Amy H. Sturgis (eldritchhobbit) wrote,
Amy H. Sturgis

  • Music:

"imagination responding to imagination"

Gacked from altariel, an interesting new article on fan fiction by Natasha Walker of The Guardian.

In it Walker states the following:

The writers of fan fiction recapture that childish bravado, those easy movements from one narrative to another and in and out of real life. As they reweave these stories they remind us that the boundary of the published book, and the control exerted by the individual author over a tale, is a relatively recent phenomenon for art, both in history and in our individual lives.

Indeed, when it comes to fan fiction, the internet is giving us back something like an oral society, in which people can retell the stories that are most important to them and, in so doing, change them. For all the dross and smut they produce, these communities in which readers become writers, fans become creators and old tales become new, also give out blasts of energy. And they remind us that the power of these fantasy worlds are not built just on profit and loss, but on imagination responding to imagination.

This reminds me of Henry Jenkins' comment in Textual Poachers: "Fan fiction is a way of the culture repairing the damage done in a system where contemporary myths are owned by corporations instead of owned by the folk."

Though she seems a bit dismissive of the quality of fan writing across the board, I greatly appreciate Walker's historical perspective about the recent nature of "owned" and "controlled" art, and about how fan fiction reverts back to an oral storytelling culture sensibility. It reminds me that Homer, and of course the creators of the medieval Arthurian romances, were engaged in the production of fan fiction.

And speaking of the Arthurian tradition, my quote for the day comes from Catherine Christian's revisitation of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur, entitled The Pendragon. As spoken by Mawgan:

"We live in rough times, Bedivere. A comrade is a comrade, of whatever sex. You and I have been comrades a good few lives back. No need for pretense between us, because, this time, we've only met since morning."

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