bauhiniakapok (bauhiniakapok) wrote,

Moby Dick and Hornblower

Lately I've been endeavoring to fill in the yawning week-long voids between chapters of bbcphile's Harboured and Encompassed by reading through all the Hornblower novels when I'm home, and listening to the free Librivox audiobook of Moby Dick when I'm driving or doing something useful, like darning socks. And, oh my word, I haven't read Moby Dick since slogging wearily through the abridged version as a kid, let alone since developing slash goggles, and... have you read it?

I mean, Book!Bush looked at Hornblower and felt sweaty and thirsty, and in the movies Archie exchanged Meaningful Glances with Horatio, and that was pretty much enough for us to be firmly convinced they're in love. But Ishmael and Queequeg...

(Warning - some spoilers for Moby Dick and Hornblower and the Atropos, and sorry I didn't italicize any titles this time, because it is a pain.)

I'm only a little way into the book, which by the way is much more entertaining than I remember, and already there have been Two Whole Chapters specifically devoted to them not only sharing a "warm, cozy" bed at an inn (which we are sure that our Indy and Hotspur Husbands did, but we never actually got to see in canon), but also embracing each other "affectionately, like a wife," declaring they are "married," and rubbing their legs rhythmically against each other while they share intimate confidences in bed. And it's all canon. It's practically explicit, would certainly look explicit if all of it were reproduced faithfully on film. (Has it ever been?) And all sandwiched around a chapter which consists almost entirely of a very entertaining, biblically correct, nautical sermon on the Book of Jonah. I'm a little disoriented. Is it even slash when it's laid on this thick?

Meanwhile, have just finished Hornblower and the Atropos, in which poor Horry A) spends a rare evening playing with his toddler son and his newborn daughter, B) savagely condemns himself for doing so when he should have been working on the ship, C) goes off in said ship doing heroic and brilliant things and feeling depressed most of the time, D) comes back to almost England almost daring to be happy because he will shortly see his wife and kids again, and E) finds them dying of smallpox. Revered Author, forgive me, but just how much do you hate your poor hero here? Do you never allow him to be happy for more than half an hour every other month? If you had realized how adorable Archie Kennedy was and how much Horatio loved him, I'm sure you would have gone out of your way to kill him too. I'm convinced now that the only reason you even had Horatio marry Maria was to give him something else to feel guilty and harassed about.

But I do love Book!Horry, poor thing. He is just a brilliant sweetheart who is always miserable because thinks he should be a machine, like a sort of anti-Tin Man. And he does his best. I remember reading a very anti-Horatio fic which snidely commented that he kept his wife on short commons while he spent all his money on fitting up his cabin, but I certainly haven't seen that so far. In this book he spent not a farthing on his cabin furniture, making do with what the ship's carpenter could knock up for him, and he congratulated himself that the money saved would pay Maria's midwife. (Unfortunately, on the Atropos he didn't have access to Bush's interior decorating service, more's the pity.)
Tags: archie, book, bush, hornblower, hornblower and the atropos, horry is always miserable but i still lo, ishmael, maria, moby dick, queequeg, slash goggles
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