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Gene Wolfe directory

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“MLP: Immanetizing The Equestrian”, Branwen 2018

MLP: “MLP: Immanetizing The Equestrian”⁠, Gwern Branwen (2018-10-24; ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ; backlinks):

A meditation on subcultures & review of the cartoon series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, focusing on fandom, plot, development, and meaning of bronydom.

I watch the 2010 Western animated series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (seasons 1–9), delving deep into it and the MLP fandom, and reflect on it. What makes it good and powers its fandom subculture, producing a wide array of fanfictions, music, and art? Focusing on fandom, plot, development, and meaning of bronydom, I conclude that, among other things, it has surprisingly high-quality production & aesthetics which are easily adapted to fandom and which power a Westernized shonen anime—which depicts an underappreciated plausibly-contemporary capitalist utopian perspective on self-actualization, reminiscent of other more explicitly self-help-oriented pop culture movements such as the recent Jordan B. Peterson movement. Included are my personal rankings of characters, seasons, episodes, and official & fan music.

“Loyal to the Group of Seventeen’s Story—The Just Man”, Wolfe 2018

1983-wolfe-thecitadeloftheautarch-thejustman: “Loyal to the Group of Seventeen’s Story—The Just Man”⁠, Gene Wolfe (2018-01-20; ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ; backlinks; similar):

Short story on the limits of propaganda and ‘Newspeak’ using a constructed language; from Chapter 11 of Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun, volume 4, The Citadel of the Autarch.

“Loyal to the Group of Seventeen’s Story—The Just Man” is a philosophical short story told in Chapter 11 of Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun, volume 4, The Citadel of the Autarch, on the topic of the Ascian language & political control of language for brainwashing.

The story is told by a prisoner of war from a totalitarian society based on Maoist China, which has gone past Orwell’s Newspeak to speak only in quotations from propaganda texts. The prisoner is nevertheless able to flexibly order & reuse quotes to tell a story about the struggle of a good man oppressed by injust officials, criticizing the government and his society’s failure to uphold its ideals.

This story demonstrates the hope that control of thought by control of language is necessarily weak, because a new language can be constructed out of the old one to communicate forbidden thoughts.

“The Melancholy of Kyon”, Branwen 2009

The-Melancholy-of-Kyon: “The Melancholy of Kyon”⁠, Gwern Branwen (2009-06-08; ⁠, ⁠, ; backlinks; similar):

Literary analysis of the light novel/​anime series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Haruhi is not God, Kyon is

The light novel series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, featuring a character named Haruhi who is a god unawares and her search for novelty, has a number of anomalies and unclear overarching plot.

I argue that these anomalies can be resolved, and greater literary depth achieved, by interpreting Haruhi as an ordinary “not special” girl whose wish made her extraordinary, because the first-person protagonist Kyon is the actual unaware god. Like the bluebird of happiness, Kyon found happiness only when he forgot about himself to care more about another (making it a positive twist on Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger’s despairing demiurge).

Miscellaneous