1. LotusMegami
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    LotusMegami New Member

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    History Cultural dissonance

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by LotusMegami, Aug 15, 2015.

    I am currently working on a story set in pre-Viking Era Sweden. A woman is skinning a rabbit when her drunken husband hits her. So she stabs him in the arm, it gets infected, and he dies.

    In the Norse culture, even a woman could avenge an insult. The culture was all about honor and pride. Anyone caught "turning the other cheek" could lose their rights as a citizen. But I'm concerned that my audience won't get that. They might feel sympathy towards her as a battered wife, but will they get why some other characters in the story feel that she was justified?

    Is it even workable to be historical accurate, when the culture in question is so foreign to the modern audience?
     
  2. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes. /Thread
     
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  3. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would thoroughly introduce the culture before moving on to the story. You could write the scene where the husband is drinking with his friends and they tell stories where the culture is prominent. If you include the reactions of the men in the drinking group, as well as those who's stories are being told, this will further reinforce the cultural norm of the setting.
     
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  4. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    Aled's idea is brilliant, because it introduces the culture, but in a playful way. There is nothing more horrible than when a novel starts with a recap that reminds one of a history book. Also, it allows you to introduce some of the characters as well.
     
  5. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    In your example, a simple comment from a bystander or a elder/noble could provide the necessary cultural context.
     

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