I came across this article on the Center for the Humanities page at Washington University, and was struck by some of what I read. Admittedly, while I am aware of fanfiction existing, I’m not an avid reader of it. However, I really thought some of what Anne Jamison and Claire Class had to say in this article was interesting, and it made me curious to read more fanfiction.
Here’s an example: “Fanfiction tells us that we have tremendously strong feelings about characters and also reminds us of what we knew as children: It’s not necessarily a passive relationship. We like to mess with characters, take them to different places, fight them or be them (or, as my daughter used to do, feed them sumptuous pasta dinners). But character in fanfic is also surprising. We have come to associate characters so much with unique individuality and specific, fixed portrayals that it is surprising when we see in fanfic how many distinctive characterizations can still be understood as versions of the same character.” (Anne Jamison)
And: “Joy is an important marker of fanfiction in Fic. Unlike equally experimental avant-garde writing, you argue, fanfiction has little desire to break fully with the past. Instead, it is about admiration and pleasure. “ (Claire Class)
I don’t know about you, but this is a pretty cool way to look at, and explain, fanfiction. If you haven’t already tried some, maybe now you’re curious to find some and incorporate a bit into your reading. And where do you find it? Here’s one list of sites.