My epigraph quote is from Petra Rehling’s essay, “Harry Potter, wuxia and the transcultural flow of fantasy texts in Taiwan,” which looks at the transcultural reception of Western fantasy novels in Taiwan. This essay considers how the Wuxia traditions of traditional Chinese fantasy map on to the fantasy traditions in Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings. I was drawn to use this quote and this essay for a couple of reasons:
1) In a way, the essay offers the flip side of what I’m looking at in the reception of Xianxia fantasy (a modern offshoot of Wuxia) in English language fandoms, thus suggesting a larger uneven transcultural circuit of myth and fantasy.
2) The epigraph quote offers an alternative to Hiroki Azuma’s contention in Otaku: Database Animals that contemporary fan culture (specifically, Japanese otaku culture specifically, in the early 2000s) represents an abandoning of the “grand narrative,” in favor of a “animalistic database.” While I find much compelling in Azuma’s larger imagining of the database, I’ve been thinking about how fans create and reiterate new myths through and within the database, how fannish database(s) seem to me the space for fostering the birth and growth of new myths. This is likely part of why I’m drawn to these sweeping, epic narratives like The Untamed and Guardian, and the many mythic fan works that they as a result inspire, and also why this quote from Rehling’s essay resonated.
Finally, my music choice:
I’ve loved Rachmaninoff’s second concerto since I was very young. It was one of my first pure musical experiences and loves, at least that I can remember. Its sweeping mix of religiosity, romanticism, and moments of quiet intimacy seem the perfect match to The Untamed and the perfect sonic landscape to explore the creation of new yet quickly beloved romantic myths through popular culture.
Actually, after I’d only seen a couple of episodes of The Untamed, I had already decided that I wanted to vid all fifty episodes to the full concerto in a sort of vid-recap, which I still hope to do as part of this project. So this was my first test drive, to see how the piece works with the visuals and with the series’ thematic preoccupations and emotional tone. What do you think, should I go for the whole long-form vid?