote him many bad poems cause I was mad, and suddenly everybody knew I was poet. And it stuck with me. And then I wanted to get very serious with my poetry and I made my Tumblr. And I’ve been publishing my poems since 2013 or 2014 maybe.

My inspiration came from everywhere, but love and the city, Copenhagen, were always the main themes in my poems, and not to forget. My sense of narcissism has always been the mastermind behind most of my poems. Like the poems Boys Are Dogs and I Want Fame And Your Tears. And also my girlfriends’ lives and troubles have played major roles in my feministic poems. I get inspired very easily and so I am always writing

Jennifer: You incorporate lots of religious imagery and political themes in your poetry. How does your personal faith or spirituality influence your writing?

Royla: I am Muslim, but I haven’t always been religious. I guess when you are young, you kind of take God for granted. It’s only recently, that I felt like I need to be more close to God. Now more than ever. With that being said, I’ve always had a special relationship with God. I used to get in trouble a lot, and I knew that my religion would save me. And it did. Indeed, it did save my goddamn life. The way my religion affects my poetry is like this: because we (muslims) believe that everything happens for a reason. Everything is a part of a greater plan. Therefore, my poetry always reflects my submission to that belief. I think a lot about God. And it makes me aware of life and the people I have in my life. I love in the name of God, and my poems are pious in that way. The only time my poems are humble and pious are when I think of God and my love.

I have also written many poems with a political content, like The Immigration Series. I think you get inspired, if you like it or not, the madness that happens in the world - it inspires you to write about it

Jennifer: Are there additional themes you haven’t yet explored and would like to dive into in your future pieces?

Royla: I would love to write a whole series about marriage, and just in general to (in)corporate the concept of marriage into my poems. I haven’t really read poems with that theme. And I don’t mean it to make it sound cliché, cause marriage and getting married is so much more than white dresses and cooking breakfast. It’s a very complex theory. I want to expose the raw sides of marriage, you know? That side that makes you want to marry someone who gives you a headache, and the way you love and forgive them endlessly. Many poets, I believe, are running away from commitments, and it seems to me that they are hopelessly in love with someone they can’t have. Or, they have multiple lovers and so they never commit. But I want to write about what happens when you are loved by the person you wanted the most, and how that can still break your heart from time to time

Jennifer: As a writer, I feel that each piece I write makes me vulnerable. I have struggled with writing honestly in fear of exposing what I believe to be the rawest parts of myself. Have you ever experienced the same feeling? If so, how do you deal with it and what motivates you to be vulnerable regardless?

Royla: I have definitely experienced that feeling, I still do. It is terrifying every time I write a poem. I know true poets will scold me, but I do care about how people would react to my poetry. Especially the people I am writing about - I don’t want to hurt them. And sometimes I want to write very honest and hurtful poems, but I have a conscience. It is always a battle within myself and sometimes I publish the most outrageous pieces and I don’t think about it twice. A poem that has been hard publishing was my “Sex Tape” poem. It is the most personal poem I have ever written. I can never talk about that poem. Never. But right before I published it, I said to myself, “You know what? You deserve that poem. They need to read it.” Sometimes it feels right, even though it’s terrifying - you get impulsive and do it. I think what motives me to write recklessly is that I feel entitled to my own madness. I never feel vulnerable when writing my poems, but powerful.

Jennifer: If you could give your younger self some advice, what would you tell her?

Royla: I would tell her she has a good heart. I needed to hear that when I was younger.

Jennifer: Some writers hope to achieve a mission - political, social, etc. through their writing. Many writers aim to open readers’ minds to issues and perspectives they have only experienced in dreams. What are your long-term goals as a writer?

Royla: I am a true romantic. And so my long-term goals are to leave a legacy of love poems that make people gasp for air. I want people to love like I love. Fiercely.
I don’t want to get involved in politics and all that, but if I do, I want my poems to make refugees and immigrants proud of who they are. Simple, like that. I want love and culture to live side by side

Jennifer: I notice that much of your writing focuses on infusing, or clarifying a pre-existing state, depending on how you look at it, women with omnipotent, goddess-like characteristics. Yet, some of your other pieces feature women who are so deeply in love that they are rendered powerless. Do you identify with one of your “narrators” more than the others or do you see pieces of yourself in all of them?

Royla: It’s a very difficult theory to explain. I will try anyways. When I started writing poetry, I swore to myself that I would never write about suicide, bad self-esteem or self-harming and depression. Because I did not want to make that a ‘’thing.“ Growing up I saw a lot of girls having trouble with themselves, and I never understood why. They were so beautiful, but there was always something “ugly” about them. I never saw that in myself. I was raised in such matter, that my parents never allowed me to be insecure, ever. They would actually scold me out if I did. Therefore, I would always, as my friends said, give confidence out from myself to other people. I got very good at make people confident, and so I think that reflects a lot in my poems. When I got into Tumblr, back in 2012, there were a lot of poems about suicide and depression, and I felt like the poetry community on Tumblr needed a fresh empowering theme, and that was self-confidence. It got very hard to swallow all those posts of young girls cutting themselves. I am not sure what the purpose of all the suicide posts needed to do, bring awareness maybe? I felt like maybe those girls, with low-self-esteem would read my poetry, and feel powerful, and hopefully change their view of themselves. And this is how I created the goddess-like character in my poems. She is a huge part of me. She is dangerous if not tamed, so that’s what love does to her.

The other woman, as you said - she is deeply in love so therefore she is weaker maybe. I love her, because she is so full of love, you would drown in her. She spills love all over the place. And let me tell you what I found out about her: she is actually stronger than the “goddess-like” character. Because, my good God, it takes real strength to love a person the way they deserve to be loved.

I don’t think I identify with one of them more than the other, I see pieces of them both in myself. And it’s a struggle to keep them in balance. But I manage.

Jennifer: How has your point of view as a woman impacted the way you experience the world?

Royla: Being a light-hearted woman, I’ve always chose to see the beauty in the world. At times that makes me really naïve, but I am like that. I cannot help it. I notice details about the world most people don’t. The little things like the stars (in) the night sky. For some reason they are very important to me.

And being a light-hearted woman, I usually suffer a bit more than I should. It’s a price I am glad to pay.

Jennifer: What are you in love with?

Royla: My husband. Truly.

Jennifer: Onism, the word this magazine derives its meaning from, is defined in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows as "the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die–and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out, you are here.” But what does this definition mean to you? Does it have any special significance to you as a writer?

Royla: Oh, I love that definition. Beautiful.

I know the feeling, I feel it often…Recently, I have this fantasy I cannot escape, but I want to take the next flight to whatever and change my name and change everything and live carefree. And just be there for a while, I don’t know where, but there. Especially when I am not loved. This fantasy can be very overwhelming

Her Bed Was a Kingdom by Royla Asghar

She was romantic,
perhaps perverted
Love was pouring
from her eyes
She was too beautiful for her
own good.
She was vivid with
her mouth,
and her body
a powerful thing.
She denied every culture,
and cried holy tears
to God.
She was terrifying.
When I would kiss her
it felt like God
created the world in her mouth.
I did not know
how to touch her.
She was a wet woman
on fire.
I did not know how the
hell to love her.
She was too much
and I hated her for that.
She was too much,
and I loved her for it.

In her presence I would die.

Royla’s Poetry Blog: poems-of-madness.tumblr.com

Everything I can tell you about Legion (the new X-Men show on FX) from NYCC:
  • Dan Stevens is excellent (and almost unrecognizable). 
  • The show takes place from David Haller’s (Dan Stevens) perspective and his story starts off in a mental hospital so we’re never sure what’s real and what’s not.
  • David Haller is Professor X’s son, but he himself doesn’t know this, or the fact that he might be one of the most powerful mutants of all time.
  • It’s visually stunning and very trippy - a real 70′s feel.
  • There’s some concerning tropes about mental health set up in the first half of the pilot (which is all the NYCC panel got to see), but because they’ll be dealing with these issues all season, so I have hope that these tropes will be quickly subverted.
  • Aubrey Plaza steals every scene she’s in.
  • There’s at least 3 POCs in the main cast and 4 women.
  • They do a lot in the pilot with surprisingly spare dialogue.
  • The tone seems to be the perfect mix of dark / weird / and bizarrely hopeful, aka peak X-Men.
  • There’s a heartbreakingly sweet romantic scene in the first half pilot that got me way more than I expected.
  • We didn’t get to see the big bad in action, but it’s Bill Irwin so we know it’ll be memorable.
  • It’s very clear by how Noah Hawley (creator of Fargo, the tv show) talked about the show that he’s obsessed with doing it right.
  • I honestly cannot wait to see more.

anonymous asked:

what do you think was the most unquestionably this is more than friendship Athelnar moment and do you think Hirst intended it to be that way?

There are three that come to mind actually, all of which I talked about in great detail here so I’ll try and exercise some self control and keep this brief…

1. The “I want you to come back” thigh grasping from 2x09:

This is one of those moments that I am dying to know what was scripted and what was not. I need to know if the grasping of the thigh was something Hirst wrote, if it’s something the director suggested, or if it’s something Travis just did because the sexual energy between him and George just sort of creates magical moments like this. If we’re talking intent here, for an individual moment… who knows, but this moment plays into a far bigger storyline about the two of them growing closer and all of those things combined leave me to believe that Hirst absolutely knew what he was doing at this point in canon, although I doubt he’ll ever actually fess up to it…

2. The hand holding from 3x01:

Again, I would absolutely give anything to see the script from this episode. How much of this was written on the page and how much of it was something that happened in the moment because it just felt right???? Even more so than with the moment from 2x09 though it doesn’t really matter within the context of the entire scene, because even without the hand holding the language used and the words that were written (”wherever you go i will follow” uGH) are very romantic in nature and within the greater context of everything else in season 3… yes i absolutely do think Hirst intended a romantic reading of this relationship, but I think he likes his job and I don’t think he will ever talk about it plainly because this is the history channel and he has to constantly have some plausible deniability to hide behind imo. 

3. The absolutely most heartbreakingly romantic “I love you” I have ever witnessed on television from 3x06:

I don’t even need to elaborate here. Watch the scene. Watch the delivery. If Hirst didn’t intend this to be a romantic love confession (and I think we have already established that I believe he did because… well because season 3 is a thing that exists) then Travis certainly did. Bros don’t tell their bros “I love you” in that way with that sort of pain written all over their faces with that sort of inflection with that sort of expression it just… I’m sorry I cannot believe someone could watch this scene and not see how madly in love these two are.

All that being said, whatever the intent was, I certainly know how their entire story, especially the end of season 2 and all of season 3, reads on screen and things like that don’t just happen by accident. If there was never any intent for any of this to be romantic in nature then Michael Hirst isn’t doing his job very well. :P But at the end of the day I don’t need authorial intent or confirmation from him to know what this relationship means to me, and how these scenes make me feel when I watch them. It’s a love story and it is beautiful and that is all. :3

Maybe that’s part of their grassroots appeal to me; Swan Queen is kinda punk rock. While the show keeps pushing a very hetero, cookie-cutter love triangle at the audience and making the dialogue and romantic pairings more and more didactic, Swan Queen fans are collectively weaving and believing a much more interesting, modern, and heartbreakingly romantic narrative, independent of what The Man keeps telling them to feel.
—  Lily Sparks

Happy Valentines Day (part 2!) phiralovesloki ! When I asked you what your favorite scenes were, you said this was one of them. It’s one of mine as well, so I couldn’t pass up this opportunity! (Not to mention it is romantic and heartbreakingly sweet.)

Tissues of Love

An AU where Ciel is in the movie theater and is watching a heartbreaking movie and Sebastian is the poor stranger that was sitting next to the crying male;

“This is just so sad! How could he leave her like that?! Didn’t he say he loves her?”

“Uh, uhm… Exc-”

“Did you even see how cruel he was?! Kissing her then leaving, what sort of man does that?!”

“Uhm, sir-”

“And then the girl goes in an accident! My heart can’t take this!”

Sebastian stared in disgust as a used tissue was thrown on his lap, “Ugh, this is disgusting!”

“Oh yes, disgustingly dramatic! Yet so tearful!”

“Oh no, not that. But your tissues….”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t notice, you want a tissue?”


“…. Popcorn?”

And until this day Sebastian never watches a heartbreakingly romantic movie next to Ciel unless he wanted to be bathed in used tissues, tears, and popcorn. Though he overlooks all that sometimes just to keep his little boyfriend happy.

avestige-deactivated20160313  asked:

Hi, I was wondering if you had any tips on how to not romanticize topics such as depression, anxiety, and things like that in a novel. I want to address the issues within the story, and there is love involved with characters and finding help within each other, but I do not want to romanticize the situation at all. Please help. Thank you.

The thing about romanticizing anything is that you make it seem like a positive, desirable trait when this is absolutely not the case. Making mental illness the heart of a heartbreakingly tragic, romantically broken character is not the way to handle mental illness.

Remember that:

[This accidentally turned into a longish post about romanticizing mental illness and mental illness myths as a whole, please click to enjoy. Content warning for discussions of mental illness (primarily depression) and mentions of suicide and self-harm.]

Keep reading

one of the amazing things about the foxhole court is that even though it is violent and sad and the love interest is andrew minyard it is at times just heartbreakingly romantic I’m talking the likes of which I have rarely seen out of jane austen novels and it’s never uncomfortable or forced it’s just these two emotionally stunted angry boys who have been through hell and can/have killed people being romantic as hell without even really meaning to