Comment on Wasteland

  1. LITERALLY THIS LINE HIT ME SO HARD THAT I HAD TO WRITE IT IN THE COMMENTS BEFORE FINISHING THE FIC: Edward doesn't know how to move on a ship that does not move with him. This is such an unsettling concept that I haven't seen explored in fic before, but that must have been a weird moment, for a non-Arctic veteran to experience the stillness and the tilt of a ship beset.

    Plus I loved the free verse poetry feel of that final section. God, all of this hit hard. For being only 500 words, its conciseness makes it brutal. Well done! And thank you so much for sharing this <333

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    1. Thank you so much for leaving such a wonderful, wonderful comment ❤️. It means a lot.

      I’ve always been fascinated with the relationship between people and space, and the way people move in space; The way you never really notice how dependent you are on the familiarity of your surroundings until something, some small thing, shifts and your world tilts half a degree right into the twilight zone (The Terror as a show excells at this, at showing the many, and often intensely personal ways in which the familiar can suddenly turn uncanny).

      Now Edward I‘ve always seen as more of a sailor than an explorer, someone whose comfort zone is on a ship and who lives and breathes naval life. So the worst thing I can imagine for him is to have that break apart in subtle ways: the lack of familiar movement and sounds and instead that horrible stillness and the straining and splintering of wood being crushed by the ice (which must be such a ghastly sound to a sailor).

      And because there’s such a complex interplay between environment and psyche, Edward is slowly unraveling internally as his familiar surroundings disintegrate. I have no idea if that came across, but I also tried to reflect that on the level of language, with the form of the drabbles, and finally of the sentences, becoming increasingly less structured as Edward’s sense of self comes apart.

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      1. Interpreting Edward as a sailor more than an explorer is such a good read of his character, especially in relation to how he moves about ship and how he lives within the protocol & hierarchy of the Navy. The ships stuck in ice also have so much potential for claustrophobia and this weird sense of time standing still (not even going into the sunless winters, oof), so the ships as both an environment and a character adds so much depth, which you did perfectly here.

        The last section really did portray his unraveling sense of self and his mental faculties; the lack of structure really emphasized that!

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