Journal of A Man of Letters

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Fanwork
Title: Journal of A Man of Letters
Creator: petite madame
Date(s): 2013-Oct 2015
Medium: online
Fandom: Supernatural
External Links: Journal of A Man of Letters, Archived version
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Journal of A Man of Letters is a Supernatural art project by petite madame. Begun in the 8th season, the project is modeled after a handwritten journal kept by the character Sam Winchester. Each entry contains art along with text corresponding with the events in each episode as it aired.

The journal was widely read and was translated into Spanish[1], Chinese[2], Russian[3], German[4] and petite madame's native language French. [5]

Approximately 81 entries were posted before petite madame canceled the project due to ill health.

"I’m really sorry, but I’m writing you to let you know that I’m planning to stop Journal of a Man of Letters. I thought I could carry on this project I started during S8 by reducing the length of the fics but I’m far too tired to draw something every week inspired by the aired episode. Trying to be on time makes me anxious, so I’m preferring to stop."[6]

In the final year, numerous placeholders were made for journal entries with the plan to go back and fill them in later. Parts of the journal were assembled into PDF format and offered for download.

On the Project's origins

".....at the beginning, the project wasn’t meant to be this big. I was planning to draw a couple of artworks here and there, sometimes posted with a short ficlet (250 words, no more) and…that’s it! It was the “cool little project on the side”. JOAMOL wasn’t even supposed to follow the show mythology so closely but as time went by, I started to post one entry a week and to devote more and more hours to it, encouraged by the amazing reception and people’s feedback on Tumblr (we are close to 25k followers now and I receive messages after every new entry!)

I guess that this project is a bit like Audrey II in The Little Shop of Horrors: it was small and cute at the start but it became very big in less than a year. Not that I am complaining about it, of course! I’m just very surprised that after about 80 entries, the project is still on and that my betas, three friends from the Supernatural fandom (Maichan, Quickreaver and Becc-j) are still so enthusiastic about it.

With JOAMOL, I was interested in creating something from Sam Winchester’s point of view and focusing on topics such as childhood, family, and nostalgia. In addition, if you know a bit about the show mythology, Sam is the Man of Letters, the kind of book worm I could totally picture writing a journal and carry on the legacy of his grand-father by telling about his memories, his life as a hunter but also things he’ll never be able to share with his brother or his friends (the ones that aren’t dead of course *cough* ). Also, I love, in my short fics, bringing into the light what isn’t seen on screen and recreating from the character’s POV “missing scenes” or canon points that were only briefly evoked on the show, due to a lack of time or interest from the show runners.

I hope to carry on working on JOAMOL until the end of the show, even if it’s a bit difficult sometimes to be on time and to post a fic and multiple artwork every Monday."[7]

Gallery

Below are select samples from the project. Click to see larger versions.

Reactions/Reviews

"...breathtakingly beautiful episodic journal told from the perspective of Sam..."[13]
[Review of the 1st entry]:"Oh my God.

This is unbelievable. Unbelievably beautiful and breath taking and stunning and exquisite and gorgeous and oh so many other adjectives. I can't even begin to explain how much this blows me away.

The hurt and the self loathing just scream Sam. I can really believe that if I walked into his bedroom, I could find this lying just out of [Dean's] sight. I can imagine him scribbling his entries in the dimness of his room or in the confines of the car as his brother tries to sneak glances as he drives. I can imagine him--eyebrows pinched in worry as he tries to will another headache away--carefully taping in pictures and relieving himself of his darkest fears and deepest secrets of self loathing.

This is amazing.

This is Fanfiction pushed to the next level. This is so much better, so much more.

And I want to say that some parts of this kinda made me want to cry. Dean's lists. Sam's brother-worship and what if's. The memories of John. The letter. The prayer. Everything. You manage to grasp the boy's characterizations so well you have managed to pour emotion about fictional characters into real people.

This reads almost like poetry and has this nostalgic and melancholy undercurrent, something that carries on into and is amplified by your art.

I can't wait until the 3rd installment."[14]


References

  1. Diario de Un Hombre de Letras, Archived version
  2. 【授权翻译】Journal of a man of letters[不定期更新_邪恶力量吧_百度贴吧], Archived version
  3. Journal of A Man of Letters (Russian translation) — Запись №50 (9x14): Одиночество в ночи, Archived version
  4. Journal of A Man of Letters - Fur meine deutschen Fans ^o^, Archived version; FanFiktion.de - Journal of a Man of Letters - Kapitel 1, Archived version
  5. Journal d'un Homme de Lettres - Index Général - petite_madame, Archived version
  6. Journal of A Man of Letters - I’m sorry but I’m putting an end to Journal of a Man of Letters,
  7. Petite-Madame Talks Art, Expression and Fandoms, Archived version
  8. 07/sam-winchesters-journal-entry-1-my-name-is-sam Journal of A Man of Letters, Archived version
  9. Journal of A Man of Letters, Archived version
  10. Journal of A Man of Letters, Archived version
  11. Journal of A Man of Letters, Archived version
  12. Journal of A Man of Letters, Archived version
  13. Interview with Petite-Madame, Archived version (dated May 2015)
  14. comment in 2013 at Journal of a Man of Letters 1-10 by Petite-Madame on DeviantArt, Archived version