May. 15th, 2012 06:26 am
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On Microphone and Dinosaurs

Warning: Spoilers for ‘Newlywed Blues’ by maggie_conagher; trying to be philosophical and far too serious to be any fun to read, sorry!

Dear [livejournal.com profile] maggie_conagher,

a very happy birthday to you!

While many writers in the Sherlock fandom explore the relationship between Sherlock and John, you focus on more difficult, even improbable pairings like Anderson and a certain dinosaur.

In your WIP “Newlywed Blues” you look deep into the snags and faults of a relationship that has developed past the days of the honeymoon. When the ‘falling in love’ time is over, what has the relationship between two people turned into? How can it develop and how much work is there to be done?

It focuses on the relationship between Mycroft and Lestrade, a so-called Mystrade, as opposed to a Johnlock. And in your story that is exactly what it is: the opposite of the relationship between John and Sherlock. While the latter is firmly grounded in the unwavering trust the two characters have in each other, the former has not yet developed this trust.

The Danish philosopher Løgstrup explained the idea of caring for and trusting another human being as a radical demand that is posed by the other, the person we meet:

The radical demand says that we are to care for the other person in a way that best serves his interest. It says that but nothing more. What this means in a given situation a person must discover for himself in terms of his own unselfishness and in the light of his own understanding of life.

This is opposed to the norms and rules placed by society:

The social norms, on the other hand, give comparatively precise directives about what we shall do and what we shall refrain from doing. We are usually able to conform to these directives without even having to consider the other person, much less take care of his life.

The difference between the radical demand, which demands understanding and respecting the other human being the way he or she is, is opposed to what social norms and rules demand from us, which is not to recognise the other as a human being as long as we respect and obey the rules placed upon us by society.

When looking at your Lestrade and Mycroft pairing, Lestrade is the one fighting to discover how he best can help Mycroft become a human being who in the end, I guess, will be able to cry and show emotions (long way to go, since we at the time being not even are half way through). Lestrade can only understand Mycroft based on his own understanding of life, relationships, and everything. This has to create conflicts, since Mycroft’s upbringing and thus his understanding of life is as different from Lestrade’s as it can get.

Mycroft could be seen as the one who follows the rules, not so much the rules of society as such, but the rules and norms imposed on him by his father and Sherlock. These same rules which almost make it impossible for him to be a human being because he has to suppress so much of his personality to be able to obey the rules. Mycroft has been able to see and respond to the needs of Sherlock during his early years, because those needs still could be met by following certain norms for the rearing of children. But already at that time there must have been a lack of emotion because Mycroft himself seems to never have experienced any during his childhood, being the older of the two and thus the one, who had to meet all the responsibilities (just guessing here, but makes sense to me when looking at the way he and his brother behave – and taking both [livejournal.com profile] maggie_conagher’s background story and [livejournal.com profile] ghislainem70’s original story, which Maggie has based her fic upon, into account).

So, Mycroft isn’t able to meet the needs of Lestrade, being only too aware of his own shortcomings as a human being. At the same time Lestrade needs compassion from his partner to be able to continue the healing process of the very same partner (it’s being both a physical and psychological process this far into the story).

In other words, lots of conflicts to hopefully be resolved at some point in the future – conflicts of trust, caring, and development both in the relationship and as human beings. Not just for Mycroft but also for Lestrade who heavily depends on Mycroft’s butler Morris to be helpful and understanding when everything else seems to go down the drain.

And to end on a lighter note: I for one am looking forward to the upcoming cookbook “Le chef Morris’ finest recipes as they are developed in the story by maggie_conagher”.

Hmm, all in all, not that much about dinosaurs – and if anybody out there is wondering about the ‘Microphone’ then read chapter 7: Pub Crawl of Newlywed Blues.

Hope, I haven’t spoiled everything for your readers.

Ha’ en rigtig god fødselsdag!

Date: 2012-05-15 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maggie-conagher.livejournal.com
Thanks so much, Thessa, for thinking about my characters. Your observations are correct; even your guesses about where it is headed. Not really a mystery story, is it? lol

It means a lot that you would take so much time to read a very long story and to write about it. Makes the hard work worth it. :)


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