Profanation of Our Joys

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Fanfiction
Title: Profanation of Our Joys
Author(s): Malini
Date(s): February 2005
Length: ~3000 words
Genre: slash, character study
Fandom: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
External Links: DWG

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Profanation of Our Joys is a Pride and Prejudice fanfiction by Malini. One of the few well-received examples of P&P m/m slash, it centres on the unusual pairing of Darcy/Wickham. The story retells parts of the novel from George Wickham's point of view, in the light of his unrequited love for Fitzwilliam Darcy. All of Wickham's actions in the novel are underlain by this obsessive passion. In particular, his pursuit of Georgiana Darcy is read as partly sincere, stemming from her resemblance to her brother. The story does not conflict with canon.

It was posted to the Derbyshire Writers' Guild in February 2005 and is archived in their "Epilogue Abbey" section. The archivist of this predominantly gen/het archive noted Homosexual theme is explored. It does not appear to have been posted elsewhere.

The author's summary is Wickham must deal with his unrequited love of Darcy. An author's note states Title pinched from John Donne. The story is unrated but is not explicit.

Reception

The original reception at the DWG board does not appear to have been archived. Subsequent reviews have been positive, with several readers considering it to be the best piece of P&P slash, or even one of the best works of P&P fanfiction. Elizabeth Hoot describes it as absolutely fabulous... a remarkable piece of writing,[1] while hlbr calls it the best slash story out there.[2] The story has been recommended at Crack Van and elsewhere.

Reviewers particularly praise the story's unsettling nature, the way the counter-to-Austen interpretation has been integrated into the novel to overturn the reader's view of canon, and the original and plausible exploration of Wickham's character, which explains his actions without white-washing them.

Recs & Reviews

One of these is absolutely fabulous - Malini's "Profanation of their Joys," improbably at the DWG. Basically, the fic explores Wickham's obsession with Darcy. It's creepy enough in canon, particularly since Wickham and Darcy are effectively foster-brothers ("objects of the same parental care," as W freely acknowledges). Malini ups the creep factor by about ten kazillion cubed by making that obsession sexual; Georgiana is not simply a way of getting at Darcy, but a surrogate for him. It's a remarkable piece of writing. What Austen intended? Heck no. But it's a scarily credible interpretation of canon, and of Austen's least credible villain.
At the same time, though, it's not slash in the usual sense. It's an exploration of Wickham's character - Malini paints him as a deeply twisted man, and his sexuality is only relevant insofar as it contributes to his warped relationship with Darcy. Or, to be more accurate, it's relevant to how Wickham sees that relationship. Malini doesn't try and twist canon to fit her story; she makes it clear that Wickham is little more than a peripheral annoyance to Darcy, whose primary interest is always in Elizabeth Bennet. She makes no attempt to redeem him, either - Wickham is a scumbag, and remains so, and his orientation wins him no sympathy points. (Nor does she use it to vilify him - he's a sexual predator on young girls and boys alike, and contemptible on both counts.) (Elizabeth Hoot)[1]
There's precious few slash stories in this fandom; so when I say this is the best slash story out there, it appears to mean little. That is not so. This is an excellent, wholly disturbing story, which effortlessly makes us see canon in whole new light without changing anything of it but the pov. This is also a believable Wickham's pov--for that alone an unique story worth a read.
Malini's body of work is big, varied, and almost uniformly good, but this is without a doubt one of my favourites stories from her. (hlbr in Crack Van)[2]
Wickham's obsession with Darcy is sexual. Somehow this works. And somehow it's canon-compliant. Also, this makes his predation on Georgiana Darcy the creepiest thing ever. It's a bit unfortunate that this is one of the only portrayals of homosexuality non-heterosexuality at all, but I blame that more on the fandom than this story in particular. (Elizabeth Hoot)[3]
...the first Pride & Prejudice story I've ever been moved to recommend in over a decade of reading them...
Pride & Prejudice slash is hard to pull off, but Malini weaves Darcy/Wickham into canon so thoroughly that it underlies all Wickham's actions (Espresso Addict)[4][5]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 elizabeth-hoot: JAFF and slash (accessed 26 January 2014)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Crack Van: Profanation of our joys by Malini (PG) (accessed 26 January 2014)
  3. elizabeth-hoot: I come bearing recs! (lots and lots of recs) (accessed 26 January 2014)
  4. Espresso Recommendations: Jane Austen – Other (accessed 26 January 2014)
  5. espresso_addict: 4x lit recs (accessed 26 January 2014)