This is an archive of analytical threads about Homestuck which I have made on twitter over the years. I'm putting them here for archival purposes and for easier reading. Length, quality, and coherency is extremely variable, because I was often just thinking out loud.
A review of Opacifica's essay on Aspects
"Homestuck is a fanfic of itself"
On death, narrative, and the Heart aspect
Fate in ancient literature and Calliope of Troy
Reading Jane as a butch lesbian
Time, space, and the structure of narrative
"saddle up yall ive got equius meta"
Alienation and the art of Homestuck
Animation and visuals in act 7 and beyond
Meenah is Vriska's manic pixie dream Terezi
"homestuck is a school of literary critiscism because..."
Vriska, Terezi, and competitive desire
Egbert, dad Egbert, and the Odyssey
On the 'agency' of the game and the alpha timeline
Experience, environment, and identity
On different types of heroism
The aspects and how storytelling structures perception
Homestuck as replication without original
Dirk, Plato's Timaeus, and fan production
On art and formulae: Homestuck and Calvin and Hobbes
Some character comparisons between HS and Revolutionary Girl Utena
"augustus, the first roman emeror, is lord english"
Reading HS and the opposition between form and character
The epilogues as 'fanfic' and their lack of images
Stasis and the beginning of Epics
Rose, textile symbolism, and narrative construction
Homestuck and Latin vs Homeric Epic
Homestuck and the features of Epic
Vriska, textile symbolism, and gender
Homerstuck: "hi im lily and this is the only homestuck opinion i have"
finally reading @0pacifica's aspect essay! see here > archiveofourown.org/works/24199798 extremely excited for this! although im gonna post this thread all in one go lmao livetweeting is anxiety inducing
the relation of aspect to the nature-vs-nurture argument is something that i tie myself up in knots about a lot, probably because homestuck ties itself up in exactly the same knots. I like the idea of aspect as something which signals the character's relationship w narrative -
-and how thats going to be explored in the story. thats a harder definition to apply if you're trying to use the aspect system to understand yourself. but i do think that sometimes in order to understand aspects in hs we need to situate them in its context as a work of fiction
also REALLY interested in the biological scientific perspective on this.. skaia is, after all, a reproductive system of narrative itself, a cosmic organ of storytelling. which is really kind of neat. still dont know what apoptosis means though.
"when Doom as a force interacts with Narrative, it propels it in a headlong rush to the End" doom is an aspect i find hard to grasp, but this is interesting because it pretty much describes my reading of the time aspect? I've often thought of doom as the structure of the -
inevitable end (and other structures which shape narrative) and time as the force which pushes through the story to reach this end. but I'm not really sure where this leaves life? life as explored here is like a positive/unbounded conception of this forward motion. i like that.
OOOH I SEE time and space as correlating exactly to doom and life as the application of those forces in the structure of narrative.. im so deep-set in my idea of the space/time opposition that i forget about space's role in the literal growth of the narrative/universe
"Skaia doesn’t have any opportunity to ‘evolve’, without the forces of entropy acting on its genetic composition." this is kind of the role i usually ascribe to space but that's like. a reading very much grounded in narrative theory and not so much in homestuck
hope as unchecked growth is REALLY good... the unrealistic expansion of the imagination into ideas which the narrative could never satisfactorily hold up... rage as the cyniscism and the comitment to coherent causality which can either channel or limit such ideas..
"Skaia only exists insofar as it is experienced and interpreted through Homestuck. The cyclical means of this interpretation, then, represent just as important a reproductive function as its actual, material reproduction." HELL YEAAAAAA
i think light is more about the 'one story' - a narrative coherent in its meaning - than the 'one truth'? meaning and knowledge in a story come from coherency - repetition of imagary, themes, ideas. when you exist in a story, narrative is truth because it conveys meaning.
blood and breath are another two aspects which i find hard to understand but relating them to pre-existing vs new meaning makes a lot of sense to me! especially as a body-language metaphor... breath as speech, sense - relating the self to the outside world and taking it in -
whereas blood maintains the 'interior' (community, story, body) as it already is. "The future comes from the past, and the past is continually being reinterpreted as we move forward into the future." yeah
proud to b bound to a 'delinquent' aspect. fuck yeah. heart and mind as finding meaning outside the needs of the narrative is rly interesting when u consider how like. fanfiction often focuses on either the interior lives of characters or on alternate possibilities for the story
i have my own skeleton of an aspect-wheel theory which sees the 'contraction and expansion' dichotomy here as more like 'binding force and unbound material' but its not very developed and doesn't consistently hold up. working on that, though.
ahh contraction/expansion of meaning vs material makes a lot of sense though! interesting that the 'instrumental' aspects as mouthpieces of skaia clearly reflects not just the characters' personalities as agents of narrative but the fact that hussie wrote them like that -
- in order to tell the story. possibly only semi-deliberately. also the 'delinquent' aspect set sure have the nicest colour palette.
jade as a 'narratively' developed character interests me in my reading of space as narrative obstacle to time, since jade is definitely one of the characters whose narrative of abandonment for the sake of the plot (time) is most clearly highlighted. even if it sucks for her.
oh space as 'organised story growth' makes more sense to me with the suggestion that the narrative text could be attributed to a space player! space is the funadamental.. space..in which the substance of the story exists and this is something which needs to be grown and developed
only the space of the story isn't equivalent to the plot which drives through this space and ultimately destroys it. on another note "both Dirk and Nepeta trailblaze in-text fanwork like shipping charts and fanart" - OH OF COURSE THATS WHAT CONNECTS THEM AS HEART PLAYERS
"Descriptively, there may be some commonality in works that you, personally, enjoy. Applying this framework may help you identify patterns in the media that gives you pleasure and the media the frustrates you." oh yeah i rly want to do this now
personal aspect as a process and something reflected in the stories you want to tell (literally or metaphorically)... damn thats good
OVERALL i really liked this as a systematic look at the aspect system that all adds up! there wasn't any part where I felt like the ideas being proposed were a bit of a stretch, or weren't being explored in full in order to fit them into the system.
my approach to aspects is v much driven by literary theory written about narrative, but I think that this essay complements rather than contradicts my own readings. I'll definitely be refering to some of the ideas laid out here if I get round to writing my own aspect essays!
also! this was really well written and easy to understand despite the complexity of its ideas. that's something a lot of theorists never manage, but as always, homestuck blazes the way. well done, esther!
homestuck is a fanfic of itself
the fact that the narrative is made to occur by characters who have already seen what happens in it (callie, caliborn, vriska, etc) is the ultimate reflection of the comics' extra-textual engagement with and response to its readership . it becomes derivative of itself
i think that what homestuck's circular causality ultimately reflects is the paradoxical question of whether fiction derives from reality or reality from fiction - the interaction of the two is circular, their boundaries permeable
and the comic performs this circularity in a material sense by responding to its readership - the texts creates the fandom but the fandom also creates the text.
hhhgh going ult as a heart player must be like realizing that in order for your self/story to be whole and defined you have to have reached the end of your narrative you have to die
but if you want your life to have a coherent and complete story (identity) you also have to die in a manner that is meaningful in a narrative context hence dirk going villain mode
i think the difference between vriska and dirk here is that for vriska as a light player her identity is important more with respect to how others see her but for dirk it’s about how he sees himself
and this is partly why she insists on playing the hero in the altruistic sense? she has to be perceived/remembered in a positive light whereas dirk believes he is evil to a certain degree n confirming that is a self destructive/constructive impulse
actually back to my point abt heart players going ult I think it’s more that it makes you see yourself as completely boundless/incoherent but the impulse of someone invested in heart would be to try and put a boundary/definition on this hence it stimulates the death drive
and that’s why ultdirk is playing the role of a time player!!
i do think that my methodology of narrative theory focalised through the lens of homestuck really is a very good way of helping us understand Weird Shit in ancient literature
by which i mean: thinking about calliope is a very productive way of understanding the agency and narrative role of helen of troy
neither are responsible for the destruction they inspire, but they both create a kind of distance (phyiscal in helen's case, metaphorical in callie's with the effect that their fangirl personality has on caliborn) which turns them into an object of positive or negative desire
in both cases, the desire (in the atreidae/caliborn) to breach that distance and destroy or re-capture them is what creates the plot and what leads to suffering . space is generative. (although helen muse of light)
but lily why ANCIENT literature in particular?? because FATE the preeminent trait of ancient epic and tragedy is that the stories told are ancient and familiar and set in stone and hs is the only later/modern text i know of which explores predetermination to such a degree
(obv theres massive mythic variation but these variations r so widespread that they were probably also widely known . i have a lot to say abt this and its hard to condense)
The strongest basis for reading Jane as a very repressed butch lesbian is the way she interracts with masculinity - that is to say, she misinterprets her desire to present as masculine as an attraction to men.
From her introduction page, Jane’s attraction to men is filtered through a very specific type of man, a common marker of comphet: “I swear I like boys but only the ones who are exactly like this whom I may or may not really just want to look like”
Jane is described as “holding particular affection for ”MUSTACHIOED FUNNYMEN” in her intro - and what does she later alchemise?
Jane’s hat is also relevant here: it’s an object textually associated with dad and representative of his particular masculine persona - the very gendered ‘Platonic dadness’. The text even points out that it makes her seem more like him.
There’s also Jane’s interest in detectives (and pretending to be them) in relation to Problem Sleuth and it’s genderswapping shenanigans - I haven’t read PS, so I can’t really tell the degree to which the role of the detective is gendered as masculine in the language of MSPA.
Finally, Jane’s relation towards “the PERFECT MAN” is not expressed by reference to her attraction to him, but by her desire to emulate his actions and his persona. Jane is so confined by the conventions of her society that she cannot even recognise her desire to transgress them.
To get personal: the way Jane’s ‘attraction’ to men and masculinity is represented reminds me very much of the way I navigated compulsory heterosexuality when I was younger.
In a world where there is very little representation of butch or gnc women in media, one tends to latch on to men who exhibit the kind of presentation you actually aspire to.
Since society teaches women (or those who have had to grow up as such) that any kind of feeling they have towards a man must be construed as attraction, I think it’s common to mistake any desire to be masculine for attraction to men.
I only realised this years later, when I felt a similar way towards various fictional men - but by then, I could see clearly that what I wanted was actually to be perceived as they were.
Some of Jane’s frustrations with Jake could be read as coming from the fact that he seems like her ‘ideal man’, but she isn’t really properly attracted to him and can’t understand why.
There’s obviously a lot more going on with Jake and Jane which rests not on whatever repressed feelings she might have, but on the social and ideological role she feels she has to perform -
and there’s much more to be discussed with regards to this reading and Jane’s relationship to femininity, to the Crocker-Batterwitch legacy, to her politics in the epilogues etc but I’ve said my piece for now!
You could absolutely interpret all of this as pointing towards a reading of Jane as transmasc as well - I simply wanted to analyse her character through my own perspective and experience as a gnc lesbian.
And also - I don’t think this is definitive, it’s just one way of interpreting Jane - I don’t actually have any strong preference towards headcanoning her as bi or a lesbian or even gnc, I just think this is an interesting angle to take and one which the comic would support.
hm. if time is the death drive that pushes you through the story to its end and therefore its destruction then space is the obstacle to the fulfillment of desire which allows the story to exist in the first place
theyre two conflicting forces- the reason 'space receeds' is because if it doesnt collapse to allow the space between desire and fulfillment to be overcome, the narrative can't move at all.. its the creative aspect because this conflict is the most necesary component of any story
without space between you and what you want, you cannot have any kind of journey to achieve it - narrative would be two dimensional - space is what turns it from a line into a triangle between you, the object, and the thing between you - it gives the story shape
tldr read anne carson eros the bittersweet . i need some evidence to substantiate this theory in homestuck itself tho
saddle up yall ive got equius meta.. one thing that kept cropping up as i reread was the fact that equius is the character who has the most obvious references to ancient greek heroism and masculinity, but presented in a completely ridiculous manner
you know.. the strength.. the horse obsession,, the naked muscle statues.. the alternian slam poetic tradition,, its all very homeric if that's what you're trying to read homestuck in comparison to.
so today i was thinking about the overwhelming amount of light imagary in the iliad in relation to the achilles and how he's pretty much textually a light player - when it occured to me that there's an interesting contrast between equius' aspect and his greek hero coding
he's aligned with a type of heroism which is predicated very much on importance and relevance, but he's the hero of void and a lot of emphasis is placed on his irrelevance and inaction - which sheds an interesting light on the greek heroic paradigm in homestuck
because if there's one thing equius is, it's ridiculous - his hypermasculinity is presented as gross and uncomfortably horny - despite his insistance on his nobility and the cultural prestige of his interests.
equius is the anti-greek-hero in a story where the kind of hypermasculinity associated with homeric heroics is instead the mantle of the ultimate villain - and the hero most akin to achilles in terms of desire for relevance is a woman who thinks equius is ridiculous and funny
all in all i think he's an interesting example of how homestuck deconstructs cultural perceptions through the use of the absurd and through it's exploration of the axis of importance and irrelevance, something which lurks at the back of all fiction but which is rarely discussed.
THINKING about how the visually uncohesive nature of homestuck highlights the characters feelings of isolation and alienation from their environment
as i've said before, i think the comic deliberately references a particular style of american strip cartoons - like peanuts, calvin and hobbes - whereby the children are disproportionately small in relation to the strange and unwelcoming world around them
but also like.. the mixture of photo assets and drawings creates a barrier to our imagination- how are we to suppose it 'really' looks- real or cartoony? in a story where the effect of the environment on the self is so important the dissonance of the space also effects the reader
every time i get to act seven of hs, it feels like all of a sudden, the world of the comic has been brought to life- the characters and also the environment (the frog n volcano are really visually interesting here) start to move in a different manner to before.
homestuck is a really visually unconventional story, but by this point, we're completely used to the way it works - the movement between sprites and hero mode, the not-so-fluid movement of the flashes - so to break out of that feels really significant.
from collide to the pannels leading up to act 7, it feels like we've been slowly moving away from homestuck's visual language into something less defined which takes more input from different artists - making it feel closer to a fanwork (not in a bad way!!)
the strict visual style of homestuck feels tied somehow to the alpha timeline and it's inevitabilities, and as those draw to their close the form of the comic disintegrates into something which feels more real - it's as if the characters are finally allowed to move and breathe
but i also think that seeing homestuck as an anime all of a sudden jolts the reader out of their way of reading the comic - it forces you to think about homestuck in relation to more familiar media, to consider the ramifications of the things it's been saying about storytelling
and i think the epilogues and hs2 achieve something similar, but in a different way and to a different effect! being framed as fanfiction also has the effect of making the characters 'more real' because fanfiction strives to get inside characters' heads and understand them
and hs2 obviously has elements of homestuck's sprite and asset artwork but the kind of art we see (so far mostly in the candy tl) gives the comic a very different feeling - it's more cohesive and sequential, so it's more like a traditional comic
like fanfic does, this kind of art makes the world feel more 'whole' and gives the reader less of a need to fill in the visual gaps which are created by homestuck's weird collage-esque visuals - i'm very interested to see how the visual storytelling of hs2 develops!
OHHHH vriska grows so attached to meenah in the afterlife bc meenah is like a terezi who's more like vriska in terms of overt morality and therefore doesn't make her face up to her own flaws
she has the 'weirdo girl who's rude to everyone' characteristic and i think she shares the qualities that vriska sees in terezi which remind her of herself - but she has much less of a conscience and a moral code so >
she makes vriska feel ok about doing things like maniulating the ghost army (not that aranea didn't have a hand in that and not that meenah doesn't struggle with herself and her actions - she reminds me of dirk a bit actually)
so meenah is like... crucial for vriska in terms of trying to maintain some kind of hold on her identity in a meaningless afterlife because vriska needs some kind of rival/companion who reminds her of terezi - but because meenah doesn't challenge her sense of self >
or the morality of her actions, the relationship falls appart and she becomes all the more insecure
homestuck is a school of literary critiscism because it completely changes the way you look at mainstream popular media - by breaking down its components and dissecting them
i just got back from watching the new star wars and seeing that after spending about a month in intensive homestuck study was really quite something
theres a lot to be said along these lines but what struck me was how unusual and striking homestuck's exploration of the self as shaped by environment and experience is - as opposed to the ideas about inherent true inner self that get bandied about in popular media
also like . homestuck makes you think about relevance and irrelevance in a way that mass corporate produced media often doesn't want you to
also hussie said that terezi doesnt allow anyone else to 'administer justice' otherwise she just sees it as revenge... i think vriska has a similar attitude towards cheating - she lets herself do it but doesnt like it when other ppl try anything similar
its about the
vriska cant let anyone else be ahead over her in any respect which is also why she sucks up to people like aradia n equius at the beginning of hivebent - she doesnt want it to seem like they have any control or authority over her so pretends shes acting of her own volition
re: 'mimetic anxiety'.... she doesnt like it when people are a. too similar to her or b. have achieved the sort of thing she wants: personal validation and narrative importance
two things which r eternally in conflict because narrative importance tends to require that one do nasty things to people
(This was technically a stand-alone tweet, but it's part of the same discussion:)
im still thinking abt how terezi sees herself as an arbiter of justice bc she wants to stop cycles of revenge but bc she makes this part of her identity it gets bound up in her emotional implication in said cycles so she cant break free n the contagious violence continues
honestly john and his relationship w his dad has massive telemachus and odysseus energy but in like . weird inverted ways... john being introduced as a prankster... the 'shitty disguise' he puts on to try and trick his dad...
i think the odysseus paradigm is the kind of heroism john aspires to or is told to aspire to by the narrative, but he never manages to live up to it?
or like he has to navigate the tension between the fact that the game/story says that fulfillment only comes from being in control (the masculine 'hero' role which dave/dirk/caliborn revolve around) but he's constantly forced to place the narrative above his personal development
and thats why he reminds me of aeneas as well...
huh . we talk about the game and the alpha timeline as if they have some kind of agency and thats predicated on the idea that both of them want something .. what they want is to exist but (like all desire and also life) their existance is obliterated once it comes to its fulfillment
obv the game's desire is for its existence to be reproduced ad infinitum but they're both systems with much more finite goals than you find anywhere else and this is what makes them seem like such active forces, almost like characters . desire is self lads
(also insofar as you can seperate the alpha timeline from what LE wants but its completion requires his destruction as well so i dont think its entirely a manifestation of his will so much as his nature)
homestuck is appropriately titled bc the theme that is probably most central and consistent throughout it is the idea that who you are is shaped by your enviroment and experiences huh
this is obvious n ive just been thinking about it but the only thing that differentiates the characters from the alternate selves they encounter is the things they've done and what has happened to them.. experience is what structures difference in hs so it structures the world
so theres an interesting tension between aspects as something which are supposed to be absolute principles and the idea that everything is determined by enviroment? bc two characters w the same aspect (or class) can be so so different n i think we're supposed to notice that
i think lots of the character arcs express this theme of trying to reconcile upbringing/conditioning with the role the game assignes them - and figuring out what they actually want or want to be has to mean looking beyond both of these systems
basically u can read the class/pects as just another enviroment/experience which shapes the characters, only the aspects especially are features/constructs of storytelling, which define the characters as fictional characters -
and for some of them, thinking of themselves as characters with roles to play in a plot is as detrimental to themselves as it is necessary for the continuation of homestuck as a linear story.
(I was... An idiot who forgot that Aeneas also appears in the Iliad in this one)
homestuck is what happens when you put aeneas (john) and achilles (vriska) into the same story.. its interesting how vriska's very individualist form of heroism and john's more outward-focused kind both inevitably serve the needs of the alpha timeline
vriska does what the plot wants because if she doesn't it won't let her be important - john does what it wants (through retcon for instance) because if he doesn't his friends will die.. and when they try to be more selfless/more selfish respectively things go weird
the aspect system is so neat bc its a way of structuring the world based around how a story is structured and it reveals how much of human thought is ingrained into ideas about storytelling and vice versa
bc hs is so metatextual if you think for instance about 'space' in hs you're thinking about space in terms of setting, world building, art style.. which makes u think about how space in real life is also charged with meaning and visual storytelling
and time and its connection to death and driving the plot towards its ending really makes me think about how ideas in literature about fate and plot are predicated on human mortality - we do know the end of the story we just don't know how we're gonna get there
if u want to know my thoughts on heart then read anne carson's eros the bittersweet - the self and 'romance' are inextricable ideas because desire is what creates the self and is something throughly bound up in the reading and writing of fiction .. heart is the desire aspect
hs is... based around the idea of endless replication and repitition of something which has no true foundation or origin point except for its existance as a repeated formula/meme.. thats why fuck canon
that 'something' being the whole alpha timeline, objects within it, repeated images or phrases within the story etc
its interesting how homestuck's Big Food Metaphor creates an opposition between (raw) meat and candy, rather than the more symbolically charged imagery of fruit
like usually in (ancient/epic) literature meat is associated with civilisation through hunting, agriculture and cooking, whereas the Sweet Thing (fruit) is something wilder - im thinking abt hesiod's golden age and themes of cooking and civilisation in the odyssey bc of a seminar
BUT candy is something very artificial and man-made, whereas the 'meat' in homestuck is completely raw and bloody - contrived character-based fanworks versus the raw necessity of plot? not sure that thats the message though
and like.. where do fruit and vegetables fit in? john's apple kinda represents the idea of story/identity as a consumable object which you have to bite into yourself to begin the tale (think genesis but also eris' apple and the trojan war)
i mean like theres so much u could say about the apple but also doesnt caliborn refer to dirkjake in vegetable terms? what about pumpkins? is there a correspondance between pumpkins as objects which are bound up in the circularity of the story and johns apple?
(im going nowhere w this i just love food symbolism and im hungry) also alt callie eating LE as a paralell to john's choice at the beginning of the epilogues... a sign that meat and candy are converging on one another .. reading as eating.. eating and knowledge.. hm
HMM OK SO theres a bit in plato's timaeus where it says that the demiurge created the universe to be as much like them as possible (the dialogue explains how the universe has the structure of a living being) and BIG DIRK HOURS
BECAUSE when dirk //creates// he only ever really creates and recreates himself - with AR and also with his imitation of LE in the epilogues.. he's trying to replicate the story that already happened rather than really tell a new one
all creation and storytelling in homestuck is circular! it's retelling what is already there to the point that it helps it come into being! visually, textually, narratively homestuck repeats and repeats because it's a cosmological treatise about storytelling
AND the thing is - homestuck celebrates and problematises the idea of repetition - it can lead both to creativity and transformation, and stagnation and conservatism - i think it's pretty unique in exploring the idea of creation in both a positive and negative light
ultimately what im saying is that homestuck's gnostic/platonic themes are not an end in themselves but a discourse on fan production - when does canon become restrictive? when is it better to stop retelling a story or streching it out longer?
is fan-produced content (or any media that takes influence from an older source) somehow less true (like the imitation of a platonic form) than the original? but isn't all creation recreation? and things needn't lose their value with repetition?
obviously homestuck answers all these questions differently in different situations - but I think these are the considerations central to it's cosmological themes and allusions. in a story about stories you have to think about creation in literary terms.
damn the continuity between homestuck and old american newspaper strip cartoons is incredibly real... like peanuts and especially calvin and hobbes which I’ve been reading a lot recently
like the way that the art style structures the world - where the adults are drawn with normal proportions but the children are abnormally tiny with huge heads
I think this signals an intertextuality with these kinds of cartoons to the reader - telling us that although these kids are 13, they still exist within the world of childhood, a world controlled by seemingly arbitrary rules laid down by grownups, as is the main idea behind C & H
john and rose are initially presented quite similarly to Calvin I think.. with John it’s just his relationship with his dad, whereas rose is a chaotic kid with an extremely creative and mature imagination who understands how unfair a place the world is. jaspers? hobbes.
adults for these two are huge, faceless, inexplicable (I remember in peanuts you only see their legs) and their world is both omnipresent and utterly bewildering. but john and rose’s lives seem at least reasonably typical of a strip cartoon -
when we’re introduced to dave these expectations are broken down. bro is a more chaotic figure, showing us that roses family life was not an anomaly, but part of an escalation. as the suburban cartoon strip world is slowly broken down, we see how much further the comic will go
haha you thought this thread was over?? buckle the fuck up
a similarity which continues through the comic is the use of stock phrases or scenarios. it’s something which stood out to me from the cartoon books I read as a kid- events like calvin getting tackled as he comes home from school or lucy and the football just repeat and repeat
with hs these repetitions are broken up - whereas in the cartoons they’re displayed as part of the characters’ everyday lives, in hs characters who have never spoken to each other will echo the series’ verbal memes. everyone has been warned about stairs, but who did the warning?
Comics and cartoons as a narrative form lend themselves to formulae- the same characters are drawn again and again, a visual language of facial expressions is built up, and in a serial which often lacks an overarching plot, the same things keep happening, just like in real life
homestuck really messes with this - repetition is cosmic, ordained not by mundane suburban life but by the machinations of a grand narrative. as it turns out, what drives repetition and formula in literature is its nature as literature itself.
C & H and peanuts repeat their tropes to make themselves identifiable as their respective particular comics and so to serve their self perpetuating purpose of entertainment -
homestuck’s tropes and memes do the same thing, they are there to create the narrative medium that is homestuck. but the repetitions are explained not by the comic’s setting, but by this fact in and of itself. homestuck is homestuck is homestuck.
terezi and anthy r both just out there searching huh
juri is just dirk crossed with kanaya im on like 6 levels of projection here but i will die on this hill . dialogic partner is @vatonageholder
oh you know
i only logged in bc im about to write an essay on the aeneid and i need you all to know that augustus, the first roman emeror, is lord english
the entirety of the epic points towards his /creation/ and reign as the ultimate end point of the narrative except that from the author's point of view he is Already Here and the events of the narrative have already happened
so bc the aeneid incorporates real events into its plot, it's impossible for the story to fail to end in the way it is prophecied to throught the poem . but also emperor augustus as big green muscle skeleton funney
ok thinking. about how homestuck inherently urges its readers to become as invested in its form and literary contrivance as in its characters and their development
BUT being invested in both of these becomes harder and harder for the reader as it becomes clear that said contrivance is at the root of many of the characters struggles
i think this opposition of empathy for the characters vs appreciation/interest in what the work 'does' as a text is crucial for understanding how people can read the comic in such different ways as well as being at the heart of the ideas behind the epilogue
ok what’s interesting w the epilogue being framed as fanfic is the lack of images!! bc it signifies even further that its “out of canon” that like the characters have lost touch w the original format
this is an interesting parallel to what rose was talking about w drifting away from canon n relevance. they’re already another level removed from us bc we can’t see them
not to be On Brand again on this fine 413 but I was thinking last night abt how the Iliad and the Odyssey both begin at a point of stasis so unbearable that the characters are pushed to break out of it and move the story on - and how HS really Gets that, in the titular sense
like... when you're 13 and feel trapped by your life/home/family it feels like it's going to be so so long before you can escape from it but you also can't face the thought of waiting and you know you're not remotely prepared to leave
and stasis creates a point where your sense of self becomes muddled because nothing ever changes or allows you to grow.. so as soon as things change your first impulse is to try and create/assert an identity as boldly as possible
which i think is the state that we meet the beta kids in, and also the trolls, and also telemachus, and heck, probably achilles too
i had a thought... ive mentioned before how it’s neat that vriskas spider motif links her to the idea of weaving that’s often connected w (female) storytelling n plotting in greek myth but.. rose literally knits! light players as linked to weaving together the fabric of the tale!
im curious about the concept of weaving as related to constructing a story through writing or code (which is smth I think hs really likes to engage with in a v meta way) but im not sure where to go with this
strands intertwining and crossing over in a nonlinear fashion is literally how the comic works though as opposed to like.. oral, non-visual linear storytelling.. which I’ve wondered if the breath aspect has any connection to but there might b nothing in that
like when John (and Tavros) move the story forward it’s v much by engaging with people directly and getting shit done whereas vriska (not sure abt rose?) r sort of more likely to move pieces into place n weave together a bigger picture
thing is homestuck and latin epic is a v interesting parallel in itself bc of the narrative similarities w the aeneid and the structural/tonal (ie. convoluted and irreverent) parallels to the metamorphoses
BUT i feel like it’s use of repetition n categorization actually puts it closer in manner of composition to homer/oral epic than the latin writers are! oral formulae and memes the same
homestuck is a story with a formulaic foundation (made possible by its digital media n the way we process information online) but one that’s self aware of its literary contrivance and!! thats unique!!
i dont know if i 100% agree with this list but. yknow.
vriskas status as a character who does all she can to manipulate the story is linked through her connection to spiders to the ancient greek connection between cloth weaving and story/plot/lie weaving which is very much linked to the roles of women in stories in this essay I
does vriska combine the ideology of an epic hero with the wiles of a tragic heroine? i think she fucking does and so does euripides’ medea (whom I passionately stan)... but not exactly in the same way perhaps
ok I wanted to say more abt this but I got stuck on working out how vriskas experience is specifically female ... some stuff like her manipulation by doc scratch is obvious but if say we see her choice to peruse rships according to mindfangs journal as a metaphor for comphet =>
is that how it is for vriska? in a binornative society would she ever see this (v personal) conditioned constraint as gendered? hiveswap tell us more abt how troll sexism works n affects characters please...
I might theotize that vriska’s machinations are used as a pawn in scratch/le’s story but she’s punished for it and painted as/made into a villain (like hic/hndmd is?)...whereas male characters who plot for LE like gamzee are more in the background n aren’t tortured by him/scratch
back to medea I think this is comparable to how she is made into a villain when she adopts a heroic ideology, which I think is a commentary on how figures like achilles cause suffering to thousands w the same ideals and are still seen as great men
hi im lily and this is the only homestuck opinion i have