Last weekend there was a rubbish article in the Guardian about love stories, and I thought about making a whole post pointing out why it was rubbish - the use of classical references while excluding the homosexual aspects of the original (both in Catullus and Plato), the privileging of male-centered stories (he loved an adulterous hussy but finally got rid of the bitch), the exclusion of any non-heteronormative fiction - but frankly, I can't be bothered. A rubbish article does not deserve that much attention. So, this will be a different post.
I also thought about making a post about why heteronormativity is Bad, Bad, and Wrong. It would be appropriate for the day (I am also wearing my "HETERONORMATIVITY MAKES US ALL QUEER" t-shirt to work today). But again, it would be paying too much attention to an unworthy subject, and I'm pretty sure I'd be preaching to the choir anyway, and so.
Instead, I'm going to show resistance to heteronormativity in action. I'm going to talk about love stories that don't begin with a sexist premise, that aren't built around unequal relationships, where the narrative imperative does not require gendered roles.
In other words, here are some gayporn recs. *g*A Farm In Iowa
SGA, John/Rodney. Long, with many, many delightful sequels.
Summary: John inherits a farm, Rodney ends up entirely out of his element, and there is much ado about baseball.
When I think of well-written, compelling, and effective love stories, this is the first one that comes to mind. "Moving" is perhaps the best word for it, because this is the first story I ever read in SGA - this is the reason I care about Rodney McKay and John Sheppard, and I defy all of you to read this fic and not feel the same. This story shows the experience of falling in love, the discomfort and the longing and the familiarity, and the everyday things and the wonder - it shows how people can connect. Sounds trite, but I can promise that there is nothing cliched or unoriginal about this fic. Read it - it will make your life better.Lust Over Pendle
HP, Draco/Neville. Long with many sequels.
Established relationship at its best - you don't see how these two fall in love, but you do get to see how they manage to stay in love, and the moments of sweetness and strength and drama that follow. This story convinced me that Draco and Neville are, in fact, the most fascinating pairing in HP (seriously, come and ask me about it, I can defend it to the death). It is also storytelling at its best - witty narrative voice, superb original characters, a rich world for them to inhabit, and a most exhilarating plot. Entertainment and wisdom and a most compelling narrative of love - what more could you ask for?3 Lovers
SGA, Teyla/Rodney, Teyla/John, Teyla/Ronon, Rodney/John, Teyla/Ronon/Rodney/John. Long.
What I love most about this is the way it subtly criticises sexist assumptions about sexuality. The cultural differences between the Pegasus people and the Earth people are fascinating, and Teyla's voice (her POV) is wonderful. Although there are many pairings in this (enough to satisfy the most fervent of OTP-shippers, even), it's mostly about team-love, and how that need not be separated from sexual love, but need not be inextricably connected to it either. A very satifying and hopeful read.Nightswimming
Bandom, Frank/Gerard, 142000 words.
If you're in bandom you will have heard of this fic - there was squealing to be heard all over the world when waxjism
posted this a few days ago. This is teenage love, with desperate panting and constant longing and People Who Just Don't Understand, but there is also courage and friendship and the refusal to give up in the face of almost unsurmountable problems. Realistic characters, with all too realistic flaws, and the resulting frustrations are narrated in a most convincing way. Also, there is lots of character-driven hot sex. *g*Visiting Hours
Smallville, Clark/Lex, Conner/OC. Long.
This is a sequel to Conflicts of Interest
, where Conner Luthor discovers that Clark Kent is his mother (hilarious fic, you should read that too). It's about being a teenager, and falling in love awkwardly, and staying in love with your best friend since forever because you can't not, and coming out. Like all of her writing, this story is witty and charming and moving, with inpeccably compelling characters (both the OCs and the familiar ones). Most warmly recommended.
Now, this last story I haven't had time to fall in love with seeing as I only read it this morning, so I will be brief. Buy Handmade
Summary: He knows something else is going to happen; his life isn't always going to be this. He just doesn't know what has to happen for that change to come, for him to wake up and become an artist with an Etsy page and a home studio, and to never have to see a cubicle again.
It's about finding meaning in your everyday life, and finding people you can have meanigful connections with. And how art makes life joyful (and also about how adorable is Gerard Way, but that's most of My Chem fic). Heartwarming and delightful and NEW - so go read this, people. ;)
Now, if anybody wants to tell me what their favourite (most compelling, most moving, most delightful) love stories are, any recs would be greatly welcomed. *g*