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One thing is apparent though: the book feels pretty outdated.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.