[info]stopthatgirl7 wrote
on September 5th, 2009 at 10:04 am

Codec from jou (freq. 198.42) [aka, extended author's notes on 'Ienai']

I had originally been going to include this in "Ienai," then decided that since it was, well, as long as the fic, to do it in the same style as my "Ultimanias" for my FF7 fic--make it a separate post, and my fellow nerds could read it if they wanted.

Codec from jou (freq. 198.42): Ienai was originally in third person, but in a very odd style--now that I'm thinking about it, I'm realizing I unconsciously mimicked styles from Haruki Murakami, one of my favorite authors and a writer who writes postmodern quasi-SF; the style he used for Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and the minimalist one for the character Fuka Eri in 1Q84.

One of the major themes in Murakami's work is how people are no longer able to connect, and the "End of the World" sections of Hard-Boiled Wonderland (and the way Fuka Eri is done in 1Q84) are written in a style that's almost designed to both connect you to the protagonist and keep you from connecting--it's been a couple of years since I read Hard-Boiled Wonderland, so I really can't describe it much better than that, and reading the sections with Fuka Eri in 1Q84 always leaves me sort of waaaaaaugh and off-balanced. I think unconsciously tried to imitate that separate-feeling style because there was a feeling of frozen time throughout some of the sections of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and that was the feel I wanted for this. I wanted that separate-but-not, still-life moment in time feeling, and I had Murakami on the brain since I'm reading 1Q84 now (seriously, when it gets translated into English, go get it), especially in regards to MGS thanks to an online essay I read, and thinking on it now, I daresay I was inspired as well by the feeling of sparsity (again, with Fuka Eri) in that. ^^;; So it started out very much with the Murakami base to it.

One thing I like about MGS is how meta and postmodern it is, so I was working with the idea in my head of trying to write the surreal as the hyper-real, which is how MGS operates (although it could be argued that the hyper-real is more post-postmodernism; think Neil Gaiman). I've written in a somewhat postmodern style before--in my FF7 fics Ein Sof and Something Delicate--but MGS was a chance to write it intentionally and try to really play with it.  And as I was walking to the post office and thinking about a post I wanted to make about writing the surreal in MGS, something hit me.

MGS loves to remind you, constantly, that you are in a video game. MGS2 could arguably be described as a game-within-a-game: you are playing a character who is playing a game but doesn't realize it, and who doesn't realize he is only a game character, in more ways than one. Instructions on using the controls are given as if it's normal, and Snake jokingly refers to having an infinite ammo headband, which is an item you get if you do the Meryl ending of MGS1 (he also starts out the game with the stealth gear from the Otacon ending, meaning it's an extra touch of the surreal). Since the game always hints that you are just playing a game, I decided to rewrite this fic...in second person. It still has that Murakami-esque base, but I reworked things, just a bit, to try and make it flow with the postmodernism of the MGS game world and gaming in general. It is a game and you are the player; the character is you.

(And for extra fun, jumping back on the postmodern literary train: in postmodernism, the chaos of an existential crisis/internal conflict is, unlike in modernism (think TS Eliot, Hemingway, and Joyce), considered insurmountable--you can't stop it, so the only thing to do is...play within that chaos.)

I've never written second person before so, uh, heh, it's an experiment?  And what fandom better to experiment with the surreal than MGS! XD After all, there was a reason why the Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura has been pushing Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World on Hideo Kojima ever since MGS2 came out. (So, in short: if y'all aren't reading Murakami...you should be. <3 )

This isn't to say that "Birdcage" didn't influence this, either--it did. Big time. I was listening to it almost the whole time I wrote it. Aside from feel, the structure of the song, with its three distinct sections and the last section being a combination of the first two, definitely had an impact, and I expanded sections of the fic (it was originally only about 600 words; now it's over 900) to tie it in to the song.

So, to sum up everything: Christ, but I am a nerd. ^^;;;;

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