It seems like I’m finally – slowly, but steady – finding the right line of thought for some parts of the dreaded termpaper. I don’t know if it takes that long and only progresses in snail pace, because I didn’t work on it for so long. Or because I just didn’t quite understand what the questions I had to answer were all about. Probably the later, because that was the reason I willingly failed this assignment in May. Yes, I know I should have spend the summer working on it, but there was so much other stuff to do like ampaigning for three different elections. But now I’m back in the scholarly mood. Well, sort of. I’m getting there… :-)
It’s a good thing I’m not swamped with work assignment at the moment as well, which means I can use some of my time at work for termpaper related research and stuff. I probably should spend much more of my spare time working on it as well, but other things keep distracting me. But I’m rather confident I’ll be able to hand in a decent termpaper this time. Not much earlier than on the last possible date, but still…
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There is still another Gabaldon character distracting me from scholarly work: Lord John Grey. I always liked him in the Outlander series, because he was such a good guy and probably the most tragic figur in these novels: Being in love without any chance that his feelings might ever be reciprocated. Even from the very beginning of this subplot in the 3rd novel I liked the extraordinary twist, that it’s not another woman (like me *g*) who has fallen for Jamie Fraser, but a man. Any other female admirer might have been able to delude herself, that depending on the circumstances, she might have a shot at winning Jamie’s heart, even though the reader knows that his heart always will belong to Claire and Claire alone, till death do them part and even beyond that. Lord John Grey though… he is too intelligent to ever be able to delude himself, because Jamie Fraser is so clearly not gay. And after what Jack Randall put him through it was a huge enough effort for Jamie to establish some kind of friendship with Lord John instead of killing him for his inclination. Anyway, during the course of the complete Outlander series, it was breaking my heart, every time when it was so obvious that Jamie still is the love of John’s life, and there is nothing anyone – neither Jamie, nor Claire or himself – could do about it. Oh the tragedy of all of it. It’s these kind of emotional depths of the character and storyline that makes me such a big fan of this series
So I finally started to read the Lord John series as well and so far I have enjoyed it very much. There is just one, the last novella, left and I’m looking forward to see how John will deal with the aftermath of the events of the “Brotherhood of Blades”. I really should have read that novel before the latest Outlander novel, because then I would have known Percy Wainwright and would have understood the complex nature of John’s relationship to him. My heart went out to John in this novel because of the emotional turmoil he was going through and I have to express my admiration for Diana Gabaldon again for creating these interesting and lovable characters.
While I was reading it though, I suddenly realized that this was the first novel I’ve ever read which had a homosexual main character. It really made me wonder: Are there no homosexual (main) characters in the present literature or am I just reading the “wrong” novels? I’m sure there are quite a few in some classics and quite a few with novels about the “coming out / struggle to find your identity” issue. But what about all the genres of literature? Thriller, sci-fi, crime, tragedy… whatever. In most of these stories the characters do have relationships or are attracted to somebody, even if all of this isn’t the center of the plot, but just an addition for the background story or whatever. These relationships always seem to be hetereosexual relationships. Isn’t that strange? At least I think it is and I have to admit that I never noticed that before. Do the writers think the heterosexual readers don’t want to read about that or that they couldn’t relate? But the sexual orientation of a character shouldn’t matter, when it comes to empathy for his or her struggles in whatever aspects of his/her life. It didn’t matter to me during “Brotherhood of Blades”, which contains quite the emotional turmoil for John (it’s the 18th century and the military after all), and it just broke my heart.
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There was another topic I actually wanted to write about, but I don’t remember what that was, so I better end this post (and spend a few minutes reading before I turn off the lights ;-) )