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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Fan fiction

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  • lezlie1@znet.com
    Nicely said! All the points I wanted to make elegantly done-- will now go back to lurking and leave the discussion to my betters. Lezlie ... --
    Message 1 of 46 , Jun 30, 2005
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      Nicely said! All the points I wanted to make elegantly done-- will now go
      back to lurking and leave the discussion to my betters. Lezlie


      Quoting Margaret Dean <margdean@...>:

      >
      >
      >
      >
      > A few thoughts about this subject, in no particular order and
      >
      > with no particular point to make:
      >
      >
      >
      > Pastiche, or imitation, or derivative work, seems to be a natural
      >
      > human reaction to a creative work that makes a positive
      >
      > impression. I can't remember now if it was Tolkien or Lewis who
      >
      > commented that it was a far more natural reaction (at least in
      >
      > schoolboys) than the type of literary analysis that is nowadays
      >
      > typically demanded of those same schoolchildren in classrooms.
      >
      > It's already been pointed out that some of the world's great
      >
      > literature is derivative in some sense.
      >
      >
      >
      > The very concept of intellectual property is a fairly recent one
      >
      > relative to the length of time people have been producing
      >
      > literature. I'm not sure how closely that concept coincides with
      >
      > the similar one of "originality" being a prime virtue in creative
      >
      > endeavors; I do know that in the Middle Ages writers were
      >
      > expected to derive their works from older and more respected
      >
      > sources, and if you didn't draw from an "auctor" you pretended
      >
      > you had. (Tolkien plays this game -- though for him, of course,
      >
      > it =is= a game -- by pretending to derive his work from the "Red
      >
      > Book of Westmarch," for which he invents an elaborate textual
      >
      > history.) The general attitude toward originality seems to have
      >
      > been, "What do you mean, you =made it up=?! What's the matter
      >
      > with you -- haven't you read enough?"
      >
      >
      >
      > The whole matter is also probably related to people's changing
      >
      > ideas about where artistic inspiration comes from in the first
      >
      > place. An artist who thinks of himself as merely an instrument
      >
      > or conduit of divine powers is unlikely to lay personal claim to
      >
      > what comes out of his mouth or his pen. But as the perceived
      >
      > locus of "inspiration" shifts from outside to inside the self
      >
      > (yes, I'm more or less cribbing from Barfield here), artists
      >
      > begin to feel more proprietary about their works.
      >
      >
      >
      > I've written fan fiction myself, mostly ElfQuest-inspired. In
      >
      > that particular fandom, the creators of the original ElfQuest,
      >
      > Wendy and Richard Pini, basically told their fans, "You can do
      >
      > what you want with the world and the races (elves, trolls,
      >
      > Preservers) we created, as long as you stay away from our
      >
      > specific characters and plotlines," and most EQ fan writers I
      >
      > know have respected that. (I personally also think it's more
      >
      > =fun= to go off and create your own tribes of elves, too, but
      >
      > that's beside the point.) In general I think the wishes of
      >
      > particular writers, in this matter, should be respected, purely
      >
      > as a matter of courtesy if nothing else. I don't happen to have
      >
      > read the works of Robin Hobb, but knowing her opinions I would
      >
      > probably not write, and certainly not circulate, fan fiction set
      >
      > in her world.
      >
      >
      >
      > But surely any piece of writing should be judged on its own
      >
      > merits, whatever it derives from? Rotten bad writing is always
      >
      > to be deplored, whether fan fiction or not. I had the doubtful
      >
      > privilege of proofreading SCARLETT some years ago, and my
      >
      > judgement was that it sucked big time. I say this as someone who
      >
      > does not happen to have read GONE WITH THE WIND, though I saw the
      >
      > movie once in my youth. On the other hand, I have also over the
      >
      > years read what I consider some d*mned fine fan fiction. I mean,
      >
      > sure, 90% of it is crud, but then, according to Sturgeon's Law,
      >
      > so is 90% of everything.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --Margaret Dean
      >
      > <margdean@...>
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
      >
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      >
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      >
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      >


      --
      ____________________________________________________________________________

      "...it concerns three men who are about to be executed. The prison governor
      calls them to his office, and explains that each will be granted a last
      request. The first one confesses that he has led a sinful life, and would
      like to see a priest. The governor says he thinks he can arrange that. And
      the second man? The second man explains that he is a professor of
      cybernetics. His last request is to deliver a final and definitive answer to
      the question: what is cybernetics? The governor accedes to this request
      also. And the third man? Well, he is a doctoral student of the professor --
      his request is to be executed second."Joke Related by Stafford Beer
      October 2001
    • Lezlie
      ... because they re major sources in Old Norse, a ... where the ... Of course, I had momentarily forgotten... ! :) ... Ahhh... Although those are precisly the
      Message 46 of 46 , Aug 1, 2005
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        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@e...> wrote:
        > At 01:52 AM 7/20/2005 +0000, Lezlie wrote:
        because they're major sources in Old Norse, a
        > language he taught, and because he used them as sources (they're
        where the
        > dwarf-names came from).

        Of course, I had momentarily forgotten... ! :)

        > >I also disagree that "all fiction is fan fiction". There is a deeper,
        > >more complex conversation going in between authors, readers and later
        > >generation writers than what seems to be the norm in "fan-fic."
        >
        > Totally apart from questions of quality and subtlety,

        Ahhh... Although those are precisly the qualities we seek in reading
        and in crafting our fiction. Whether a piece has literary quality or
        not, BTW, was beside my point.


        there is also a
        > difference between crafting a work in response to an earlier work
        and being
        > inspired by it, and actually borrowing its concrete setting or
        retelling it
        > openly. This is a difference in kind, not necessarily a difference in
        > literary value.

        Also beside my point. What I was talking about is something different--

        BTW: Have you read Stallybrass & White on this subject? Very
        interesting stuff and a killer title: "The Politics and Poetics of
        Transgression" - Lezlie
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