The Case for Fanfiction

Exploring the Pleasures and Practices of a Maligned Craft


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About the Book

Challenging readers to rethink what they read and why, the author questions the aesthetic assumptions that have led to the devaluing of fanfiction—a genre criticized as both tasteless and derivative—and other “guilty pleasure” reading (and writing), including romance and fantasy. The complicated relationship between “fanfic” and intellectual property rights is discussed in light of the millennia-old tradition of derivative literature, before modern copyright law established originality as the hallmark of great fiction. “Absorbed reading”—the practice of immersing oneself in the narrative versus critically “reading from a distance”—is a strong motive for the appropriation by fanfiction of canon characters and worlds.

About the Author(s)

Ashley J. Barner received her Ph.D. in literature from Ohio University and is the author of a fantasy novel. She lives in Pennsylvania, with her family and their fourteen cats.

Bibliographic Details

Ashley J. Barner
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: appendix, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6877-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3103-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
1. “Nouseled” in Books 7
2. Getting Above Themselves 35
3. Story ­Sue-icide 58
4. Scope for Discontent 85
5. Please Don’t Kill the Author 97
6. Follow the Money 123
7. Damaging the Brand 145
8. Schrödinger’s Legolas 161
Conclusions 181
Glossary 185
Chapter Notes 191
Works Cited 193
Index 205