I got three lovely Yuletide presents! Such are the fruits of going out on the pinch-hit list.
Seekingferret wrote me The Last Temptation of Eve
, which takes that Last Temptation of Adam song and genderswitches it AND POV flips it, possibly breaking my brain in the process.
Thedevilchicken wrote me Rome fic, To Please the Gods
, in which it is Saturnalia and Pullo's easy carnality is difficult to resist. And lastly there is Orders
, in which sithwitch13 displays a mastery of character voices (for Pullo, Vorenus, and Antony) that makes me wild
with authorial jealousy.
So my Yuletide fic
this year was so niche
. I am absolutely shocked that anybody other than the recipient commented on it. It could be read as historical fiction, in Athens late in the Peloponnesian war just after the overthrow of the four hundred; but the characterizations and writing style both come from Mary Renault's The Last of the Wine
(the syntax so much so that it's practically pastiche).
Let me pause to pitch this book, for re-reading it was a wonder and a joy. The Last of the Wine
may be difficult if you don't remember your Greek history or your Plato, but I consider this a hell of a recommendation for it; the narrative sinks us into the first-person POV of a man who speaks to us as he would another Athenian. Every page is drenched in his cultural assumptions, rich and natural, and there is none of the distance or foreignness that would be required if he tried to explain things to us. And so the book is both oblique and completely immersive; it's also sensitive, tragic, beautiful, and lyrical, a story of war and philosophy and joy. It is a coming-of-age, a boy's quest to understand the horrors he sees around him and shape the man he is becoming, a story about the pain and difficulty and importance of living well and rightly, and, above all, a story of transcendent love. To Learn and to Teach
Last of the Wine- Phaedo and Plato
Gen, G, 1400 words( The Four Hundred are gone, and Kritias with them, and possibilities open up. )