tehta: (stained glass tree)
[personal profile] tehta
Recent, er, events in my head have inspired me to dash off a quick chat between Maedhros & Maglor. I call it:

The Artistic Temperament, a ficlet à clef.

While walking to the dovecote, Maedhros came across Maglor, who sat morose in the courtyard, harp hanging limply by his side.

“What ails you, brother?” Maedhros asked. “Is it another attack of Curse-Torment? They are more frequent whenever a storm is brewing, I have noticed.”

“Have you?” said Maglor distractedly. “But no, it is not that cursed Curse. It is the cursed Noldolantë.”

Not again! Maedhros braced himself. “What about it?”

“I have come to the conclusion that it is awful.”

Maedhros sighed. “I told you the last time: everyone loves your composition, and you know it.”

“I know that everyone *here* claims to love it. But I also know that saying so is only common courtesy, for a follower. Not to mention a shrewd career move.”

“Well, perhaps... But what about me? You would not call me a follower -- not of anyone yet living, nor of any god -- but I truly love your masterpiece. Indeed, looking forward to the inevitable next installment is the only thing that makes performing evil acts bearable, these days.”

“Come on, Russandol. You are my brother, and also my friend, and then, all the constructive criticism you have offered me over the years has surely given you a personal stake in the piece.” Maglor shuddered. “To think, if not for you, I would have left that kinslaying/harp-playing rhyme in! Anyway, you are clearly biased.”

“I do not feel biased.”

“Because yours is an unconscious bias.”

“Fine.” Maedhros rolled his eyes. “But what about all the other Noldor? The ones who are neither kin, follower, not friend, and were not privy to your early drafts?”

“Oh, they are biased, as well. For political reasons. Or out of vanity, since they are mentioned in the title.”

“True… but the Sindar get no such mention! Also, your ‘political reasons’ should surely lead them to hate the Noldolantë. And yet, it is said that many of them listen to it, or play it -- or even plagiarise it, which is the sincerest of tributes.”

“About half of the Sindar like it, yes. But they have their reasons.”

“What now?”

“The violence. Blood-soaked action-filled epics are always popular. With about half of all the people of any race, I suspect.”

“I see.” Maedhros passed a hand over his face, and looked up at the threatening clouds. “So, to summarize: you are in despair because half the Sindar do not like your work.”

“That is right.”

“But are you even sure they do not like it? Have you received any criticism?”

“What Sinda would wish to criticise a Son of Feanor? No,” said Maglor darkly, “they are simply ignoring my piece, as one might ignore a dog turd one carefully steps over.”

“Perhaps they are merely intimidated. By your brilliance, talent, and intellect, I mean,” Maedhros added quickly. “Not by your non-poetic activities.”

Maglor scoffed.

By the Jewels! Maedhros was well used to facing impossible tasks -- his entire agenda was full of them -- but this one was proving daunting even beyond his experience. He excused himself, and went off to send a pigeon before the weather broke. At least his Silmaril-requesting letter to Elwing had some chance of success.
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