Writing and reading fanfiction isn’t just something you do; it’s a way of thinking critically about the media you consume, of being aware of all the implicit assumptions that a canonical work carries with it, and of considering the possibility that those assumptions might not be the only way things have to be.
At this late date, fanfiction has become wildly more biodiverse that the canonical works that it springs from. It encompasses male pregnancy, centaurification, body swapping, apocalypses, reincarnation, and every sexual fetish, kink, combination, position, and inversion you can imagine and probably a lot more that you could but would probably prefer not to. It breaks down walls between genders and genres and races and canons and bodies and species and past and future and conscious and unconscious and fiction and reality. Culturally speaking, this work used to be the job of the avant garde, but in many ways fanfiction has stepped in to take that role. If the mainstream has been slow to honor it, well, that’s usually the fate of aesthetic revolutions. Fanfiction is the madwoman in mainstream culture’s attic, but the attic won’t contain it forever.
Anne Jamison. Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World. 2013
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