Literature: La Belle Dame Sans Merci

La Belle Dame Sans Merci is a short fantasy story by blogger Anna J. Roberts about a struggling writer who meets a mysterious Irish girl one night. They start a relationship, and she re-energizes him creatively. Then, about halfway through, things get scary.

The story was written for the Something Awful forums as a response to a fanfic by Troper Enemy Mayan, which was rooted in a similar concept—a mythical Irish being called a Leanan Sidhe (pronounced "lawn she") which instills, but also feeds off of, creative energy. Roberts liked the idea of deconstructing the Leanan Sidhe, but was disappointed both with Enemy Mayan's story and his attitude towards fiction and creative writing in general. There are stabs at the concept of tropes, Mayan's value of quantity over quality, and stereotypical man-child writers in general throughout the story, but its greatest appeal comes from reconstructing the Leanan Sidhe as an unspeakable horror, rather than a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Not to Be Confused with the poem by John Keats or the other poem by Alain Chartier.

Read the story here.

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