i think one of the most realistic scenes in season 3 is the one in ep 3 where Isak and Emma are talking about their favourite music on the couch, and Isak is showing off a bit. he’s been listening to a lot of nas. when you want to feel close to someone, you listen to their favourite music. it’s only been a week since Even introduced Isak to nas, but here he’s acting shocked that Emma hasn’t heard of him, illmatic is only like the best album ever made, come on, everybody knows that, ill as in ill and matic. this is just so relatable to me, because i feel he’s not really just talking about music or nas, he’s also talking about Even and Even’s music. he has this huge crush that he can’t say out loud, to anyone. he can’t talk about the way his eyes shine when he laughs, or the way he smells, or how funny his jokes are. the stuff that is on your mind all the time when you’re 17 and falling for someone, he can’t talk about any of it. he is alone. but he can talk about Even’s music. he can brag about Even through nas. oftentimes people try to appear knowledgeable about music when they want to make an impression on someone, but Isak’s not trying to impress Emma because Emma is already too impressed. he’s trying to distance himself from her. he’s sitting on the couch with Emma, yet all his thoughts are on Even. so he tells Emma about nas because he can’t tell her about Even. these seemingly mundane yet emotionally revealing scenes are one of the reasons i love this show.

ik wil schreeuwen
als meeuwen aan het strand
oorverdovend gillen naar de overkant
over hoe het echt met me gaat
slecht met me gaat
als ik recht voor je sta
en je kijkt me niet aan
wil ik roepen naar je naam
want het is te snel gegaan
heb is nu had
en uit het nieuwe aan
ik kan geen woorden meer verstaan
want ik loei in monotoon vandaag
mijn gedachtes asynchroon omlaag
geschreeuw in de ondertoon van m'n maag
maar elke klank die ik maak
is toch weer te laat
en vaart aan jouw kust
waarschijnlijk niet meer aan

LGBTQ* Novels To Keep On Your Radar

Hild by Nicol Griffith

(Following from Goodreads)

Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods’ priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief.

Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world—of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing human nature and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king’s seer. And she is indispensable—until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family, her loved ones, and the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.

Hild is a young woman at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early medieval age—all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith’s luminous prose. Recalling such feats of historical fiction as Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Sigrid Undset’s KristinLavransdatterHild brings a beautiful, brutal world—and one of its most fascinating, pivotal figures, the girl who would become St. Hilda of Whitby—to vivid, absorbing life

02.00 uur.

Het is 02.00 en ik zit op het balkon. In mijn lelijke oude joggingbroek, grote mannentrui en een mijn deken om mij heen geslagen.
Aan de overkant van onze flat staat een ander flatgebouw. Wonder boven wonder zijn er nog 3 mensen wakker. De overbuurman, de buurvrouw boven hem en een man en een vrouw naast de buurvrouw.
Ik vraag me altijd af wat mensen nog zo laat op doen. Van onze overbuurman weet ik het toevallig. Hij is beveiliger en draait daarom vaak hele rare diensten. Daardoor moet hij soms om 2 uur s'nachts opstaan en tot 10 uur in de ochtend werken. Van de bovenbuurvrouw van onze overbuurman en de buren van de bovenbuurvrouw is het mij onbekend waarom ze nog wakker zijn. Misschien kunnen ze wel niet slapen omdat ze ergens mee zitten of misschien heeft het stel naast de bovenbuurvrouw wel ruzie gehad. Wie weet. Ik weet het in ieder geval niet.

Het wordt ondertussen steeds frisser en ik besluit om een kopje thee te maken. Ik loop op mijn tenen de woonkamer binnen en hoop dat mama niet wakker wordt. Nadat de waterkoker het water heeft gekookt, ik het water bij het theezakje geschonken heb en 2 suikerklontjes erin heb gegooid, sluip ik weer zachtjes terug naar het balkon.

Met mijn kopje thee en mijn deken om mij heen gewikkeld luister ik wat pianomuziek. Pianomuziek helpt mij altijd om mijn hoofd een beetje op orde te krijgen. Terwijl ik muziek luister zie ik iemand lopen. Ze heeft een hondje bij zich. Het is een vrouw van rond de 25/30 schat ik. Ze ziet me zitten en fluistert: “ Kun je ook niet slapen? ”
Waarop ik antwoord: “ Nee, maar dat is allang oud nieuws hoor voor mij. ”
De vrouw glimlachte en zei: “ Mag ik vragen waarom je niet slapen kan?  ”
Ja oke ik pieker veels te veel, het is altijd druk in mijn hoofd en mijn lichaam is overdag moe en ’s avonds niet. Maarja dat hoeft zij niet te weten. Ik bedoel ik ken d'r geeneens.
Daarom besloot ik om te antwoorden met: “ Ik heb werkelijk geen idee. Misschien omdat het druk is hierboven. ” en ik tikte op mijn hoofd.
De vrouw glimlachte heel erg vriendelijk naar me en ze zei: “ Dat heb ik precies hetzelfde, het lijkt nooit op te houden he? ”
“ Nee precies, maar ach het zal vast en zeker wel over gaan. Mijn dokter zegt namelijk altijd: De eerste tip om beter te slapen is om de gedachtes die in je hoofd rondspoken, uit te spreken en op te lossen. ”
“ Dat is een wijs man. ” sprak de vrouw.
“ Dat klopt, daarom is hij ook dokter geworden denk ik. ” zei ik.
“ Daar heb je gelijk in. Nou ik ga maar eens naar huis en proberen te slapen. Jij ook slaap lekker voor zometeen. Ik hoop dat je snel beter slaapt. ” zei de vrouw.
“ Slaap fijn en droom mooi mevrouw. ” fluisterde ik.

Ik bleef nog een tijdje zitten met mijn warme kopje thee en keek hoe de vrouw langzaam een zwarte schim in de nacht werd.
Het was ondertussen alweer 02.36 bah.
Laat ik het maar nog een keer proberen, zei ik tegen mezelf in mijn hoofd. Laten we het nog één keer proberen.

De overbuurman was naar zijn werk vertrokken, de bovenbuurvrouw was denk ik gaan slapen en de buren van de bovenbuurvrouw zaten nog in, op wat het leek, een goed gesprek.

I was fortunate enough to be granted permission by あかねさん to translate her manga into English, with text only.

Original: くりみつ闇堕ち漫画
Artist: あかね [pixiv] [twitter]

It may be a bit of a nuisance, but I strongly recommend reading the translation while following along with the manga at the same time! You’re going to be pretty lost otherwise. Pages will be indicated for easy reading.

Warning: If you are expecting a happy ending, please turn back now.

This work contains:

  • R-18 (non-explicit, for one page only)
  • Major character death (off-screen)
  • Corrupted swords

The original author, translator, and proofreaders are not responsible for any heartbreaks, heart attacks, or intense screaming that may occur during the reading of this manga. If you are at high-risk for these symptoms, please consult your doctor before beginning the reading of this material.

Huge thanks to blitzlv2 and soutenraibu for proofreading and helping me translate!

Keep reading

Review - Hild by Nicola Griffith

If you like historical epics with a leisurely pace and detailed world building, and your only complaint is that none of those books have queer protagonists, then Hild is for you. Hild is a Lambda Literary Award finalist this year for Bisexual Fiction. It’s  a fictional account of the early life of St Hild of Whitby, a Catholic Saint responsible for spreading Christianity in Great Britain. The setting is beautifully medieval, replete with historical and culture details, and based very roughly on actual historical people.

Hild follows the main character  through her pagan childhood and conversion to Christianity at 13, up until the age of about 19. In Griffith’s telling, Hild is raised by a politically ambitious mother to influence an indecisive king. It is a precarious position to be in, as any wrong move could result in their deaths.  As she gets older, Hild starts to learn the craft of prophesy, observing the world and people around her, figuring out people’s motivations and desires. She not only tells the king what he want to hear, she draws logical conclusions about situations and accurately predicts what is about to happen. In fact, this part of the story appealed to me for many of the same reasons that the original Sherlock Holmes stories did: the protagonist appears to perform a miracle by observing a series of minute details and stringing them together into a series of logical inductions. I wasn’t surprised to learn that Nicola Griffith’s other writings include the Aud Torvingen mystery series.

Hild’s attention to details aids her  growing awareness of politics when the overking dies and her Uncle Edwin stands a chance at the throne. Hild befriends an enemy, her Irish prisoner-of-war tutor Fursey, who teaches her the new and still uncommon skills of reading and writing, so that Hild can correspond with informants. Fursey becomes Hild’s advisor and eventually her spy in the court of her sister’s husband Æthelric.

Great Britain’s gradual conversion to Christianity is a major theme in the book, and is shown as being more political than religious. King Edwin marries a Christian woman, and Edwin allows his daughter and a few of his men be baptized. In short order, Paulinus the Crow, the pope’s representative in Great Britain, gathers more power. This is a story where everyone converts to Christianity (Hild is a Christian saint, after all), but it is not a story about Christianity, per se. Hild sees the wind change, and converts because it is politically a good idea, but her thoughts on the matter are cynical. When Paulinus speaks of the power of the Christ god, she thinks it is a bunch of “Fine promises, exactly what you wanted from a god.”(331) The religion may be Christian, but the language and culture is still very much pagan. When Paulinus arranges for Coifi, the priest of Woden, to publicly proclaim the Christ god greater than Woden, the endorsement is not religious. Coifi promises, “The Christ god will make us richer than the Franks! I tell you truly. It is our wyrd,” (fate) (332).

Griffith presents the middle ages as a grim world. After surviving the Battle of Bebbanburg by hacking into the arm of an attacking soldier, Hild shows signs of what today we would call post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite the grim aspects of the story, Griffith does not fall into popular misogynistic storytelling tropes of stories with medieval settings. It is not uncommon for stories of the middle ages to be filled with either constant rape, or noble women placed on pristine pedestals and treated as ideals instead of real people.

Instead, the women in Hild are presented with a rich internal and external life, with their own spheres of political influence. Griffith drives home the idea that women have a place in this world through metaphors based around women’s experiences. Hild imagines the political world as a loom, different people and actions making up the weft and weave. Her goal is to pick apart the near invisible strands that make up the whole picture. In Greek stories, women’s magic was symbolized through women’s weaving – manipulating small pieces of string to create a whole fabric. Griffith does the same, frequently using weft and weave metaphors to show Hild coming to understand the motives of the soldiers and priests around her, and then manipulating them in small ways to ensure the safety of her family and gain some level of power within a world ruled by her Uncle and the Church.

Hild spends much of the book a child, but as she grows, the introduction of her sexuality feels natural. Premarital sex is common for both the men and women around Hild, and her mother advises her to take a lover who is not politically important, because they will overshadow her and she will lose her influence. Eventually Hild takes her slave girl to bed, and avoids a forbidden relationship with  her childhood companion (and probable half-brother) Cian.

Hild will appeal to readers who enjoy a slow, methodical build and tense political strife. A glossary and author’s note in the back explains unfamiliar language and pronunciation. A family tree in the front of the book helps readers keep the family relationships organized, but I occasionally found myself wishing for a dramatis personae just to keep straight all the characters and their political allegiances. Despite its 500+ pages, the conclusion had an unfinished cliffhanger ending, preparing us for the next book in the series, which Griffith has promised that she is already writing. We can probably expect an epic historical trilogy to unfold over the next few years.

 ~ Ellie