This is not a pipe

Okay, I like reading books, but usually I don't analyze them, and maybe the time has come to change that (maybe not). Plus, I got exams in a month, and that really calls for active procrastination.

[Slash is] not really about male homosexuality; rather, they depict a female version of sexuality acted out on and by male bodies.

Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution and Female Sexuality

[Joanna Russ] argued that slash represents a new kind of pornography, written by and for women, wherein sex is a vehicle for the portrayal of character.

Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution and Female Sexuality

The slash writer can and does assume that her readers are intimately familiar with fictional setting and characters in her story, hence she does not need to supply these dramatic elements. To really appreciate a work of slash fiction one must be familiar with the show from which it is derived, one must like the show and one must find at least one of the male leads attractive.

Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution and Female Sexuality

Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution and Female Sexuality - Catherine Salmon, Donald Symons Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature - Janice A. Radway Adventure, Mystery, and Romance: Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture - John G. Cawelti Language and Desire - Keith^^Harvey

Reading "Fic" feels a lot like trudging through the ravings all about Sherlock fandom (it's all good though, but I haven't made much progress). Meanwhile, I wanted to trace some more similarities between slash and romance, and to just learn more about the critique of romance novels, so I went to the Library for Foreign Literature here, in Moscow. They've got a pretty impressive catalogue of literature on feminism, popular culture and semiotics, all the stuff that I need. I found a bunch of books that seemed relevant, but today I stopped at four, and even of those I've only really got through "Warrior Lovers" (which is about 97 pages, hah), but I worked the night shift yesterday, so I was in a sort of state where you're just lucky your eyes can stay open. 


Anyway, I totally didn't expect it, but with "Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution and Female Sexuality" I sort of hit the spot. It's a very short book that's basically trying to see if there's something wrong with slashers, and comes to the conclusion that all is well - it's just that slashers are subversive motherfuckers, in a nutshell. Well, not really, but it's in there. Honestly, though, despite the first half of the book being all about Darwinian theories and evolutionary psychology, eventually they come to the juicy topic of male pr0n vs. female romance novels, and to slash, and it's pretty good. They draw very nice comparisons between romance novels and slash fiction, while also getting the general ideas about slash idiosyncrasities across. (I'll add some quotes later.) 


One thing is apparent though: the book feels pretty outdated. Even though it's been published in 2003, it still tackles K/S mostly, or Starsky and Hutch. I mean. I think, the fandom in general has evolved immensly (and, perhaps, simultenuously devolved in some respects). Maybe in this age writing books about fandom, or aspects of fandom is not a very good idea, because everything changes too fast - maybe online journals and blogs are a better medium to reflect on fandom culture. (Of course you still need time to gather your thoughts, so to speak, do some recearch, get some quotes etc., but The Daily Dot is doing a terrific job, imo.)


I'm not so sure about anything I've written here, because I'm still in this state, that's basically all your life-support system on the verge of saying 'goodbye'. So, before my brain totally shuts down: other books I skimmed today were "Reading the Romance: Women, Patricarchy, and Popular Literature" by Janice A. Radway (which does seem very promising; it's probably a classic work?), "Adventure, mystery, and romance: formula stories as art and popular culture" by John G. Cawelti (which is a great book on formulas in stories, but wasn't relevant to my research due to its focus on crime/detective stories; but it's pretty great) and "Language and desire: Encoding sex, romance and intimacy". The last one is a sort of a collective work on semiotics of language of love and desire, and it is massively intriguing, but-- I'm just to tired to form a coherent thought at this point. 


So, it was nice to find the book exactly on the subject that I'm interested in, plus I love LIBFL now.

Writing and reading fanfiction isn't just something you do; it's a way of thinking critically about the media you consume, of being aware of all the implicit assumptions that a canonical work carries with it, and of considering the possibility that those assumptions might not be the only way things have to be.

Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World by Anne Jamison

A very random start

Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World - Anne Jamison, Lev Grossman

Disclaimer: English is not my native language, but I really like it, and I want to practice expressing myself in English, so there.


Recently, I developed a deeper interest in all things fandom and fanfiction especially. As in academic research level of interest. Being a part of the whole fandom culture for over 10 years, I kind of take it all for granted, but sometimes I stumble upon people who just don't get it (sometimes violently so), and I feel like I need to justify my interests and defend their values. And it's not right, but I guess that's the way of life. So, while trying to collect my thoughts on the subject into some coherent line, I've discovered a fascinating amount of articles, meta, discussions, and even books about fandom and fanfiction. And I'm saying "fascinating" because, how come I haven't become aware of it before now? (Aside from metafandom on livejournal, of course. Which is brilliant.) And now I am kind of getting through this huge pile of collective knowledge, opinions and arguments, and it changes my views rapidly too. 


I was mostly reading about folks' personal relationships with fandom and fic, and discussions about slash, diversity, and all that, because I wanted to gather as many opinions as I could, before I got into the books. Because with books, even though they are usually comprehensive, they can also be too distanced from the subject or treat it as a holy cow, and I didn't want that first thing on my forays into serious research on fandom. Plus, I think with fandom it has to be personal, I think (so, imo, aca-fans get more credit), and you have to experience sort of a "fandom mentality", to really understand how this stuff works and not fall into oblivious misinterpretation or lauding. (E.g. saying how all fandom is subversive, and political, and smart. While it can be, most white priviliged girls at 13 really don't think in these terms, and maybe that should be addressed too. I mean, let's not assign more meaning to fandom and ff, than it already has. Then again, I might change my opinion in a week, because I will have read something that opened my eyes to the ways of fandom that I couldn't even comprehend before - this subject is very complex!)


Anyway, at a certain point though, I thought "why not", and purchased a couple of books for good measure. So, I've started with the book "Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World" by Anne Jamison. At first, I wasn't sure because I've seen the table of contents on Google Books, and I was simultaneously excited and perplexed (it has essays about many diverse fandoms though, which is a good thing), but then I found this quote from the book on tumblr:


Irked fans produce fanfic like irritated oysters produce pearls. 


And it kind of spoke to me. So there we go. 


As I sort of try to study for my exams (and failing), and still read a lot of articles, I think I won't be progressing very fast with this book, but so far it does read as a good introduction into what fanfiction is and why. (I'm highlighting a shitload of quotes on kindle.) 


PS. I'm not good with blogging, because the most blogging I've been doing in the last couple of years is the 140-character kind, and whenever I try to write an essay my thoughts go all astray. So this might be the only blog post here, lol. But I want an extra-special place to make rants about books. 

Currently reading

Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World by Anne Jamison, Lev Grossman
Progress: 74/418pages