[PDF] The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales For The Digital Age
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Review: The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales for the Digital Age by Francesca Coppa
Fanfiction is a form of creative writing that reimagines existing stories, characters, and worlds from popular media. It is often dismissed as amateurish, derivative, or lowbrow, but fanfiction can also be seen as a rich literary tradition that has continuities with older forms of storytelling, such as folk tales, myths, and legends. In The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales for the Digital Age, Francesca Coppa, a professor of English and a fanfiction writer herself, presents a collection of fanfiction stories from various fandoms, such as Star Trek, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Supernatural, along with short contextual and analytical essays that explore the themes, genres, and cultural significance of fanfiction.
The book is divided into four parts: \"The Fanfiction Canon\", \"Fanfiction Genres\", \"Fanfiction Aesthetics\", and \"Fanfiction Politics\". Each part contains three or four fanfiction stories that illustrate a particular aspect of fanfiction writing, such as adaptation, parody, romance, slash, crossover, metafiction, or activism. Coppa provides an introduction to each story, explaining its background, plot summary, genre conventions, and critical reception. She also discusses how fanfiction reflects and challenges the norms and values of mainstream media and culture, especially in terms of gender, sexuality, race, and class. Coppa argues that fanfiction is not only a form of entertainment, but also a form of education, critique, and community building.
The book is intended for both academic and general audiences who are interested in learning more about fanfiction as a literary phenomenon. It can be used as a textbook for courses on fan studies, media studies, creative writing, or popular culture. It can also be enjoyed by fanfiction readers and writers who want to discover new stories or gain new insights into their own practice. The book offers a diverse and representative sample of fanfiction stories from different fandoms and genres, ranging from comedy to tragedy, from science fiction to fantasy, from canon-compliant to alternative universe. The stories are well-written, engaging, and accessible to readers who may not be familiar with the original sources. The essays are informative, insightful, and respectful of fanfiction as a legitimate form of artistic expression.
The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales for the Digital Age is a valuable contribution to the field of fan studies and a celebration of fanfiction as a creative and cultural force. It demonstrates that fanfiction is not only a way of reinterpreting existing stories, but also a way of creating new ones that speak to the needs and desires of diverse audiences. It shows that fanfiction is not only a folk tale for the digital age, but also a folk tale for all ages.
One of the strengths of the book is that it showcases the diversity and creativity of fanfiction writers, who come from different backgrounds, ages, genders, and sexualities. The book also includes a foreword by Henry Jenkins, a pioneer of fan studies, and an afterword by Abigail De Kosnik, a leading scholar of digital media and culture. These essays provide a historical and theoretical context for understanding fanfiction as a cultural phenomenon and a mode of participatory culture. They also highlight the challenges and opportunities that fanfiction faces in the digital age, such as copyright issues, online harassment, and transmedia storytelling.
One of the limitations of the book is that it focuses mainly on fanfiction written in English and based on Anglo-American media sources. While this is understandable given the scope and audience of the book, it may overlook the richness and diversity of fanfiction produced in other languages and cultures, such as anime and manga fandoms, Bollywood fandoms, or Latin American fandoms. It would be interesting to see how fanfiction writers from different cultural contexts interpret and transform existing stories in their own ways. Another limitation is that the book does not address some of the controversies and debates that surround fanfiction, such as plagiarism, quality, ethics, or canon versus fanon. These issues are important to consider when evaluating fanfiction as a form of literary criticism and cultural production.
Overall, The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales for the Digital Age is an engaging and informative book that introduces readers to the world of fanfiction and its literary and cultural significance. It is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about fanfiction as a genre, a community, and a practice. It is also a fun and enjoyable read that invites readers to discover new stories or revisit old favorites from a fresh perspective. Whether you are a fanfiction writer, reader, or researcher, you will find something to appreciate and admire in this book. 061ffe29dd