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Painting Dragons: What Storytellers Need to Know About Writing Eunuch Villains

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4.50  ·  Rating details ·  12 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Monstrous: physically, mentally, morally. Castrated men are often portrayed this way in fiction. What’s the “evil eunuch” stereotype, and why do novelists reproduce it?

In Painting Dragons: What Storytellers Need to Know About Writing Eunuch Villains, Tucker Lieberman explores the stereotypes that fashion these cruel, warped characters. He encourages fiction writers to chan
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Kindle Edition
Published October 21st 2018 by Glyph Torrent
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Richard Wassersug
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review of Painted Dragons.

I just read Tucker Lieberman's book Painting Dragons, on the characterization of eunuchs in fiction. The book is both scholarly and accessible. It was an easy read because Lieberman is a master wordsmith.

Tucker Lieberman is first and foremost a man of letters, with great literary breadth. He is a profound reader and has published a multitude of book reviews. He is also artistic in many other ways and has published rich essays on ethics and politics, and a couple of col
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Andy Crawford
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very personal and comprehensive delving into the literary trope of the "evil eunuch". The author goes in detail through several examples in a variety of genres of literature. Essential reading for any writer considering including a eunuch as a villain in their work.
Luis
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although Painting Dragons is catered mainly for writers, as a piece of advice not to fall in common stereotypes, the reflection goes beyond that, and anybody would find interesting information here, turning out to be rather familiar.
Although eunuchs are not common anymore, at least not as harem guards or palace supervisors, or Castrati singers, most men would find it revolting to imagine their genitals being removed. Culture has had, for centuries, the common trope of castrated men, as "less th
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Erik Wibowo
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Painting Dragons" provides a unique perspective on how eunuchs are often portrayed as villains in various stories. The author described eunuch characters from the Chinese dynasties, Middle-Eastern empires, and European tradition. But, really, the author wants his readers to think about WHY eunuchs are so often presented as evil characters. Often in stories, readers are not shown the perspective of the VILLAINS. For example, is a villain truly evil? Could a villain commit bad things simply becau ...more
J
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very thorough and interesting. I hope there will be a second part.
Phoebe
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Eunuchs are more than just a trope to use when you need a villain.

Tucker Lieberman shares his thoughts of how eunuchs are viewed in Painting Dragons: What Storytellers Need to Know About Writing Eunuch Villains. Lieberman takes the experience of the transperson and relates that emotional experience to how a eunuch feels (the two are not connected in any way). He first takes us through the history of eunuchs, the ones made due to slavery and the others made due to religion or spiritual belief. Th
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Tucker Lieberman is the author of Ten Past Noon: Focus and Fate at Forty (2020), Painting Dragons: What Storytellers Need to Know About Writing Eunuch Villains (2018), Bad Fire: A Memoir of Disruption (2018), and the blank journal Flip the Finger at Despair (2019).

His essays are in anthologies including the 2011 Lambda winner Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Communi
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