Monday 12 December 2016

Gawain 1817 - 1869, Wait, what if I was creepily non-consensual, with MAGIC.

She offered him a rich ring of red gold worked,
With a star-like stone standing aloft,
That held blazing beams as of the bright sun;
Be aware reader, it was worth a well full horde.
But the rider refused it, and readily he said,
"I wish no gifts, for God, my gay, at this time;
I have none to offer, nor none will I take."
She bade it him full busily, and he her boldly warns,
And swears swiftly his certainty that he would refuse;
And she saw he forsook her, and said thereafter,
"If you renaig on my ring, for seems it too rich,
You would not so highly beholden be to me,
I shall give you my girdle, that gains you less."
She unlached a lace lightly that lead under her sides,
Cast upon her kirtle under the clear mantle,
Geared it was with green silk and with gold shaped,
Its borders embroidered, beaded with pendants;
And that she gave to Gawain, and glibly claimed,
That it unworthy was, that take it he would.
And he said that he would not in no way take,
Either gold or gift, before God his grace sent
To achieve to the chance that he had chosen there.
"And therefore, I pray you, displease you not,
And let be your busyness, for believe I will never
          so grant.
I am dearly to you beheld
Because of your sweet semblance
And ever in hot or cold
Will be your true servant."

"Now forsake you this silk," said the sweet girl,
"For it is simple in itself? And so it well seems:
Lo! so it is little, and less it is worthy.
But who-so knew the cost that knit was therein,
He would it praise at more prize, peradventure;
For what guy is so good with this green lace,
While he had it well wrapped about,
There is no human under heaven to hew him that might,
For he might not be slain by any strike on this earth."
Then the knight considered, and it came to his heart
It was a grant from the jeopardy he would soon be judged by:
When he achieved to the chapel his check for to fetch,
Might he slip to be un-slain. A noble slight.
And he thawed his resistance and thought she should speak
And she bore on him the belt and bade it he wear -
And he granted, and gave in with a good will -
She besought him, for her sake, discover it never,
But to loyally elude her lord; the lad he accords
That no one in the world would ever learn, or but those two
          know the whole.
He thanked her oft,  full kind,
Full true with heart and soul.
At that, for the third time
She kissed the knight so bold.

The answer to my previous riddle, and the reason I asked it in the first place:

What am I and what am I not?

1. Additive rather than subordinative.
2. Aggrigative rather than analytic.
3. Redundant or 'copious'.
4. Conservative or traditionalist.
5. Close to the human lifeworld.
6. Agonistically toned.
7. Empathic and participatory rather than objectively toned.
8. Homeostatic.
9. Situational rather than abstract.

This list is from a book by Walter J Ong called "Orality and Literacy", its from chapter two; "Some Psychodynamics of Orality" and its a series of sub-headings about the qualities that the culture primarily oral society has in contrast with a literate society.

Part of the reason I found it so fascinating is becasue of the similarities I saw between the dominant modes of oral cultures and the modes of some subcultures, or interests, that I'm involved with. Probably the most obvious are OSR D&D and Superhero stuff, though serial genre fictions and stuff like 40k would fit there well also.

I'll go through them one by one.

1. Additive rather than subordonative.
2. Aggrigative rather than analytic.
3. Redundant or 'copious'.

D&D, Superheroes and serial genre fiction all love adding and adding and adding things on. They grow in heaps and piles rather than in neatly rearranged closed systems like literary fiction and story games.

  4. Conservative or traditionalist. 

Kind-of. Maybe. This is an argument for the internet I think.

5. Close to the human lifeworld.

Again debatable but DIY D&D's interest in modelling rules through particular physical actions in the imagined world rather than through abstract conflicts does remind me of this.

6. Agonistically toned.
7. Empathic and participatory rather than objectively toned.

Agonistically toned, Agon for conflict and I would say yes, absolutely in D&D. Empathic and participatory, I would say yes again.

8 Homeostatic.

That is, made to stay the same or to feel the same. Again, debatable, but I would say there is an element or at least a strand of this in D&D that explicitly isn't there in storygames.

9. Situational rather than abstract.

Well, yeah.

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