Friday, May 10, 2002
Ditatt knocking over glasses
I like that image. Also the business of fencing in the Okal Rel Universe being a sport and enthusiasm as well as a legal system; a cultural focus as definite as Canada's Hocky obsession or the U.S. interest in baseball, or maybe comparable to fascination with modern rock stars or historical divas. The only time I've actually spent in fencing gear is the time when you suited me up at MacMaster. Kept meaning to go and at least watch the UNBC Free Blades practice but failing that I sometimes look around on the HACA web site or read books like The Secret History of the Sword by J. Christoph Amberger which is explicitly about dueling. The notion of thigh and hand/forearm wounds being common consequences of a duel comes from articles in The Secret History. To get back to the "fencing as a social phenomenon" idea, I listen to sports talk that goes on around me to get ideas for things like Ses Nersal, in Second Contact, talking about Hendricks D'Astor and wishing she'd seen Di Mon fight him, and also the "feel" of the exchange between Prince H'Us and Di Mon about Hendricks in which H'Us awkwardly (tacitly acknowledging suspition that Vrellish swords are better) thanks Di Mon for not killing Hendricks and Di Mon tells him simply and gruffly that he didn't kill him because he couldn't. Di Mon is just being honorably honest, and Vrellishly blunt about facts. Von basing his "jokes" in the dance he adapts (Mekan'stan's Challenge) on recent court duels is another example. The roll of the duel as high entertainment, re-enacted for months in sword dances and talked about in dens, is part of the fabric of Gelack life. Ditatt is probably a bit of a Wayne Gretzky to many tournament goers and aspiring fencers Under Gelion. We should think about how fans express themselves. Let's see. There'd be sword dance tributes (established in Second Contact); souvenirs/good luck icons (est. in both U.B. and T.P.); re-hashing in dens...I wonder if people might "wear their hero's colors" by showing braid patches or wearing house crest pins or something the way we wear T-shirts. Interesting possibilities for clashes with the family allegiences. :-) I suggested a bit of that in Second Contact with Prince Taran, who is a D'Ander fan even though he last saw D'Ander fight in a duel against his uncle over financial interests bearing on Demora.

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