Tag Archives: literature

The Furry Canon: Watership Down (Roundtable)

This article in our series debating the Furry Canon is a roundtable discussion of Watership Down by Richard Adams, first published in 1972. Your panelists are JM, Jakebe and Huskyteer.

JM

Jakebe, Huskyteer

Thanks for letting me lead off this roundtable exploration of Watership Down for the [adjective][species] Furry Canon project. Jakebe, I know that this is a book close to your heart, as it is close to the heart of many lapine furries, and by asking me to read and comment you’re risking have me piss all over something personally important.

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The Furry Canon: The Chronicles of Narnia

Guest post by HuskyteerHuskyteer writes stories and poems about talking animals. Most of these are published within the furry fandom, but sometimes one escapes into the wild. She enjoys motorcycle adventures, aviation museums, karate and cider.

It’s one of the most iconic moments in literature. Even if you haven’t read the books, or seen a TV or cinema adaptation, you’re probably familiar with the image of a little girl walking through the back of a wardrobe into a snowy forest lit by an old-fashioned streetlamp. Both the scene and the title of the book – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – are sufficiently recognisable to be used as shorthand and appear in parody.

If that scene is all you know, it’s worth delving deeper. As well as the wise and noble, but also slightly terrifying, Aslan – ‘not a tame lion’ – there are creatures ranging from sublime unicorns to ridiculous but heroic mice. Badgers, bears, moles, mice, not to mention non-humans like centaurs, fauns and dryads (the Narnian mythos tends towards the classical).

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Looking at post-con depression through a lens of literary theory

When I first heard about the concept of post-con depression, the idea made a lot of sense. We have a massive community of people who meet each other over sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, and various furry art hubs. These groups of people travel across or fly over states, countries or in some cases continents and oceans to see these online friends possibly once a year for a weekend, if that.

That’s already bittersweet.

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The Furry Canon: Black Beauty

Would I recommend Anna Sewell’s 1877 classic Black Beauty for inclusion in the furry canon? Yes, but with one qualification: the book’s central conceit is innovatively furry; the rest of the book is not.

I will begin with the furry element of Black Beauty: it is, as its subtitle proclaims, the auto-biography of a horse. More than just the story of a particular, modern horse’s life—not merely as a symbolic or allegorical gesture—it is a horse’s life told in the first person. In his own voice, Beauty guides us through the daily adventures and boredoms of a horse’s life, commenting on his masters’ behavior, his material condition, and his emotive reaction to it all. Though Beauty never vocalizes an English word, he is a talking horse by virtue of the fact that he addresses us.

And I am sorry to say it, but this is the extent of the book’s anthropomorphism. Despite his internal rational faculties, Beauty is definitely a horse. Throughout the entire book, I waited for him to act in some way that would reflect the thoughtfulness of his narration, but no: this is not a fantasy, and Sewell makes sure that Black Beauty’s behavior fits solidly within equine parameters.

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The Furry Canon: Animal Farm

This article is an updated version of a piece published on [adjective][species] in March 2012.

Animal Farm is George Orwell’s 1945 classic novel.

Orwell is considered to be one of the great authors and Animal Farm, along with Nineteen Eighty-Four, is considered to be one of his masterpieces. Animal Farm follows the story of anthropomorphic animals that overthrow their human farmer master and run the farm on their own terms.

I re-read Animal Farm with the idea that I would review it for [adjective][species]. I was planning to conclude that it’s a great book, and a great furry book, that all furries should read it, and it’s an easy book to recommend to the [adjective][species] Furry Canon.

I have re-read Animal Farm, but I’m not recommending to the Furry Canon. Read something else.

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The Furry Canon: Redwall

Article by Toledo (@toledothehorse). To the furry community, Toledo has mainly been an amateur artist. But since he can’t stop his brain from analyzing furry things, he has decided to put his hoof to the keyboard more often.

I’ve been around the fandom in some fashion for fifteen years. Even longer have I had fleshspace friends who sang Brian Jacques’s praises. But before this week, I had never read anything Redwall. Somehow I’d avoided reading about all those medieval mice and rabbits and otters. Of course, part of that is explicable: before I encountered the furry fandom, the only animals in which I’d had any interest were dinosaurs and dragons. Little woodland creatures put me right off. I also had little interest in anything medieval until around the same time1. Between these two apathies, I’d missed the prime years for Redwall fandom.

Essentially, I am evaluating whether Redwall deserves to be a part of the [adjective][species] Furry Canon without a hint of nostalgia. I do not present this as a claim of objectivity, of course, but only that of an outsider looking in—and to make clear my relationship with the text.

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Between Erotic Fantasy and Realist Horror

This is a roundtable review of Bonds of Silver, Bonds of Gold by Kristina Tracer, which is available as a paperback from Furplanet or as an ebook from Amazon. Your reviewers are Miriam “Camio” Curzon, and [adjective][species] regular JM.

Camio is an academic writer first and writer of fiction second, with a graduate degree in gender studies. They specialize in queer theory and popular media studies, and recently became a member of the Furry Writers’ Guild.


JM

Camio, thanks for participating in this roundtable review of Kristina Tracer’s Bonds of Silver, Bond of Gold. I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about.

Bonds is a furry fantasy novel, following the travails of a young slave who ends up being instrumental in the resolution of a conflict between two neighbouring lands. The basic plot is breezy and fast-moving, but the real meat of Bonds is the exploration of sexual slavery. It’s challenging stuff.

Before we go any further, I’ll warn readers that our discussion will include spoilers. Bonds also has many explicit rape scenes, and we’ll be talking about those too.

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Shape Shifting and Spatial Shifting – Part 3

[adjective][species] is pleased to present part 3 of 3 in a series of guest posts by Televassi comprising a dissertation titled Shape Shifting and Spatial Shifting: How the Hybrid Body Allows the Werewolf to Transgress and Resist Disciplinary Spatial Orderings of the World in Three Nineteenth Century Werewolf Tales. Citations are be available here.

The first part is available here

The second part is available here

And for ease of reference, the entire dissertation is available here

Chapter 3 – The Wolves That Lurk Under Human Skin – The Were-wolf of the Grendelwold and the Guise of Humanity.

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Shape Shifting and Spatial Shifting – Part 2

[adjective][species] is pleased to present part 2 of 3 in a series of guest posts by Televassi comprising a dissertation titled Shape Shifting and Spatial Shifting: How the Hybrid Body Allows the Werewolf to Transgress and Resist Disciplinary Spatial Orderings of the World in Three Nineteenth Century Werewolf Tales. Citations are be available here

The first part is available here

Chapter 2 – The Wolves Reinvigorate the Human Body: Wagner, The Wehr-Wolf and The Wolf’s Body.

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Shape Shifting and Spatial Shifting – Part 1

[adjective][species] is pleased to present part 1 of 3 in a series of guest posts by Televassi comprising a dissertation titled Shape Shifting and Spatial Shifting: How the Hybrid Body Allows the Werewolf to Transgress and Resist Disciplinary Spatial Orderings of the World in Three Nineteenth Century Werewolf Tales. Citations are be available here

Televassi is a bit of a newcomer to the fandom, however in his time here he’s been amazed by the friendly and creative nature of the people that make it up. Apart from being a writer, he also enjoys rock climbing and scuba diving, and has a keen interest in Celtic and Germanic cultures. You can find this torc wearing wolf on twitter as @Televassi, and find more of his writing and art on FA and Weasyl. He’s always happy to meet new people, so don’t be afraid to say hi!


Fig. 1. Anon, “The Werewolf of Anarchy,” (Punch, 105, 23 December 1893,) 290, Print.
Fig. 1. Anon, “The Werewolf of Anarchy,” (Punch, 105, 23 December 1893,) 290, Print.

Continue reading Shape Shifting and Spatial Shifting – Part 1