pyrrhiccomedy: (Default)
[personal profile] pyrrhiccomedy
Title: Here Lie We
Originally posted: Here, for the CMC Event at the [livejournal.com profile] russiamerica comm. ♥ Prompt: Propaganda.
Length: 1,400 words.
Characters/Pairings: Primarily England. Also, America. Implied Russia/America.
Premise: Unsure what it might accomplish, England loans America a book that has only become more relevant with time.
Time period: 1984, of course.
Smuttiness: 0/10
Funnyness: 0/10
Wrist slashiness: 5/10
Warm-and-fuzziness: 0/10
Lolhistoryness: 3/10
Violence: 1/10
Would I like it?: It's a lit fic! Every fandom writer who aspires to be really overbearingly pretentious has to write a lit fic sooner or later. This one's mine! Definitely will be more obtuse if you're not familiar with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.

---

"One of my writers wrote a book about you," England said.

America brightened and shifted his coat from arm to arm. It was an autumn day, pale and blue and sparkling, and pigeons stirred and surged in gentle waves across the grey flagstones of Trafalgar Square.

"Oh yeah? --Hey, are we getting lunch?" America checked his watch.

"Mmm. And Russia. It's about the Cold War. --And we can."

He held out the book, and America accepted it. He glanced at the cover. "Published this year, huh?"

"No. 1984 is just the title." They fell in beside each other and strolled past the fountain. America's hands were full, as he wrestled with the coat and flipped the book over to read the back cover; England walked with his head down, and his hands in his pockets.

America grimaced, and nudged up his glasses with the spine of the book. "It says it was put out in 1948. The Cold War hadn't even gotten started yet in 1948."

"There were signs, however," England informed him. For those of us who were willing to see them. "And I believe the book has only become more about the two of you with time."

"Wait, I remember this one--" America swerved around a pair of children pelting across the square. "Isn't this the one where--" His expression screwed up in distaste. "Isn't this the one where I annex you? And you got all pissy at me about it when it first came out, even though I totally didn't do anything?"

"Yes," England replied. "But time has led me to conclude that that really isn't the point."

"You can't just go back and decide that books are about something different than they were about in the first place."

"Actually, the principle premise of the book is that you can." Orwell would be proud of him, England reflected--or horrified.

"Whatever." America flipped around his coat and jammed the book into one of his deep pockets. "I'll read it if I have time. Your fancy books usually go over my head, though."

"I believe you have powers of perception hidden even from yourself which may assist you in this regard." A splash from the fountain struck England's pant leg; he brushed at it like a piece of lint.

"Yeah, well, you just keep thinking that."

"Mmm."

---

It was the posters that had made England resolve to lend America the book. They were inescapable.

They were very dramatic; bold, clear statements of ideological intent, designed by the best marketers in the world to scare the lights out of anyone who looked at them. Russia's posters (which were generally better) dealt with neglect, oppression, spiritual starvation, and racism, which he presented as hallmarks (and the only hallmarks) of the West. America's posters were more straightforward, and tended to show things like communists murdering women and burning down national monuments.

Both of them were obsessed with the notion and the imagery of the atom bomb.

It was very strange to remember that they had once been in love.

In fact, it was impossible to remember, most of the time: they snarled at each other, and attacked each other at conferences, and plastered their posters and their slogans on every wall, and accused each other of every crime they could come up with, until England and the other nations longed for them to just have a good fight, if it meant they would shut up. And England had remembered the book again when it occurred to him that this was deliberate. America and Russia did not want anyone to remember that they had ever been in love. It was not enough for them to despise each other, which many nations accomplished every day, and had for centuries, without kicking up much of a fuss; everyone had to know that they hated each other. And everyone had to know--no, more than that, to agree--that their differences were irreconcilable.

America hated Russia. Therefore America had always hated Russia.

This was more obvious in the Soviet Union, where any mention of former cordial relations between the two nations had been, as England understood it, systematically exterminated from the public record, with a vigor that Orwell's Ministry of Truth would have found admirable. America did it more quietly, concealed it in his left hand like a vanished coin in a magic trick; those sections of his history which were incompatible with his new reality were shortened, and shortened, and rephrased, until it was impossible to conclude that a friendship had ever existed in the first place.

Now you see it, now you don't.

(Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.)


Their war was not a war, and no one stood to gain by it; and it had become essential to their ways of life. England had even seen America indulge in what he thought of as a Two Minute Hate: when America would start in about communism, communism, how evil it was, its fallacies that were so obvious in America's eyes that anyone should be able to see them, and on and on and on...

England did not know who Russia confided in, but he suspected that someone behind the Iron Curtain was listening to the same thing, with only a few key words changed here and there.

England, of course, did not like Russia. He had never liked Russia, and he could say so without any Orwellian historical revision. And he had never liked America's relationship with Russia. On that subject, he had engaged in a few Two Minute Hates himself, or he would have, if he had been able to find anybody would listen. So he was gratified, certainly, very gratified to see the pair of them so estranged.

And yet…

He didn't know what he expected, by lending America the book. He supposed that America failing to understand it, or getting bored, and not finishing it, were among the better outcomes. He was like Winston, writing the last truth in Europe in his diary, unsure if it would do any good, and taking the risk that not only would his words be ignored, but that they might be taken as heresy.

England told himself that he was not afraid of making America angry. His fortunes were not so wholly dependent on him as that.

On their posters, in their news, on their radios, they called each other liars and oppressors and murderers. England remembered when they had touched hands at world meetings when they thought no one could see; he remembered how they had spoken to each other, the tone of voice they would use, and it was different, brighter, somehow, than how they had spoken to anyone else.

He wondered how long it would be before no one remembered it at all.

---

Two or three weeks later, he and America met in Chicago for coffee.

"Did you read the book I gave you?" England asked, pressing his napkin to his upper lip.

"Yeah, I did."

A silence ensued. America carved out a chunk of muffin with his fork.

"And?" England prompted.

America was quiet for a moment longer, and then he grimaced a smile. "Not enough pictures."

"Ah," England exhaled. "I was afraid of that."

---

And he might not have thought about it again, except that six months later, at a conference, he picked up America's binder by mistake.

It wasn't until he was in his next meeting that he realized it had happened, when he opened the binder to the first page and found the inside of a fact sheet about energy efficiency covered in doodles of biplanes fighting dinosaurs. He sighed and flipped forward to the next section. It wasn't really as if it mattered.

He turned past a page where America had written two short lines, and paused.

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I betrayed you and you betrayed me.


It took him a moment to recognize it, and then to process it. His eyes found America, further down the table. He and Russia were bitching at each other, like they always did when they were trapped in the same room. In about ten minutes, they would need to be held apart, or else the meeting would break apart over yet another one of their fistfights.

England felt, without being able to articulate why, suddenly and profoundly sorry for them.



Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you, and you sold me;
There lie they, and here lie we,
Under the spreading chestnut tree.






+++

-- If you never have, you can read Nineteen Eighty-Four online here. 'S a good book, if you're into books.

+++


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(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 04:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greenpanic6.livejournal.com
awesome i loved the use of 1984 its my fav book

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
I don't know if I have one absolute favorite book, but 1984's in my nebulous floating top cluster of 4 or 5. XD It's weird, I hated it when I read it in high school--and then when I read it again when I got older, I loved it. Go figure, huh?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sakru909.livejournal.com
Nice, I love the use of 1984.

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you, and you sold me;
There lie they, and here lie we,
Under the spreading chestnut tree.


It sums it all up nicely, doesn't it?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
It's a little too applicable, yeah. =/

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:06 am (UTC)
ext_200955: (too late my time has come)
From: [identity profile] windmilltilter.livejournal.com
I'm pretty sure this counts as a punch to the soul. ;_;

Oh America, your hidden depths are always a treat.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
I think there's something kind of awful about how he lied to England about not getting the book, you know? Like...obviously, he got it. And he knows it's something England's sort of observed anyway, since otherwise he never would have recommended it to him. But he locks England out anyway. He didn't have to isolate himself over his regret, but...I kind of get the feeling that he could never open up about it, either. At least, not to anyone but Russia, who's going through the same thing.

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Date: 2009-10-23 05:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanya-tsuki.livejournal.com
I already thought you were amazing.
The fact that you wrote a fic based on Nineteen Eighty-Four just increased that thought.

That book is one of my favorites, and it's really not referenced enough in Hetalia fanfiction, I think.

I also love that you wrote this from England's point of view as opposed to America's. I really can't find the words to explain why I liked that so much, but I did.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you! ♥ I was really hoping you guys would let me get away with this. XD

I think England's the only candidate who would really think this through in a methodical way, you know? I feel like America would get 1984, and on a deep level, but in a very intuitive, unarticulated way, which would make it awfully hard to write from his POV about it.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:17 am (UTC)
dormition: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dormition
This was such a quiet and simply lovely little look into the emotion behind the Cold War. I completely enjoyed it, and especially England's abrupt sympathy despite rationally disapproving of the entire arrangement from the start.

I think the reason his narrative works so well is that we can all, at least on some level, agree with his take on it. Russia never really has been a country you could morally approve of in very many ways, but sympathize with? Certainly. And America being outwardly immature and argumentative but inwardly deeply regretful... very in character for him as a country, I feel, not only as a person.

In short, wonderful as always. ♥

Oh, and I approve of the new layout immensely. When [livejournal.com profile] fruitstyle first posted it I went into a fangasm of joy, I will admit. XD I was thrilled to see you using it.
Edited Date: 2009-10-23 05:18 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
America being outwardly immature and argumentative but inwardly deeply regretful... very in character for him as a country, I feel, not only as a person.

I totally agree. ♥ I think America is a lot more complex than most people give him (and it, as in, the real country) credit for, but it...sort of suits his purposes to keep it that way.

Oh, and I approve of the new layout immensely. When [info]fruitstyle first posted it I went into a fangasm of joy, I will admit. XD I was thrilled to see you using it.

*gush* Isn't it PRETTY? XD I must've looked at 100 layouts before I found this one, and then I was like, MINE. I'm probably gonna tweak the colors, but that's about it. 'S gorgeous.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lokichan2004.livejournal.com
;__;

That is all. Liked the detail about the doodles in America's folder, because that's so him.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
/soothe

No fic is too serious for biplanes fighting dinosaurs, when America is around.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rheoster.livejournal.com
OUCH MY HEART

It does feel like someone just punched me in the throat... as always, I love your America because he is... complicated. He acts like a kid most of the time (the childish doodles), but obviously is intelligent and sly enough to become the world's only superpower (the fact sheet for the conference). But deep down inside, he is an emotional and insecure teenager who tries his best and then wonders where has it gone wrong... (Under the spreading chestnut tree, I betrayed you and you betrayed me)

Instead of angry, America is just sad. He just has been so sad for so long. Sort of glad that England is there...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Yeah, definitely. I think America feels a lot of things about Russia and the Cold War and their whole awful situation, to be honest: sad and angry and hurt and confused and desperate and...well...still in love, which makes it all worse.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wizzard890.livejournal.com
Oh my God.

Dude.

Dude.

I want to just...congratulate you. For kicking my heart in the groin.

What I loved most about this had to be the subtlety of it. You could have taken an extremely straightforward route with the themes of the book, but I feel like because of the book's physical presence in the fic, they were allowed to take more subtle role.

And the poem. God, it hurt.

Consider me floored, darling.


♥♥♥

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 07:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Man. I didn't even know hearts have groins. I must be pretty slick.

What I loved most about this had to be the subtlety of it. You could have taken an extremely straightforward route with the themes of the book...

Man, wouldn't that be an awesome fic? "So Russia oppresses people, but then, like, America's oppressing people too, and really it's the SAME THING, but with different names, okay? Now I'm gonna throw some Newspeak words in here, and give America a creepy glazed look...also, Stalin is totally O'Brien. Get it?"

I'm so glad you liked it. ♥♥♥

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Date: 2009-10-23 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tokene.livejournal.com
Wow, this was so very nicely written. I haven't read 1984, but after this, I definitely will, some time soon XD

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you, and you sold me;
There lie they, and here lie we,
Under the spreading chestnut tree.


How... Applicable? Apt, for sure, with some very nice imagery.
I'd be compelled to draw something, if I could draw at all.

Really good job, a great mix of history and characterization.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 07:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Oh, ah, I can't take any credit for that--if it wasn't made clear enough in the fic itself, that poem is an excerpt from 1984. =D I always think of Russia and America when I read it.

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Date: 2009-10-23 07:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gisho.livejournal.com
Ouch, ouch, ouch.

Everyone else has commented on the bitter tragedy inherant in the Russia/America relationship and how America is probably fully aware of what's going on, so I'll pull out something else cool: your England here. So snarky. So caring, but not in any direct way. "I believe you have powers of perception hidden even from yourself which may assist you in this regard." Ahahaah, he would put it like that.

And, of course, how there isn't a damn thing he can do about it, and he just - deals with that idea in his own quiet way.

<3

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 07:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Oh, yay, I'm glad you liked England in this! ♥ I went through a pretty protracted hate-on for England, to be honest, but lately I've really warmed up to the guy again. Which is nice, because he's fun to write, and much more fun to write when I don't want to punch him all the time.

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Date: 2009-10-23 09:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaite17.livejournal.com
I hate this book so much. People in that book are disgusting. I don't think that such events and people could exist. I mean that it's more comlicated in reality. In real life good and bad exist at the same time, ideal totalitarian country couldn't exist because of people.
I think that all people are good even if they do some bad thing.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 09:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Of course. It's not intended to be a realistic portrayal of any possible society; it's a thought experiment, written to highlight certain societal tendencies which do exist in the real world. I believe people are inherently good, and I don't believe George Orwell was even under the impression that they were inherently bad--certainly he didn't think they were like the ones in his novel, with maybe the exception of Winston--but real people do share some traits which have been exaggerated in Orwell's cast, and that's what Orwell was warning against.

It's societal commentary, a dystopia, not 'realistic fiction.'

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Date: 2009-10-23 10:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luxnigra.livejournal.com
In "1984" the two most important instruments of power for the Big Brother are hate and oblivion. In “Here lie we” hate is linked, as in Orwell, to the propaganda project: America and Russia (and England, of course) use it as a political, ideological and cultural weapon ("Russia's posters […] dealt with neglect, oppression, spiritual starvation, and racism, which he presented as hallmarks (and the only hallmarks) of the West/ America's posters were more straightforward, and tended to show things like communists murdering women and burning down national monuments"). Oblivion is also a political and ideological instrument, but is worse than hate and America and Russia are perfectly aware of this. Hate is a human feeling. Hate is a spontaneous feeling, as fear or love. Russia and America can create hate, they can manipulate hate, they can use hate to transfigure the past ("those sections of his history which were incompatible with his new reality were shortened, and shortened, and rephrased, until it was impossible to conclude that a friendship had ever existed in the first place") but they can’t use hate to delete the past. The memory of the past. For this reason, Russia and America have founded in the oblivion a terrible, frightening, cruel instrument of power (or maybe of torture, for both of them). Oblivion is an irreversible process, it is the negation of the past. Oblivion changes the heart into a blank page, into a photo without colours, smiles, eyes, faces. The price that Russia and America have to pay for this weapon is a piece of their souls. And maybe for this reason England “felt, without being able to articulate why, suddenly and profoundly sorry for them”.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 10:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
♥♥♥

Russia and America have founded in the oblivion a terrible, frightening, cruel instrument of power (or maybe of torture, for both of them).

I think you're really on to something with this. It isn't just that they want to hate each other, or that they want everyone to believe that they hate each other and always have; they want all of this to hurt each other. Just hearing "I hate you" from someone you love is hurtful enough; but watching them defile the memories from your happier past is a kind of obscenity, and a much better weapon.

The thing is, I think they use these kinds of weapons because they're so angry with each other; and I think they're so angry because the hate isn't real, and no matter how hard they try, they can't make it be real. To dip into Orwellian terms, they can't doublethink their way out of their situation. I think they're furious with each other because they blame one another for creating their situation, and for constantly reminding them of the things they're failing to make themselves forget.

The price that Russia and America have to pay for this weapon is a piece of their souls. And maybe for this reason England “felt, without being able to articulate why, suddenly and profoundly sorry for them”.

Definitely. I don't think England feels sorry for them for being crossed in love ("join the club, you damned nancies"), but because he can see that they're amputating something from themselves in trying to resist that love.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 10:01 am (UTC)
ext_232730: (englandfairy)
From: [identity profile] the-gabih.livejournal.com
A friend of mine and I were just discussing England's relations with Russia over the course of the Cold War, and what do I discover when I next click open my friends list but this? Fabulous work- 1984 is so very applicable here it's almost heartwrenching, and I don't even like America/Russia normally.

Really, really well done.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'm really happy you were willing to give the fic a shot, even though you're not usually into the pairing. ♥ I'm glad you feel like I did the subject credit.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 10:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] youkofujima.livejournal.com
If there is anything that I remembered from that book, it was that poem. And I have the bad habit of applying it to ever OTP in every fandom that I have been in. It's almost like you read the very subconscious part of my mind.

That poem is just too fitting for the two of them, it's crazy.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 10:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
It's strangely evocative, innit? I guess it stuck with America, as well. ♥ 1984 is just such a Cold War book that I think you can get away with sticking the poem on these two with a clear conscience.

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Date: 2009-10-23 10:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nym-aulth.livejournal.com


So, pretty much my usual reaction to your stuff then XD

It's 1 am here and I really need to finish studying and get sleep, but I'm like "oooh, Pyrrhic-fic, Russia/America stuffs, must read NOW!". And I'm so glad I did-this fic saved a tiny bit of my sanity while cramming.
I'm too tired and generally low-brow to make a good comment on the lit-fic side of things, but suffice it to say I really liked how you angled the whole thing from England's perspective and then added another distorted lense by bringing in the whole 're-writing history, no we were *never* friends, nope, not us' thing. It's sort of like looking at their Cold War relationship through funhouse mirror reflections, really sad reflections....or maybe that's just the sleep-deprivation talking XD

*sneaks off to read Orwell's 1984*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
*sneaks off to read Orwell's 1984*

Oh, I hope you do! Just, um, not when you need a pick-me-up. >_>

then added another distorted lense by bringing in the whole 're-writing history, no we were *never* friends, nope, not us' thing.

This is, for serious, one of the scariest things about researching for that early stretch of TCE. Because you don't expect history to be censored in the United States! That's something THEY do, the totalitarian ex-Soviet states, THEY'RE the ones who lie to their own people and distort the facts to suit their political agendas, sure it happens a little bit in the US, but not on anything like the same scale...!

And then you do a bit of digging, and you find a century of great relations that you've never even heard of. ._. So. Way to go, America.

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Date: 2009-10-23 11:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luminousbeat.livejournal.com
I actually just finished reading this book. I have a dozen different quotes from it scribbled messily down in the notebook I use for ficwriting and quoting and all that sort of stuff. I loved it, and I get to read it again around December when my History class gets into the Cold War (which, by the way, I can never see any different than how it's portrayed in TCE) and gets to read and such it. I'm not sure if we have to do a project or report for it, but we probably will. When I pay off the rest of my fines, I'll probably scrounge up money to buy the damn book.

...It's one of my top favorites, and I'm overly intrigued by it. Also, I suppose I should put something related to your fic here. Ahhh... Amazing as always, ma petite. *stops fangirling about 1984*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Also, I suppose I should put something related to your fic here.

Hahahaha, I am totally happy to just fangirl about 1984 with people! ♥ Winston has honestly got to be one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. His situation is just so insane, and he's struggling so desperately to make it less insane, that I bond with him all over again every time I read it.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-23 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynn-pryderi.livejournal.com
The America that is smarter than everyone thinks is my favorite America. :D I have a bad habit of looking at things from this past century and not thinking enough to put them into context, and since the only reason we studied 1984 was to talk about perception, I never once realized that it was about the Cold War. (Or "99 Luft Balloons" either. Ha.)

Love it! Would write a longer-winded review but I'm supposed to be taking art history notes. Much less interesting.

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Date: 2009-10-23 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
The America that is smarter than everyone thinks is my favorite America. :D

Mine tooo. ♥

I never once realized that it was about the Cold War. (Or "99 Luft Balloons" either. Ha.)

Fffft. XD

Thank you, I'm so gratified that you like it!

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Date: 2009-10-23 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rizzleberry.livejournal.com
I love 1984 fic. This is the first one I've read one done involving this pairing. Those lines really are sadly befitting of their relationship. Baawww.

... Would it be unusually cruel to toss a copy of Animal Farm Russia's way? But I could see America doing it.

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Date: 2009-10-23 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
*tilts head* What pairings have 1984 fic written about them? Russia/America seems like the obvious choice, since Orwell wrote it as a result of his disillusionment with the onset of the Cold War.

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Date: 2009-10-23 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bridgetsmidge18.livejournal.com
This was absolutely amazing, Pyrrhic. ♥~

And I think I may have died a little inside. Propaganda's such a bitch. T_T

I read "1984" a while back. I didn't enjoy it very much, because it was so depressing. But maybe I just didn't understand the message well enough (though I loved "Animal Farm", but that was most likely due to the talking animals. They usually make books more interesting for me, idk 8D).




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Date: 2009-10-23 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'm really happy you liked it! ♥

I read "1984" a while back. I didn't enjoy it very much, because it was so depressing. But maybe I just didn't understand the message well enough

I really wish they would stop putting it on high school reading lists, because even though the prose is comprehensible in high school, I think the message goes over nearly everybody's head, at that age. I had to read it when I was 15, and I know it went over mine. I hated this book. It was a piece of unrealistic, nihilistic garbage, and after I passed the quiz for it I tried to never think about it again.

Then I re-read it when I was 22 or so, and fell completely in love with it. XD

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Date: 2009-10-23 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wooblywooble.livejournal.com
I really don't know how to tell this but I'm really happy you chose to do this with this prompt.

England seems so dejected in this it almost makes me sadder than America's heart-wrenching denial (because in the end, that's what it is, without all the political stuff). And I really loved how you tossed Churchill there around the middle.

So thank you, you know, for this.

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Date: 2009-10-23 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
...Churchill? *scratches head* If there's any Churchill in here, it was not on purpose, I'm afraid. XD

But I'm so glad you liked the story! Thank you for reading. =D

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Date: 2009-10-23 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fujiappletan.livejournal.com
guh. that book scared the crap out of me. D:

ah the end is so, bittersweet, england trying to fix you're not even really sure. ;____;

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Date: 2009-10-23 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
England's not such a bad guy (except when he is). ♥

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Date: 2009-10-23 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sadlygrove.livejournal.com
Unf. Damn. I must commend you on how well you portrayed England as not-a-total-bastard but still unhappy with Russia and America's past (and even present) relationship. I really do like both the RussiAmerica and USUK pairings, but it's a difficult headache to reconcile them together within the same head canon, especially with how... awkward and/or creepy USUK can get at times... Even though there's really nothing USUK-y about this, it was still like a much-needed dose of aspirin, if that makes any sense :T

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Date: 2009-10-23 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
I really do like both the RussiAmerica and USUK pairings, but it's a difficult headache to reconcile them together within the same head canon, especially with how... awkward and/or creepy USUK can get at times...

I think the two relationships can exist in the same continuity (and they will, in TCE, for example), but only one of them can, um, "win," I guess. Trying to make America be in love with them both!!~~ =D =D has always struck me as a serious cop-out.

I have a lot of ships that aren't compatible with other ships, though. Like America/Poland. Goddamn, do I ship it, but would it work in the same continuity as Russia/America? HOLY SHIT NO. XD

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Date: 2009-10-23 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skelody.livejournal.com
...why do I not remember coming across that bit of verse in the book.

Well, in any case, I appreciate the double meaning of "lie".

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Date: 2009-10-23 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellamonaranja.livejournal.com
I'm pretty sure it was somewhere near the end. Maybe?
I don't know.
But it sounds really familiar to me, even if I can't remember exactly where it was.

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Date: 2009-10-23 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] animedutchess.livejournal.com
I do love books. Perhaps, instead, I will pick up an actual copy. Having the copy in your hands is a much better feeling than reading it off a screen.

I feel like I should read it. This was nostalgic and saddening and...kind of simple and beautiful. ^^

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Date: 2009-10-23 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
I think it's one of those books that everyone should read, even if they hate it, because it's a classic and was very influential and you unlock an achievement by having read it. But I also don't think it's really, er, for everybody, you know? It's a very ugly book. The people are ugly, the situation is ugly, even the prose is gritty and spare, and really makes you feel how ugly the characters' physical surroundings are. There's no uplifting message or ray of hope at the end.

But I've read it at least a dozen times, 'cause somehow there's something really beautiful about it, too. ♥

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Date: 2009-10-23 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellamonaranja.livejournal.com
Oh no! Not 1984!!
D:
*twitch**twitch*
Okay, I'm being overly dramatic. I actually quite enjoyed that book.
Nice fic! I really loved the ending. <3

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Date: 2009-10-23 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
OH GOD, NOT BOOKS! KEEP THEM AWAY! UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!

Er, glad you like the story? XD
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