ANST - A&S Experience & Formats

dennis grace amazing at
Tue Aug 5 15:25:27 PDT 1997

Hi there. Aquilanne here.

Siobhan asks:
>Good gentles, how should we handle SCA artistic endeavors that have much
>merit, but no real period analogue?  The two examples spring to mind here.
> The first is  the SCA satire that Viscount Galen did based on C.S. Lewis's
>"The Screwtape Letters," which was completely non-period, but was beautifully
>done with some very valuable commentary on life in the SCA.  
>The other example (shameless plug) is some of  the work being done by my
>apprentice, Don Aubrey.  He has written some excellent "alternate histories"
>So, what think you?  Should we try to find a way to publicly acknowledge and
>value this sort of endeavor?  If so, what would be appropriate? 

Weeellll, we are the Society for *Creative* Anachronism, right? (Yeah, yeah,
I hear the moans starting already; oh, well. ;->)

I'd ask what period practice do the satire and the alternate history most
*closely* approximate. In Atenveldt we (yeah, yeah, durned furener) had in
the judging criteria a section for scoring on "authenticity/creativity."
This is where people justified using non-period materials or methods of
construction. For example, if someone wanted to question Mst. Gunnora's use
of Fimo to simulate ivory or glass for her faux carved ivory panels or her
faux folded-glass beads, she'd just explain the process, why she used it,
and the judges could then judge her work as a simulation. We do it all the
time to one degree or another. I can't remember ever having a judge say,
"but she used a _sewing machine_ to make this piece of garb; I just can't
judge what the potential quality of her seams might be," or "but he used an
electric kiln to fire this piece; I can't possibly judge it since
electricity isn't period."

So, were there satires in period? Fine. Document how they did them and then
tell about how you adapted yours. Same thing with the alternate history. The
conquerors sure did write--and rewrite--history; research how they did this
and explain how you adapted/adopted your method of constructing that
alternate history. Cool, huh?

> (Should we
>call in the militant wing of the laurelate to obliterate it in the interest
>of authenticity?  If so, do they get to borrow weapons from the knights, or
>do they have to make their own, using only period techniques/materials? <G>)

Only if I get to wear my own spurs (Lyonel won't let me wear his). ;->

>As always, looking forward to the response and hoping that Aquilanne is
>pleased to have yet another A&S topic...

Thank you, good cousin. Always happy to inflict my opinions on another. ;->

Dennis Grace
University of Texas at Austin
English Department
Recovering Medievalist
amazing at

Micel yfel deth se unwritere.
                           AElfric of York


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