reenka: (life is like that)
[personal profile] reenka
I like narrowing things down to catchy um, catch-phrases, and [ profile] angua9 is really good with those.

I too, am feeling the excitement-- and the pressure-- pre-OoTP!movie and um, book 7-- what with me being blah about HP and not finishing my novella or following fandom and suddenly trying to re-watch the movies & reread the books and now, panic! and woe! and whee! And OMG WHAT HAPPENED TO DAN'S HAIR??!?! (one year after the rest of fandom, to be sure.)

Anyway, back to catch-phrases. I like the idea of separating people in fandom not into 'canon-purists' and 'fanon-lovers' (or what have you), but rather folks predominantly into 'appropriation' vs. 'appreciation'. Not that it's really that simple-- because plenty of people do both, just separate the two-- or do both and see appopriation of characters/world as a form of appreciation entirely consistent with canon-love. There are more than a few H/D fans (like myself) who love and enjoy canon-- even canon pairings & canon author-intentions & canonically implicit balances or underlying truths-- but also love expanding upon them, messing with them, trying to take and stretch them to fit our own vision of the truth & beauty that is Harry/Draco. All that, and without being delusional, too! Who'd've thunk it!! :D

I mean, the truth is that I empathize with both camps but am naturally more of an appreciator than an appropriator with more complex/developed canons-- that is, I naturally appropriate fairy-tales and myths, but most modern stories are too darn complex and non-archetypal to call my own and write in comfortably.
    I naturally enjoy things 'as they are', whether they be people or fictional works, but I also naturally play with ideas for fun. They're not exclusive occupations by any means. In fact, once you reeeeally love an idea/vision/universe, you can't help but make it part of you, even if you can't necessarily write fics set in that world, per se. So even if I can't write Star Trek or Star Wars or Neverending Story fic, etc, I'm certainly influenced by them unconsciously in whatever 'original' fic I may write in the future.

If there is something 'wrong' with a work (as Angua says), when I'm in appropriator mode my impulse is to play with it and pretend it's 'right' in a freaky way, rather than 'fix' it. Like, I'd write fics exploring Sirius' afterlife beyond the Veil and have him meet Charon somewhere Out There, the ancient Boatman of Souls that looks suspiciously like Hagrid, much sooner than bringing him back to life with Remus, say. I love loopholes, what-ifs and why-nots much more than stubborn (delusional) refusals of canon. Those always leave a bad taste in my mouth (much as I enjoyed a few Bring Back Black and hell, Bring Back Spike fics). But the reason I liked Bring Back Spike even more was because it was way more canon-plausible. And then it actually happened in Angel :D :D :D

I think this also goes to explain why I was much more into canon-based H/D with OoTP than HBP, and I was particularly not crazy about year-six "AUs" where Harry's interest in Draco was explicitly sexual. I love building on anger & denial and vengeance, but notsomuch making wink-wink jokes about the Room of Requirement and what Draco was doing inside it, y'know. :> There's a fine line somewhere in there, and those "Harry SO wants Draco" fics stepped a little too close to canon rewrites to feel good to me, so in that sense I guess I was an 'appreciator' of HBP. But the truth is that I just wanted things appropriated with a sense of honesty and visceralness, where there was a direct link between the harsh light of the 'skeptic's canon' and shippiness. So like, if I was an H/Hr fanatic, say, I'd write my H/Hr with JKR's hints about R/Hr firmly planted there as well and dealt with as fairly as I could, if also subverted. It's like-- and I've always thought so-- it shows a lack of faith in something if you think you must redesign 'reality' to be even more welcoming to your (supposedly 'superior' and supercool) vision of 'Truth & Beauty'. What a gyp, no? A Truth that must lie is no truth but basest falsehood :P (Note: take that statement with a grain of salt, hehehe.)

So yeah. I don't think it has to come down to a simple choice between your vision & canon (and which do you value most), though I think Angua's definitely on to something in terms of how the majority of people in fandom work. :> I don't really have a vision, say, besides 'Draco is interesting' and 'Harry has an interesting dynamic with him' and 'Draco should really grow up and mature & re-evaluate Some Things, and so should Harry'; a lot of the things I passionately refuted and ranted about were fanon-based, like 'but THIS IS WRONG' rather than 'but this is right instead!!'. It's not like I'm not flexible, is the thing. It's not like I'd like to dictate how that all comes about; I'd just like to see some issues explored, in canon or fanon-- as long as it's serious.
    (Note: that was me being somewhat facetious, sorta; I actually am a total porn-loving dork, don't listen to me. It's not like I'm Ms. Serious Canon!H/D. More Ms. Used to Bitterly Hate Prevailing Fanon!H/D, but then that's not the same, is it.)

In the end, I'm not an 'appropriation-minded fan', but I'm wary of siding squarely with the appreciation camp and all that entails in fandom. I mean... appreciation != appreciation of everything, and appreciation != non-critical acceptance, either. I'd like to think that I love things as they are, but in a quirky way. And I'd like to think I borrow but not without bringing something somewhat interesting or even valuable to the table in the process in return. And I'd like to think one can be both a creative, a critical, and an unselfconsciously devoted fan.

It's like any love, isn't it? You can see the flaws of the things you love most (though the point there is that you can also accept without stigmatizing or whitewashing). You can empathize with and appreciate things when you really love them the most (though, uh, the point there is separating 'true' love from 'false'/possessive/delusional love, no easy task). And you can both understand, and love, and cut down your darlings-- cut them down to the quick for a good story, too.

It really sucks, though, 'cause I love snappy definitions, it's just then I must quibble with them. ^^; No one was ever amusing or cute talking about subtleties & shades of grey. D: That is such a rip-off, honestly. D: This is why, in the end, I prefer talking to people who already know what I mean, so that I don't have to define my terms first, even though that can be half the fun. I mean, defining terms can take ages & ages and then people will tend to still disagree. I mean, if you agree exactly what shade of meaning 'appropriation' and 'appreciation' would have in a particular context, you wouldn't have a problem, I guess. It's just that since that is hard to come by, one ends up saying stuff that begins with '...weeelll...' and '...buuut...' even though you know exactly what the other person's talking about and are just being difficult for argument's sake. And by 'you' I mean 'me'. >___> That is because, in fact, being obscure yet difficult is my favorite pastime, right up there with reading underaged boypr0n and pretzels.

Also: [ profile] seviet's HBP!Draco & Slyths is so... canony. And the Draco strikes such an interesting balance between pointy-git and poncey bit of arse. Awww. <3.

Leaps on one tiny part

Date: 2007-07-10 03:04 pm (UTC)
ext_6866: (OTP!)
From: [identity profile]
I think this also goes to explain why I was much more into canon-based H/D with OoTP than HBP, and I was particularly not crazy about year-six "AUs" where Harry's interest in Draco was explicitly sexual. I love building on anger & denial and vengeance, but notsomuch making wink-wink jokes about the Room of Requirement and what Draco was doing inside it, y'know. :> There's a fine line somewhere in there, and those "Harry SO wants Draco" fics stepped a little too close to canon rewrites to feel good to me, so in that sense I guess I was an 'appreciator' of HBP.

This fascinates me because while I don't think a story where HBP is all about sex is canon, I adore Black_Dog's arguments for H/D canon slash in HBP. In that book, as never before, the "theirloveissocanon" goes beyond just a sort of sniggering wink wink at the RoR double entendres etc.

It's like in a grey area for me. Because while I "know" that JKR means Harry to just like girls, and Draco to like girls too, and that Harry likes Ginny, I feel like at this point--and I admit I hope this stays true in DH--we're getting something that could support a believable slash interpretation. I mean, not, I hope, because I want to impose my OTP on the text, it's not that exactly. But it's what [ profile] black_dog once talked about a while back--I think in your lj--about a sort of "open" text where it was just an interpretation that could be supported. Even if it's only supportable due to things that have nothing to do with the author giving me signs that anyone is sexually attracted to each other.

It's like it's maybe an unintentional reading, but it's also one that fits naturally into the text for me without really twisting things. I never really thought that way pre-HBP. I used to just think H/D was my ship I liked to read and I never looked for "evidence" in canon. I looked for stuff that was the basis for the slash, but I wasn't trying to prove they really wanted each other. HBP changed things for me. Not to where I thought "Oh, it's totally about sex!" or "Harry totally wants him!" It was more just that something about that book all together really did start to bring out some other subtext that was actually in the book for me.

It's almost the subtext almost seems less believable *because* it's coming from a slash fandom. Like I'm now used to separating: this is slash vs. this is canon. But maybe it this stuff wasn't out there on its own, or let's say if these books were written in the 50s, maybe it might in the 90s have become an actual literary interpretation rather than just "don't make it all about sex because that's for fanfic." If that makes sense. I think *replacing* Harry's obsessions with what Draco was up to and wanting to out him (heh--not in that way!) for different reasons with sex is a change, but one could make a case for something a bit more complicated and well-done. I admit I hope they will be able to continue to do that post-HBP.

It reminds me of something [ profile] jlh said that I loved because it finally explained Remus/Sirius to me. I asked why that ship was always the one considered canon when Sirius/James seems more intense for Sirius as a relationship. She said it was because Remus/Sirius was the one with the betrayal and things unresolved, so that a lot of their dynamic in the books is actually almost easier to understand as a love affair gone wrong. Sometimes there is just heavier, sexier stuff in the pirate ships.

Date: 2007-07-10 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
See... okay, this is so weird and complicated for me, and as usual I'm being anti-certain-fanon rather than directly commenting on the slashiness (or lack thereof) in canon. :> I did say I wasn't crazy about the AUs, not HBP itself-- and one of the reasons I loved HBP was, of course, the slashiness of it :D And I'm totally with you that there was 'something' about Harry's fixation on Draco, something that came into stark relief, the same way that-- me-- there was always 'something' about Draco's fixation on Harry. Obsession always lives so close to lust, you see :D

But. At the same time, even as HBP began to blur the boundaries, it made me need to see them more clearly, because it's simply too easy to just 'add 2+2' without working for it seriously, and that turns everything, like I said, into a wink-wink joke, a joke that is hollow in the end. What I was saying is that I revel in subtlety, in ambiguity-- in pre-slash, I suppose, and with HBP it seems more pertinent than with OoTP, which (to me) felt more like the prelude to something (well, literally, the explosion that was HBP canon). And I felt that(!!) reading OoTP!H/D, I felt that coming explosion, and back then-- you know, back then it was wide open, and I could make it as slashy or violent or sexual as I wanted.

And then! See, that's where HBP!H/D and PoA!S/R part ways for me. Because in HBP, H/D was at least temporarily defined in a way JKR never defined the definitive, formative moments of S/R. There were always hints and possibilities, but we had tons of blanks to fill in-- that's the allure of S/R for me-- because it was as much in canon as out of it, like an amphibian. But HBP!H/D was not as amphibian-- I mean, while some of it clearly lived in ambiguous waters, a lot of it was on land and therefore defined, I felt like. Defined in the degree/extent of Harry's consciousness/self-awareness, defined in terms of Draco's (initial) reactions, and defined in terms of (no less important) the paths of their immediate futures & concerns. So where OoTP left that open, it was a lot more difficult for me to write around a Horcrux quest and/or a War than Sirius's death from the pov of a Marauder!S/R writer/reader, anyway. I mean, knowing the ending point can make you a more creative writer, actually, but knowing a lot of the nature of the process itself is just stifling. But these are all -my- issues, basically. :>

In any case, while I love 'in canon' H/D of any year, the only one I've seen to date is weatherby's 'Red'. The ONLY one. Of course you could make the sexual a little closer to the surface rather than replacing present motivations, but then no one does that, do they. :/ And I don't mean just HBP!H/D-- I was always down with that, even in GoF, it's just that this requires subtlety and skill, so alas. :>

Yeah, I loved that bit by [ profile] jlh you mentioned in your post, too!! :D That explains the draw of it for me, too. <3.

Date: 2007-07-10 07:51 pm (UTC)
ext_6866: (I'm still picking.)
From: [identity profile]
Ah--I see what you mean about H/D being defined more. And actually I think I've been having the same experience. Since HBP I've become way more picky about fanfic. I think because it's become much more defined for me and I want the fic to exist in that "real" space. So the kind of fic that I'd have loved post-GoF I can't deal with.

That sort of happens with every new book in canon--a new book totally changes fanfic in ways you can't even describe. But I do feel like there's more of a path now for them to follow and I, personally, am less interested in stories where the author might want to just go back a bit and start from an earlier place when things were more open. It's not just shipping, though. It's a lot connected to characterizations too. Particularly Draco's own ideas about HBP. There's very few I can really accept. It's not that I have myown set view on how he's reacted to all that happened in HBP, I'm sort of waiting for DH for that. But there are certain things that don't seem plausible, and if I get them in a fic I just hit the back button.

Date: 2007-07-10 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, pretty much-- there are certain things I find implausible, but for Harry as much as Draco :D I guess I'm just especially protective of Harry 'cause everyone knows that most fanon interpretations of Draco have always sucked :> People developed this 'wink wink' mentality in regards to Harry in HBP that just reeeeally grates on my nerves; this is complicated by H/D shippers and others not being able/willing to really accept canon H/G and all that monster business (somewhat JKR's fault, but). So you get a lot of 'but he didn't REALLY want Ginny' and 'it was just a phase, but he's really gay-- for Malfoy' and 'Ginny is a total bitch anyway, and once Harry realizes he likes assholes more than bitches, Malfoy it is, clearly!!' and so on :>

So yeah, I'm not interested in fics starting from an earlier place so much but neither have the actual post-HBP fics caught my eye (except for A Very Long Misadventure (, as I keep pimping for awhile now, hahah). I feel like I personally didn't have a lot to say about HBP!H/D that it didn't say about itself or that book 7 wouldn't say about it. But all of that is old ground, eh :> That said, I -am- writing an HBP!H/D-inclusive Dracofic, so :D :D :D Well, by 'writing' I really mean 'procrastinating', of course :>


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