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17 September 2010 @ 09:17 am
Evermore, chapter 9  

In which we learn through exposition that Damen is a smoldering pile of perfection.

 

Last time we read this story we were left with a cliffhanger. How will Damen defend himself about the fact he looked the same at 14?

 

Apparently Damen modeled for a short time, back when he lived in New York, which is why his image is out there, floating around cyberspace, just waiting for someone to download and claim that it's them.
And even though we passed it around and had a good solid laugh at the whole weird coincidence, there's still one thing  I can't quite get past: If Damen just moved here from New Mexico and not New York, well, doesn't it seem like he should've looked a little bit younger in that picture?
Because I can't think of anyone who looks exactly the same at seventeen as they did at fourteen, or even fifteen, and yet, that thumbnail on Miles's Sidekick showed Damen looking exactly the same as he does right now. And it just doesn't make any sense.

 

Yep, that’s all we see about that. I love the style of this novel. Why bother with showing when you can tell? Why write characters when you can just mention them?

Also, don’t you love how Ever just puts on neon lights what’s wrong with this and just by passes it. He has super speed,  no aura, drinks weird red liquid and levitates pens in your face (among other things).  Are we still going on with the “Hmm, I wonder if there’s something more about Damen” BS?! You idiot!

 

Moving on, we go to art class where Ever is just failing at painting. She can’t even do simple strokes without causing a mess, which is apparently the only subject she sucks in because—oh, hell no:

Ever since I became psychic, I'm no longer required to
study. I'm not even required to read. All I have to do is
place my hands on a book, and the story appears in my
head.

linaangry

(You goddamn whore!)

[Warning: massive capslock rage about to hit]

HOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?! WHY WOULD YOU HAVE THAT POWER?! HOW IS THAT POWER GOING TO BE USEFUL IN THIS STORY?! IS THERE A POINT TO IT BESIDES MAKING EVER’S LIFE EASIER?!

I just don’t know anymore! This has to be the most overpowered character I’ve ever seen… and I watched Dragon ball Z!  This is such bullshit.

Sensing that I’m not annoyed enough at her we turn the camera to Damen who turns out he’s perfect in all he does. He always answer every question in class (not that we see that)  while adding historical facts as if he were there, paints like a master, is perfectly ambidextrous and multitasks without never doing something second grade.

 

sleep-books

Oh, Huh. (Yawn) Sorry, paragraphs of boring exposition about perfect beings do that to me.

Finally we get a scene with the teacher showing up complimenting Damen while cringing at Ever’s painting. Once she leaves, Ever asks how can he be so talented. Damen, with smoldering eyes, acts all coy while touching her scar… which she’s sensitive about. Yeah, Damen is not creepy at all.

Seriously, if you had a scar that you got in the car crash in which your parents died (and you blame yourself for it) and made sure to hide it with a hoodie and bangs and somebody touched it, wouldn’t you be at least a little peeved? Mind you, this guy came like three days ago at this point and it’s not a close friend, just an acquaintance you are starting to hang in your group of friends.  Personal space, Damen!

Anyway, that’s all for this chapter (yes, it was THAT tiny and pointless). Until next time this is Shaolina, signing out!

(Chapter 10)

 

 
 
Feeling: sleepysleepy
 
 
 
Gehayi: writing it down (ravemasta)gehayi on September 17th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
Spitefic: Literary Analysis
You know, in addition to being Sue-riffic and incredibly annoying, there's a problem with this method of "studying" that the author hasn't thought about. Spitefic time!

***

We were studying Dostoyevsky, and I was bored.

It wasn't just that I couldn't have cared less about Rodion Raskolnikov and his guilt trip. The problem was that we were only in the last chapter of the second part of the book. There were four more parts to go. And I already knew every single word of the entire book. I'd memorized the contents involuntarily on touching the cover. I had every one of my textbooks rattling around in my head, and I hated them. Even if they weren't fantastically dull, which most of them were, they didn't have anything to do with my life.

I was brooding on all this when Mr. Welsh--my English teacher--called on me.

"Ever, answer this question--what narrative device does Dostoyevsky make particular use of in this section, and what purpose does it serve?"

I stared at him blankly. I had no idea what he was talking about.

He gazed at me expectantly, ignoring the forest of hands all around him.

Still mentally flailing, I did the only thing I could think of doing. I guessed. "Um...foreshadowing? And...uh...personification?"

"And what purpose do these devices serve?" he repeated.

"To create suspense?" Which should have been a statement, not a question. It was the only reason I could think of, and even as I said it, I knew it was wrong. "No, wait. You don't create suspense by hinting at what's going to happen next, do you?"

"Well, you can," he said calmly. "Is that what Dostoyevsky's doing here?"

"No," I said, glaring at my desk. "I guess not."

"Tell me what happens in Chapter 7, then."

This I could do. Quickly, I began to recite from memory what had happened.

To my surprise, he interrupted. "No. Don't recite the whole chapter. Summarize."

ONce more I stared at him blankly. I knew the story in Dostoyevsky's words--or the translation, anyway. But I couldn't sum this chapter up in my own words, because I'd never bothered to think about it.

He seemed to sense that I couldn't answer, and nodded. "See me after class."

That was the last thing that I wanted to do, but a half hour later, I was standing in front of his desk.

"I did do the reading," I protested. "I do know what happens in the chapter.

"No," he said, shaking his head. "I don't think you do. Tell me about the pawnbroker that Raskolnikov kills."

Words from the very first chapter came back to me. "'She was a diminutive, withered up old woman of sixty, with sharp malignant eyes and a sharp little nose. Her colourless, somewhat grizzled hair was thickly smeared with oil, and she wore no kerchief over it. Round her thin long neck, which looked like a hen's leg, was knotted some sort of flannel rag, and, in spite of the heat, there hung flapping on her shoulders, a mangy fur cape, yellow with age. The old woman coughed--'"

"That's enough. Now, compare and contrast Raskkolnikov's personality with that of his sister. It's not that difficult," he added, seeing that I was beginning to panic again. "If you know anything about Rodion and Dounia, it should be simple enough."

I hung my head, wishing I could shrink into my hoodie the way a turtle shrinks into his shell.

"You can't." Again, he didn't sound surprised. "You know, I'm not certain that you're aware of this, Ever, but since you were in that terrible accident, there's been a huge drop in your ability to reason analytically. I'm sure you've got some sort of eidetic memory."

He sighed. "Unfortunately, just memorizing texts isn't enough. You need to understand what you're reading; that's the point of education. And you don't. I've heard similar stories about you knowing the math textbook backwards and forwards but not being able to tell what rule applies to which problem. You can explain how every scientific experiment in your chemistry book works--but let Ms. Herrara introduce an experiment in class that deals with a principle that you've never studied and you're lost.

"I'm going to advise that you be taken out of your classes and put in a one-on-one tutoring program. One that will focus heavily on reading comprehension. You have to learn to work around the brain damage, Ever. Do you understand?"
Miss Shaolinashaolina on September 17th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
(Applause!) The amount of love I feel for you right now can't be measured. I would give you flowers but that's Damen's shtick and I want nothing in common with that guy.\

Sadly, she's a straight A student without ever having to read anything. It's just disgusting. Still, that makes so much sense that it should be canon. It would explain why she is still wondering about Damen when it's obvious he is supernatural. She just neon signs the weirdness and moves on to say "Oh, it's probably nothing." It's just annoying.

I do wonder if Noel thinks the more powers a character has, the more likable she or he is. Never mind that it limits their potential, makes them dumber and just impossible to relate to.
aikaterini: Shakespeareaikaterini on September 18th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
Man, when it comes to spitefics, you're on a roll, aren't you, Gehayi? :)

I agree with Shaolina; I don't really understand what the point of that "power" is. Does it serve any purpose in the story or is it just a throw-away gift? I myself wouldn't see it as a gift because I love to read. Even if the story "appeared in my head," I would still want to read the book anyway. Besides, what's the difference between that and looking up books on Sparknotes?
Miss Shaolinashaolina on September 18th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
You know what, I just give up in understanding her powers and I don't mean why she has powers. I bet she's either the chosen of reincarnated from the moon kingdom/alternate universe/book fated to love Damen forever or she's a reaper (a la dead like me/Yu yu hakusho). I get that, it's nothing special. What pisses me off so badly is that we get a new power every chapter and no development of it.

Ever didn't start as a mood reader and 20 chapters later her power grew to the point she can read thoughts. We don't get to really experience how the powers affect her in part because we get so many of them that the author can't keep them straight (at the restaurant she had no headphones yet she didn't read anybody's thoughts by accident) and also because the narration is in angty teenager blogging on livejournal style.

If Meyer is the master of saying one thing and showing another Miss Noel is the master of telling and no showing. It's especially frustrating in this first person where we are meant to experience Ever's life. This would have worked better as diary entries or blog entries. A novel in live journal format instead of this. It just pisses me off so much! I'm reading shadows and puppets and stuck with Ever, and maybe Riley, as the only real characters.

But there's just no thought and that makes Ever into such a stupid girl.

Although, this "power" would be perfect as a curse. I actually feel like writing a personal note to give it to a character who loves to read and just that power. It could be hilarious and frustrating to see how he/she handles it. I mean, imagine getting that power the day before the release of HP: HBP and next day you grab the book, have the whole text in your head and shout "Oh, my lord, Snape kills Dumbledoore."

Or it could be a world where such powers exist in a small group of people and they are found and trained to be agents of some sorts. Some may be used as tools and never taught how to read so they just copy down messages and pass them. If they discover somebody who knows how to read they kill him. How would a character that defies the order and learns how to read handle herself? Still, in here this is just one more power to be used whenever Noel wants to and forgotten later. Mind reading was enough to ace tests if you are lazy, Edward Cullen already proved that.

I feel with you, though. I adore to read and the joy of reading comes in great part from visualizing. Taking the time and picturing the words. Getting the feel for them and how they are funny, clever or suspenseful. I would be destroyed if I couldn't read at all, but Ever doesn't care if she reads or if she doesn't so I can't even tell if she's lazy, stupid or sad about it. Ever is almost as blank as Bella.
cecamire on September 26th, 2010 07:05 am (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
Well, I would, personally, love to be able to memorise a book and sort of read it again in my head whenever I was bored. If that's possible, anyway. And it would be useful for learning new languages. Although it'd still be extremely annoying when you're reading a book for the first time; you know the end already. This power is the ultimate spoiler! Do not want :(
aikateriniaikaterini on September 26th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
I'm not sure if the power would help you learn languagues, since the point of Gehayi's spitefic was to show that memorization doesn't always require comprehension. I can memorize a poem in German by remembering how the words sound, that doesn't automatically mean that I understand every single word in the poem.

When it comes to boring books or source material that I'd have to read for assignments, I suppose that the power could be somewhat useful in the sense of just getting the reading over with. But like you and Shaolina have said, the power would be the ultimate spoiler. Snape kills Dumbledore! Sirius dies! Nearly everybody in "Hamlet" dies! Smerdyakov was the murderer! Syaoran has a clone! All of the passengers on the Orient Express were in on the murder! And so on and so forth.
Miss Shaolinashaolina on September 27th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
Oh, believe me, this power would be a nightmare in Translation Studies. All it does is turn you into babelfish and that program sucks at translating. First thing you learn in the master's program is that critical thinking is as important as language adquisition.

A book teaches you the basics of language, but you have to think it to really learn it. How many dialects, slang, jargon and just plain changes through the decade come into play when talking about language?

In the last book I translated, there was a metaphor with sheep. In Spanish I had to turn it into a metaphor about slavery because the equivalent of what he was saying was with slavery. "No seas esclavo de la rutina" is a saying we have in Spanish. Ever would have babelfished that and made something up that may not have had the same sense for people. You need to think that stuff!

So, yeah, this power is a linguistics nightmare and a straight ticket to translation hell.
cecamire on September 30th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
I don't know if Ever's memorisation power works with anything else but books, so I'm just going to stick with that :)
I think that dictionaries are really the only things that would be really useful memorised, as you can look up a word mentally, which would be a lot less cumbersome and embarrassing than using a physical dictionary.
Then there are quite a few other things I'd like to memorise, like certain poems, but can't because my memory isn't much longer than a goldfish's (starling_night can attest to this XD).
And with spoilers... uh... we could wear gloves?
Miss Shaolinashaolina on September 27th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
Actually it wouldn't be helpful for learning languages. Languages are more than mere memorization of meanings. A book doesn't tell you how people really talk, just how educated people think people talk. I'm in translation and the first exercise in class was our professor asking us to define certain easy words without context. Then she gave us paragraphs for those words and the meanings didn't fit. We had to come up with other words to adjust to the meaning of the paragraph.

Or take, for example, the word coche. In PR it means stroller, but in other parts of America it means bus or car. Each region has its own way of speaking that you can't just learn through a book. Linguistics 101: language is something that lives in people, we can't just put it in a book. You can start in a book, but you need to actually live it to learn it.

What this power does is turn your brain into babelfish and if you have ever used babelfish you know how accurate that thing is. If you haven't, translate something into spanish and translate it back.
cecamire on September 30th, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
There is, generally, a lot of memorisation in a language. There's no other way of building up a vocabulary. For me, having a dictionary in my head would be very useful, as I can speak Chinese fairly fluently but can't read and write. While a book can't teach you the whole language, it can lay the foundations and teach you ordinary words, and you can then adapt what you've learnt to fit.
Regarding the word 'coche'; I'd never heard of it until now 8/
But yeah, I know what you mean. I personally meant for the memorisation power to help people learn languages like a dictionary does; you won't learn the whole language from it, but it does help.

Babelfish is funny :D I like to type in one phrase and change it from language to language and see what I end up with :)

Sorry if parts of this are incoherent. It's nearly 11 pm and I've typed this message three times before, only for it to fail to post. >:(
Miss Shaolinashaolina on September 30th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
See, the thing is that a language requires "social memorization" more than books. I took 5 years of intensive French before going to Paris and I found out that I can only understand half the people there. It wasn't that I didn't know French, but that they spoke in different dialects. Then I have a friend who is a fellow translation student. He spent years learning standard Spanish and did extremely well in Mexico, but when he came here Spanish was a huge problem. Turns out puertoricans eat a lot of their syllables and have a completely different set of words.

Also, not all dictionaries have the same vocabulary. Lots of Spanish-speaking countries have their own academy, print their own dictionaries and even then they are outdated. Many, also, exclude things like sayings, jargon, slang and colloquialisms, bringing a different meaning of words that dictionaries would not prepare you for.

It is a very common belief in translation: to learn a language you need to live the language. Books are decades behind the language and are a pain when it comes to adding new words. Dialects change the language to the point that that word you learned for X thing does not apply to half the speaking countries.

Another saying in translation: dictionaries are helpful, but best kept at an arm's length.

It could be helpful to have a dictionary in your head, but only if you know full well the type of dictionary it is and its limitations. I doubt Ever or Noel would understand that though and claim Ever understands everyone in France, even though I know for a fact she wouldn't.


( BTW: I'm not trying to argue with you, it's just that I love the field of translation. )

Edited at 2010-09-30 03:50 pm (UTC)
cecamire on October 1st, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
I think the problem here is that we're applying this to different languages. I completely agree with everything you're saying; people can't understand what I'm saying in Chinese half the time because my dialect leaves out the 'h's in a lot of words. Slang doesn't come in books and the only way to really learn a language is to get out on the street.
When I said a dictionary would be helpful, I meant it would help with reading and writing. In pictorial languages, the characters give no clue to how they're pronounced. Learning to read and write is just one long process of memorisation. Chinese has over 10,000 characters, I think, although most people get by on 4000--which is still a heck of a lot. Japanese has three alphabet systems, hiragana, katakana and kanji, which is basically like Chinese. This is where I think memorisation would be very useful.

I know how you feel--I love languages and words :D
And for an example where even having a fixed alphabet doesn't mean reading is easy: through, thought, though, thorough, trough and tough. I love these so much. XD
(Anonymous) on September 21st, 2010 08:14 am (UTC)
Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis
"...there's a problem with this method of "studying" that the author hasn't thought about."

-mutters- The author obviously didn't study this for her own book, either.
(Anonymous) on September 18th, 2010 09:07 am (UTC)
That. Was. Brilliant.
You just made my day. XD
As the fic continued my smile got wider and wider. I loved the Twilight spite!fics and this was just as great. You're fantastic at them!

Of course we wouldn't see Damen answering correctly -rolls eyes obnoxiously- this book obviously cannot contain the smartness of his-his... his smartness!
Damen: I am intelligenter than you!

-eye twitches- Damn you -croaks- powers...-voice dies-.
Miss Shaolinashaolina on September 18th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
I think you mean smoldering smartness. XD I swear each chapter has 1 smoldering and 1 new power. It's driving me bonkers.

Damen is the most boring shallow love interest I have read so far and I read Twilight. I hate Edward Cullen, but at least he makes me feel something. I nothing Damen. We get lists of how awesome he is and the word smoldering and that's it. At best I can say he needs to learn what personal espace is and, while a creepy quality, it's not enough to truly say I hate the guy. Then again, I'm 1/4 into the book, I have 3/4 to hate him.
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