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December 24 2012

Read the latest volume of Slayage. Volume 9.2 has discussion of 'Restless', vampires and evil, Harmony, Faith, and the Buffy Season 3 finale.

Interesting reactions: I got some odd comemnts back in '02 when I told them I was writing a series of fics at the Guild with Harmony as the central character- later, on anothe rboard, I said I tried to get inside her ehad as a enwbie vamp and I was told to rest a while until it paased off. One of my speculations is that Harmony as a human lived kind of like a vampire anyway so now she's just more vulagr about it.
Ooh, the Graduation Day one is excellent. I admit that that's the one finale in BtVS that I don't think I entirely "got" as a whole -- I love parts of it, but could never quite see it all fit together. This essay really helped it snap into place. Also, recognizing s6 in general and Older and Far Away in particular as being about the drab misery of a world where death is meaningless is a great point, and helps explain why Tara's death and Willow's averted apocalypse are what finally triggers the end to Buffy's depression (though it had been building all season long).
Yes WilliamTheB, the "Graduation Day" article certainly made for an interesting read. It reminded me it's been too long since I last watched those episodes. I really should do so sometime soon. It'd be fun to see them through the prism of this essay.

I don't think I agree with one of the article's main points though: that Buffy lacked agency or didn't make authentic choices until the season three finale.

If the essence of living authentically is understood to lie in the defining "meaning and value for herself rather than accepting social conventions", I'd say it makes more sense to see almost all of Buffy's key decisions as authentic choices rather than instances of her eschewing "her own life in favor of her professional life". From her first important decision in "Welcome to the Hell Mouth" - to stick with the Scoobies and be a slayer rather than sticking with Cordelia et al. - onwards her decisions are at least presented as something more complex than simple self sacrifice in the line of duty (in this case and in many others, Buffy clearly is simultaneously defying more social conventions than she adheres to when she makes this choice). Most of her key choices IMO seemed to have emanated from the self far more than they seemed the result of social pressure.

I'd say episodes such as "When She Was Bad" and "Anne" also certainly already contained the "'I am' experiences" referenced in the article. That doesn't mean an awareness of death and mortality and authenticity are not interrelated in the series of course; they certainly are in "When She Was Bad".

It would be very nice if the author would also discuss "When She Was Bad" in terms of this argument sometime (as this episode specifically deals with Buffy's response to her first death and a key "I am" experience).

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2012-12-27 02:34 ]

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