Notes on the Bard in Xena

“Around the hero everything becomes a tragedy; around the demigod everything becomes a satyr-play.” – Nietzsche

In the “The Quill is Mightier” episode of Xena Warrior Podcast, the ladies bring up James Boswell. He was once called the greatest English-language biographer of all time. This is a great irony, because while James Boswell’s biography, The Life of Samuel Johnson, has survived, Samuel Johnson himself is largely lost to history. Meanwhile, James Boswell became a fascinating figure in the 20th century as a diarist. It’s his life we look to, not Samuel Johnson’s. Similarly, Anais Nin wrote of Henry Miller and DH Lawrence, yet her diary endures.

I’m not saying Xena herself isn’t important. As a hero-mythological figure in classical antiquity, she’s a stand-in for strong women of that era overlook by history, and a feminist icon that’s becoming more ageless and symbolic as the problematic ’90s culture slips away from time and leaves her bronzed.

But the show isn’t about her. It’s about Gabrielle, the Bard. She’s writing Real Person Fiction about Xena, the hero-archetype.

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Xena Warrior Podcast 35 – 3.11 Maternal Instincts – Notes

Bulleit Bourbon

Mainly posting to pimp the PATREON. Go support Xena Warrior Podcast and get more minisodes and analysis! They’re already going to do one on “Armageddon Now” and it’s going to be so amazing. If you listen regularly, a token of $1/month supports about four episodes.

The podcast referenced this Two Dinars Deb7’s Maternal Instincts Review. Her email didn’t bounce back, so, fingers crossed. Also, props to all the research that goes into this show.

No commentary from me this week, just from Aristotle’s Poetics (which is an amazing document and he talks about Medea, which was referenced in this podcast. Probably not a coincidence.):

“[Tragedy] should come about as the result not of vice, but of some great error or frailty, in a character either such as we have described [heroic/good]… Tragedy is events inspiring fear or pity. The circumstance which strike us as terrible or pitiful [is] when the tragic incident occurs between those who are near or dear to one another.”

Edit: Take the poll! My favorite dead children are from Macbeth.

Xena Warrior Podcast 34 – 3.10 The Quill Is Mightier… Commentary

When Vera, Katie, and Livy talk about their favorite goons, I get wistful. Do I have a favorite goon? I wonder all through seasons one and two. Am I less of a Xena fan because I don’t know my goon pedigrees? Does Allison Bruce count as a goon?

But like love, and art, I knew my goon when I saw him. Lawrence Makoare, the Barbarian. His expressive face, his non-standard goon look, his incredible comedic timing. AND most importantly for someone like me who’s afraid of abandonment and etherealness, he appears in two episodes. Two fantastic episodes that I can watch over and over, accentuated by my favorite goon.

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Xena Warrior Podcast 31 – The Deliverer 3.4 & Gabrielle’s Hope 3.5 Commentary (and a brief history of rape in comic books)

Xena Warrior Podcast 31 is about “The Deliverer” and “Gabrielle’s Hope,” the beginnings of a six-episode series called “The Rift,” and for many, the beginning of Xena: Warrior Princess as an enduring piece of art.

“The Deliverer” is my favorite Ares episode. The speech in The Furies is a better speech, but Ares is more desperate here, more straightforward. I like him a little scared. And doing the right/wrong thing. Sort of. Does anyone agree? Take the poll!

As always, the podcast makes me feel so validated as a fan. This is nice, because I did not feel that way in 1997. This is also nice because it’s happening post-show, so there’s no anticipation or “What If?” We know what if. As the podcast says, “It’s important that you see the whole story to see what the ramifications are.” The reason this podcast is refreshing and timely and reflective is that it doesn’t come with fandom baggage and torturous uncertainty. Thumbs up. The podcast is very sympathetic to fans who struggle with change.

I agree that this is where the show really starts. The ladies say, “[Gabrielle]’s now going on Xena’s journey.” That’s the show. (I discussed it more at length in The Price commentary).

Beyond the cut is comic books, evolution, and not very much about the horror genre.
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