Popular Posts

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fanfic Review: Isla de Cullen By CaraNo

Warning: Porn links ahead!
Edouard Manet - Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe 1863 Salon des Refuses

The above painting was a huge scandal in 1863 when it was first exhibited as is the photo in the fanfic story in our time. Some things never change. 

fanfic: Isla de Cullen - Lolypop82 photo MANIP

This fanfic is fascinating in a variety of ways. Reading Isla de Cullen through Baudrillard invites the reader to contemplate what Baudrillard has written about sex, femininity, women, and the unequal relationship between women and men, as he describes it, because this fiction is fictionalizing Baudrillardian theory. This in itself is enough to recommend reading it, although there are many other compelling reasons, such as very erotic and graphic sex that is vanilla NOT.

Here is a LINK to the readable version in b & w. Why a fanfic on Twilight should be so cutting edge in post modern theory is an enigma to me. Unless this means that women are starting to see that their liberation since the pill has some serious flaws. Of course Stephenie Meyer started it, but fanfic on Bella and Edward has often gone beyond the original Twilight in scope and detail. The immediate reason is that Meyer's Twilight and certain fanfic fiction based on it, challenges the PC Feminist Dominating Discourse, and arouses the ire of PC feminists and authors of young adult fiction for girls. The PCFDD has effectively censored most of what is seen and heard by women forcing popular authors, filmmakers, directors of films and screenwriters, advertising agencies, textbook publishers, and all and sundry that pitch their wares to girls and women to embrace the dogma of PCFDD, consciously or unconsciously. It is a fact that the Dominating Discourse is invisible to you while you are in it. The fish and water analogy, eh?

But some fanfic authors, perhaps because they are publishing on blogs and internet sites, show far more independent thinking.  CaraNo, the author of Isla de Cullen is definitely challenging, defying, and dueling with PC feminist dogma in violating the censorship that always occurs within the Dominating Discourse  in any area during the length of time it dominates. Michel Foucault explicitly details and lays open the crushing domination of this Dominating Discourse beginning with The Order of Things, The Archeology of Knowledge, Discipline and Punish, The Birth of the Clinic, The History of Sexuality (vol 1,2,3) and everything else he wrote. During his extraordinary career he changed the perception of all the human sciences and made inroads in architecture, painting and sculpture and in fact there is little he did not influence. He was considered the leading intellectual force in Europe until his death from AIDS in 1984. Foucault was open about his homosexuality and his consensual S/M practices.  He is not anywhere near mainstream in the US. This is what makes Isla de Cullen so startling.

Foucault's first major challenge came from Jean Baudrillard in his long essay/book Forget Foucault. Baudrillard states in it that Foucault spoke so perfectly about power only because power was over, finished, done. He added that Foucault's prose itself was a spiral of power. Going on from that insight he says that whatever you are writing about, your prose must mirror the subject even more. Stephenie Meyer wrote about seduction and her prose is even more seductive than the seduction she is writing about. And she wrote so well of seduction ritual because the ritual of courtly love, is finished, done. Twilight. Good title. And it is Baudrillardian theory that we see fictionalized in Isla de Cullen, probably without any awareness at all from the author. What is interesting is that CaraNo breaks with the Dominating Discourse of PC Feminism and then leaps across the abyss to follow Baudrillard all unknowingly, which, of course, is exactly why she succeeds. Baudrillard has drawn the hatred of PC feminists in far greater degree than Stephenie Meyer, but CaraNo in her Isla de Cullen has come under the real threat of having her fiction removed from the fanfic site, forcing her to go to blogspot, but it looks like they didn't remove her after all. I am sure the feminist outcry was serious. She says she is from Sweden and perhaps this is why she is different. Or maybe she is just more of a visionary with courage than other writers of fiction for women. IMO I think men should be reading fanfic for the benefit of the girls/women in their lives.

While most of the fanfic starts with Edward as super controlling, they regress Edward to a state of dependency on Bella. Bella either develops into a more acceptable version to PC feminists (as in the screenplays by Melissa Rosenberg in the Twilight films) or Edward has serious addiction problems, to weaken him. The masculine male is in serious difficulties in real life, in fiction, in non-fiction, in the workplace, and he responds with all the strategies that women used to use to sabotage male power.

CaraNo imagines a different kind of man. Not at all complex and complete, but he is a beginning. He is assertive and masculine, often tender and compassionate. The PCFDD will see him as sado-masochistic and he can be seen in this way if one wishes to enter the psychological swamp of interpretation. (Just think about the incest between Lot and his daughters in precession. Do you really want to go there?)There is no doubt that he is erotically seductive. Why? What are his qualities that stimulate this response in women who read this story? Is part of the reason that men are too PC feminized for us? Female adoration of Rob Pattinson has a great deal to do with Stephenie Meyer's invention of the new male in her fictionalized character of Edward. Baudrillard has proposed the invention of the new masculine out of the hysteria of the female, as the femme fatale was invented our of male hysteria. Only now the femme fatale can find no one to seduce or who is worth her time to try to seduce. CaraNo adds additional dimensions to Edward in sexualizing him. Her drawing is not perfect and that is a real plus. Writers have a way to go with male characters. I wonder where they will go next? DeLillo gets constantly trashed -  by guess who? -  for his male characters.

CaraNo's Edward remains a strong male figure throughout. And Bella is truly Other. She is the Baudrillardian feminine who plays a double game consciously. She understands her feminine power, and chooses to display submissive signs, which this Edward demands.  Baudrillard makes the distinction between liberation and free. He says that women have been falsely liberated (only slaves can be liberated) and have lost their freedom. Now seduction must be produced with products and surgeries, but Baudrillard tells us as does CaraNo, that these "floating signs" of seduction are empty signs or they are "signs" masking gender ambiguity. The great power of seduction is that it cannot be produced. And clearly Rob Pattinson is producing it NOT. That's Judith Butler on the left, the go to person on gender. Gender Trouble and the rest of her books at Amazon.

Here is Passion for real by Patti Smith:

Because the Night youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0brHGJ6xqbk  Or paste it in

You are watching and listening to pure passion without all the "floating signs" of femme.

Many of the concepts discussed above are already embedded in my other blogs. Maybe I will get around to linking for you. Maybe not. I did some anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be kind to each other even when you disagree.