Enlightenment

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Enlightenment is a story written by Tsukizubon Saruko. It ran in Issue 9 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/39061.html, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/enlightenment/.

Summary[edit]

From Outlaw Reviews: "A wealthy Victorian newspaper proprietor hires a new columnist, and gets so much more than he bargained for."

From pinboard.in: "The one with the newspaper editor and the freelancer writer. At the start, anyway."

From delicious.com: "David Alfred Chamberlain, aka the current Baron Chamberlain of Hastings, is the owner and editor of the London Weekly Crier paper - a paper which he delights in using to shed light on the poor state of London's inhabits (to the shame and horror of his peers). When Wu Li, a chinese man, requests to join the paper and write about the chinese quarter of London, David is impressed and offers him job and lodgings. As time goes on he finds himself increasingly attracted to the man, but in a time where sodomy is considered a criminal offence, giving in to their feelings demands a high price."

From delicious.com: "historical fic set in late nineteenth century britain; when a chinese man storms into his newspaper's headquarters, requesting that he be allowed to join the paper and write about the chinese quarter of london, the editor/owner is impressed and offers him a place to stay, as well. i love the exquisite, old-fashioned writing style, and the historical backdrop -- great use of the oscar wilde scandal, too."

External Reviews[edit]

  • http://reviews.logophilos.net/index.php/2009/04/enlightenment-by-tsukizubon-saruko-review/:

    If you’re tired of seeing Asian people written offensively and stereotypically, then this intelligent, layered story will be a breath of fresh air. Wu Li, the educated, much travelled gentleman who walks into David Chamberlain’s newspaper office and demands to write a column for him about the issues affecting London Chinese is a marvellous, complicated character, challenging David’s prejudices and those of the reader.

    David too, is a fantastic creation – tough, smart, decent, restrained by society’s pressures in some ways, but breaking out most forcefully in others.

    Set against the events surrounding Oscar Wilde’s conviction for sodomy, and the millieu of London in the late Victorian age, this is another nicely sharp piece by this talented author, with wit and wry observation aplenty. Again, no sap, but much manly tenderness without overdoing the angst or the handwringing. A real gem and highly recommended.

  • http://whitmans-sampler.tumblr.com/post/88455303649/enlightenment-shousetsu-bang-bang
  • http://ceanshinythings.livejournal.com/280947.html: "This is fabulously authentic and beautifully written."
  • pinboard.in: "Absolutely fabulous Victorian-era interracial newspapermen fic. Singular characters, fantastic (and hilarious) banter, and plenty of Victorian references."