Apr. 5th, 2017


Apr. 5th, 2017 09:09 am
dmilewski: (Macbeth the Usurper)
For those heading to DreamWidth, I'm dmilewski.

New Home

Apr. 5th, 2017 10:13 am
dmilewski: (Default)
Dreamwidth is a new home. Like a new home, it's familiar enough, but it also feels a bit weird.

I'm coming over because I've finally giving up holding down the fort at LJ. All my friends are gone. Even the holdouts who I've been following have been moving, but none of those are real life friends.

Now I need to look around the neighborhood and see who's here. I really have no idea who I'll find, if anyone.

I know that this sounds more horrible than it really is, but I have no friends.
dmilewski: (Default)
A project that I'd like to do is tracing the influence of nuclear weapons on the development and depiction of magic in the fantasy genre.

One of the issues that I imagine that I'll run into is that of people more expert than me in the genre would override any connection that I would build by pointing to far more solid trends in the genre. Yet, if I posit that nuclear weapons had no influence on magic, they would equally defeat me by finding exactly those trends in magic. Indeed, it would be weird if there was not influence of nuclear weapons on magic.

Perhaps any argument should begin with the contrapositive.

The existence of nuclear weapons must surely have influence how magic is depicted in fantasy settings. Indeed, it would be extraordinary if there were no influence. In a sense, any world ending magic is a symbolic nuclear holocaust, whether it's actual destruction by fire, or destruction by any other means. In a post-nuclear world, all endings are nuclear.

One problem in studying this particular trend is the development of fantasy itself. Although there were fantasy stories long before nuclear weapons, the fantasy genre as we know it today didn't really coalesce until the late 60's, with the genre exploding through the 70's into the early 80's, well past the invention of nuclear weapons. Given that, how do you study the influence of books that never existed?

"Where the fruits of victory are ashes in our mouth." John F. Kennedy uttered that phrase, and it stuck. I think that evil magic follows after this idea. Power corrupts, but more importantly, it destroys the very thing that you desire. Power, especially magical power, cannot grant you reward.

In this post-Cold War era, we have the first chance to study magic systems without an obsession with nuclear weapons, with Harry Potter leading the way. Although I can't say that it was the first depiction of magic after the nuclear age, it certainly stands as the most prominent. While magic can be used and abused, it not longer stands as the inevitable corrupter. 


Apr. 5th, 2017 01:43 pm
dmilewski: (Default)
The hardest part of moving to Dreamwidth is that I have no community. I do follow some other writers, but I've never met them, so they aren't quite real people to me. Of the people that I used to know in LJ land, most of them had drifted away. I'm not aware of anyone over here, but they could be here, and that's what's so hard. I currently have no tools to discover any real-life community.

The other issue with community is that I identify with very few communities at all, or if I ever did, they've changed as the times have changed. I want to find more community, or get adopted into one, but I don't know how to do that any more. (I never did, to be honest.)

So, I have my little circle in the sand here. It's mine, and that's pretty pointless. 

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