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21 September 2011 @ 02:23 pm
Dead Poets Society (four recs)  
A few weeks ago, I watched Dead Poets Society (1989) on the "special edition" DVD, but was disappointed to discover that it still lacks fourteen minutes of footage released on the LaserDisc edition way back when.  I remember those scenes fondly, and in nostalgia I looked up Dead Poets Society on the AO3.

The movie claims only 33 stories there, most written for Yuletide.  Poking through, I found that — as you might expect — I preferred the firmest grasps on history and/or bereavement.  Stories labeled gen by their authors are scarce, but many identified otherwise are nevertheless what I would call gen, were they mine.  Recommendations:
  • "Territories That Had Become Stone" by [archiveofourown.org profile] lordessrenegade (2009, G, ~1K words).  This is my favorite of the DPS stories I've read.  A "who they grew up to be" starring Todd and Charlie, it projects a taut, canon-compliant future, with exquisite mood, tone and characterization.  It's not light fare, but neither does it despair; there is life and hope here.  This could be a respectable short story even if you do not know the movie, but the canonical references pierce and glow.

  • "there will be time, there will be time" by [archiveofourown.org profile] amber (2009, G, ~2K words).  The first half of this piece moves through canon, with Neil, well but unremarkably; the powerful ending, with the others as adults, overshadows completely.  "There's never an official disbanding. There doesn't need to be."  The canonical fidelity of the end strikes home, bitter but rich.

  • "Of Eyes that Crave the Light" by [archiveofourown.org profile] embroiderama (2009, G, ~1K words).  This vignette tackles another historical time period, that of the AIDS epidemic.  It gifts the reader with its understanding that Neil and Keating and Whelton, for all their resonance, are but a small slice of Todd's whole life.

  • "The Prank War" by [archiveofourown.org profile] alemara (2010, G, ~2K words).  Framed by a letter Neil writes (censors) to his father, Charlie and Knox pick at each other, and all the boys and Mr. Keating display their essential characters in the roles they play in prank escalation, climax and resolution.  This light and pleasant piece may be read almost entirely free of the shadow of later canon... but why would you want to do that?  That shadow is a large part of what loving DPS is about.


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