reenka: (Default)
[personal profile] reenka
You know, I say I'm a canon!whore, but it's not true. I mean, more half the time I don't have the patience to read/watch everything in a given canon, especially if it's a sizeable length. The only canons I love enough to read/watch everything tend to be the sort I don't want extra fannish material on anyway, plus my memory isn't best suited for remembering details of plot anyway. So I'd make a sucky canon!whore who would get things wrong all the time, factually speaking. Haha, it's just that it's occurred to me that I prefer my fannish reading to be stuff written/drawn/made by people who do care and who do remember, to whom it matters, simply because I find that when you say 'to hell with canon', you produce crap. There's just no way around it. I don't even need to know canon to tell it's crap, because I can smell wish-fulfillment from 3 miles away blindfolded. :/ So when people support views that are self-admittedly & explicitly counter to canon, it's like they're saying, 'I don't care about quality, only self-gratification', which makes me :/ (even though, I mean... knock yourself out, whatever it takes, sure).


I was just reading a doujin for Heero/Duo in Gundam Wing, a fandom notorious for having 3/4ths of it spit on canon and then do a little jig. Of course, anything I say about it myself is questionable, because I haven't actually... watched the whole series, or even most of it (it's not my sort of thing, okay! though I'd watch it all if I were to write GW), but I know the facts/events and stuff and I've watched the post-series movie. Anyway, my point is that anything I've ever seen tends to be better if it at least references some situation from canon in a direct way. If it doesn't take place in some lala-land stock setting (like... some anonymous apartment, anonymous school, random safe-house... whatever), but rather is placed securely in the context of... something. Anything. If it at least makes an effort, generally this means the characters won't be entirely penises on legs and will actually be interesting to watch develop. I dunno.

I mean, I actually like AUs, but one reason I like them is because in order to be a purposeful AU, you have to reference canon (though more subtly), in order to still have the characters remain recognizable. So like, for Snape/Lily-- even if you write a story where different events occurred and she never got together with James, the issues that had been there before must remain and just find another outlet. That's the point of AUs, to me-- seeing the same inevitable conflicts find different resolutions. So basically it's impossible to have happy shiny Snape/Lily in any universe, no matter how much you ignore certain canon events, and have them remain recognizably Snape & Lily, y'know. Or at least, I want to read stories by authors who think like that, because I know they're a lot less likely to suck because they're a lot more likely to care about internal logic & consistency, both major parts of good writing.
~~

Anyway. This sort of segues into my discomfort with people who're 'out of context' fans-- like, they like the hotness of the actors/characters/singers/whatever but they don't like the whole context of their actual personalities/lives/the events surrounding them-- it's like they separate the two rather than seeing them as one entity, a whole. Like, in bandom, it'd involve seeing the hotness as just one cool aspect of several, influenced by the music, the fashion, the public personas, the private glimpses-- everything as influencing and contextualizing everything else. That's just how I see the world.

It's like I don't mean those people are 'wrong' or I have issues; I just mean it makes me a little uncomfortable so I avoid them a bit. Like when people mostly squee about 'teh hot' or 'the bishounen factor' in yaoi, I feel kind of alienated even though the fan-service is intentionally there, just like it's intentionally there with bands and TV shows with hot actors, say. It's not that I don't squee, but I feel a bit weird 'cause it's the real personalities and people's actual relationships that make me happy, not people's looks; even slashy subtext only gets me so far if I suspect I may be projecting it, because the lack of authenticity harshes my squee, personally. Even though I enjoy pretty people a lot and I naturally slash pretty boys in my head. I guess I'm a freak. :P

You have to remember, though, that 'canon' isn't a rigid black&white thing, though; just because I like context doesn't mean I like the most boring and straightforward/traditional interpretation of what's 'really there' you can possibly come up with. That's not creative at all, man. The trick is using what's there & running with it. That's what makes fanfic great, to me. The possibilities, right.

I was actually thinking of the bandom wank, & people who're squarely on the limited 'they're just play-acting' side of the fence saying it's 'all fake', as if it can't have different layers, theoretically, where it's not quite real, not quite gay, not quite one thing or another, but rather a mess of impulses and motivations and interpretations, raw and confused and all the more real in some ways for being a performance in others. It's that fuzzy area I like-- the one between and around text, subtext & context, all muddled concentric or interlapping cirles-- but at the same time you should be certain of the facts and the balances and the clearer boundaries you're starting with before you wade into murkier waters.

Date: 2007-09-09 03:35 am (UTC)
ext_6866: (Hmmmm..)
From: [identity profile] sistermagpie.livejournal.com
See,I wouldn't say "to hell with canon" produces crap just because ALL fanfic starts out with "to hell with canon." If you go too far it's not recognizable and no fun, but most of my favorite fics all could be titled TO HELL WITH CANON on some level.:)

Date: 2007-09-09 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Well. What does the person mean by 'to hell with canon', I guess. :-? Context :D Or rather, is this the author's attitude or merely the subversiveness/direction/nature of the story. Because that goes into the AU caveat, where I'd say you have to actually understand what you're subverting before you... subvert it, or something.

Doesn't some fanfic start out with 'what if canon did THIS instead' rather than 'to hell with it'? It's just an attitude of attentiveness rather than disregard, that's all I meant. Like, to me I suppose not paying attention + not caring (and therefore not paying attention) produce illogical/amorphous crap... so perhaps I'm projecting...? I didn't mean to say you have to do what the canon 'wants' to produce good fic, or care about the canon's goals or even keep the actual events in line, just that if you don't flagrantly care what really happened, how can you comment on it intelligently? Y'know?

It's like talking about politics without watching the news closely. You'll just sound stupid and/or deluded and off in your own little world, that's what I meant. The more you know, the more you use it, the more you can manipulate it to produce something on that basis, or something, it just seems logical to me :>

A lot of the fics I like are stylized and weird (intellislashy) and a lot are just embarrassing to me now, but the ones that stick with me are the ones who really did something meaningful with the characters, I guess, the ones who really built on real things instead of building on air. The whole story then seems more solid to me, like it's taking place in 'real time'. And with that Gundam Wing doujin, it's as simple as actually placing the story in the context of series timeline rather than 'make-believe' timeline X. I mean, by definition this doujin isn't really part of GW canon, clearly, but it's a more vivid reflection of that universe, and the characters seem more... there somehow, just because of this small thing like placing it on an exact canon location in a specific context. It allows all the rest of canon to provide something like illusory depth without the doujin having to work for it, which seems like one of the major strengths of fanwork in general, no? :>

Besides, I was only talking about people who're explicitly 'to hell with canon' in terms of proclaiming it openly, not just where you could interpret their work that way on 'some level' :D We're talking about author's attitudes and that reflecting on their theoretical works, though, which is always iffy; like, it's not as if caring = good writing-- talent = good writing, and caring + working at it helps, right. But if you don't care about your material, how likely are you to really pay attention to the nitty gritty of the characters that really makes something shine? That was mostly where I was coming from.

Date: 2007-09-09 04:48 pm (UTC)
ext_6866: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sistermagpie.livejournal.com
Well. What does the person mean by 'to hell with canon', I guess. :-? Context :D Or rather, is this the author's attitude or merely the subversiveness/direction/nature of the story. Because that goes into the AU caveat, where I'd say you have to actually understand what you're subverting before you... subvert it, or something.

Oh yeah, I think it depends on exactly how they mean it--mostly it probably matters that they really know what they mean by it. The thing about dippy Mary Sues is probably that they really don't understand when and how they're getting it wrong--and that's not for canon but also for just life and how to write.

But for instance, you got into HP fandom just reading fandom and having not read the canon at all, which is kind of the ultimately "Fuck canon," right? You had a canon made up of fanfic stuff, I assume.

Date: 2007-09-09 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
The thing is, I wasn't thinking about Mary Sues but rather the examples like most of the doujinshi & fic in Gundam Fic, which is based around the concept of TWT (timeline-what-timeline), and how... y'know, it tends to suck so much less with the simple expedient of you actually giving something a specific context in time/space/the series canon. And the bandslash thing where it's not even that they're writing Mary Sues, but they're not writing... anyone in particular, just 'Hot Guy X' 'cause they don't bother at all. And with Snape/Lily, where people proclaim that while they acknowledge that in canon Snape was probably too dorky/shy/pathetic to make a move, to hell with that... I mean. You can change what happened, but if you just purposefully ignore his personality issues, it's going to suck. I feel.

It's funny though, that even back when I didn't know HP canon & didn't want to, I kind of realized a lot of fic sucked-- or at least wasn't well-written; in Gundam Wing I don't know canon and still don't feel like watching it to this day, but when I read whore!Duo and sentimental!Heero, I still now that people are on the bad crack, heh. It's not like they 'don't get it' or aren't that good, it's that they actively don't care if it makes any sense & they don't really try, which is where my problem lies, really. I mean, if they tried to place whore!Duo in any sort of real-seeming context... but that never tends to happen. He's just an emo cutting street-walking teenager who... happens to be a badass terrorist robot-mecha pilot in canon o_0

I think when I came into fandom, I quickly started to accumulate canon knowledge enough to just know what's going on (I remember being confused at Durendal's evil!Ron, thinking he wasn't like that... was he?)-- I read meta, essays, online references, etc, just so I'd have a clue. I didn't like the source and didn't want to read the books (...and I still haven't finished book 1 entirely or most of book 2, haha... *cough*), but I noticed when other people's fics referenced specific things and I always cared whether those references were real or not, etc.

It's like, I may not like the specific canon, but to me a basic understanding and acceptance of some of its tenets is inescapeable to play with it. Say, I knew Draco & Harry didn't like each other in canon from the start. I would never accept a fic where that was blatantly ignored, even back when all my knowledge rested on seeing movie 1 :> It's more that a look for a sense of acknowledgment & context rather than a bunch of factual details I probably don't remember even having read books 3-7 without looking it up at the Lexicon, hahah.

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