Amy R. (brightknightie) wrote,
Amy R.

Literature fanfic: "Between within and without" (my 2015 RarelyWritten story)

For this year's [community profile] rarelywritten game, I went where I've rarely gone before: fanfiction of source material that is itself prose narrative! I've often been just a little uncomfortable, personally, with fan creations in precisely the same medium as the original. The element of transformation is stronger when the medium shifts. The comparison is less fierce, as well, perhaps. I've seen it done wonderfully! But I don't usually seek it out. Personal thing.

Then I saw this request.

Daniel Deronda (1876) was George Eliot's last, and perhaps most ambitious, novel. The ficathon request that I received was: what does Gwendolen, one of the two main characters, do post-canon? To make a long (~900 pages) story very short — spoilers! — Gwendolen's own personal tale (among all those in the novel!) is that of a splendidly self-centered young woman who chooses what turns out to be an obscene marriage as an escape from sudden poverty. Her bitter experiences crack her complacency, and leave her terrified that she will choose to kill her husband. Many would not blame her! But she would blame herself. She was never actually wicked, this infuriating, irresistible "princess in exile." Her one confidant is the titular Deronda (who has quite an astonishing tale of his own! nothing else like it in Victorian literature, for sure).

My attempt to satisfy the fest request involves a London townhouse, a dinner party, a seance, and several friendships.

My sincere thanks to those who chimed in on my various brainstorms! And thanks most of all to [personal profile] batdina for beta-reading! (She re-read this monster Victorian novel just for me and my recipient. Much appreciated.)

On the AO3: "Between within and without"
Length: 6,689 words
Date: April 2015
Rating: G
Characters: Gwendolen Harleth Grandcourt, Catherine Arrowpoint Klesmer, Julius Klesmer, Mrs. Arrowpoint, Lady Pentreath, original characters
Summary: Five years later, Gwendolen steps up to help a dear friend and ends up confronting an old terror.
Quotation: "That she was beautiful had never been in doubt, as far as Gwendolen knew, but that she could meet her own gaze with neither revulsion nor complacency required tenacious confirmation. To live, she must bear her demons and her angels together. She meant to live."

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Tags: fanfic:fandom:literature, fanfic:who:byme, fest:rarewomen

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