Over the last week, we received many responses to the question how RPF can operate without a canon text, the majority of them among the lines of much the same way non-RPF fandoms do: by constantly negotiating fanon interpretations. It looks like then that the question of what constitutes as canon is problematised for any kind of fanon.
(I’m also very glad that my throw out about canon already being problematised when we leave the media fandoms definitions was caught in this post.)
Henry Jenkins’ concept of Convergence Culture provides a useful way of thinking about how RPF communities work together to create their own meanings from transmedia texts, or intertexts, such as The Lord of the Ring and its paratexts distributed across many delivery platforms.MARTIN, ANNA (2014). WRITING THE STAR. STARDOM, FANDOM AND REAL PERSON FANFICTION, 68.
We can see fans refer to a continuously changing meta-text, both in and outside of RPF. (Something that we might call fanon.)
The „ideal” version of Star Trek, the meta-text against which a film or episode is evaluated, was constructed by the fan community through its progressively more detailed analysis of the previously aired episodes.Jenkins, Henry (1992). Textual poacher, Routledge, 101.
I’ve found interesting the mention of fandoms with several adaptations here. It was surprising to me, but Martin also talks about this interconnectedness.
In the bonus material, (Gray) points out, the actors as presented as similar to their roles in the film (…). The behind-the-scenes narrative existed parallel to the fictional narrative of the trilogy, and, as Gray argues, it mirrored the narrative of the trilogy, both enriching and being enriched by it. (…) Certain parallels are used to pin these versions together at crucial points, as I will discuss later in this chapter. Many points in the behind-the-scenes documentaries are used to pin the film version to the books. The books, the films and the paratexts link together in various ways to form a complex intertext, an interrelated group of texts that enrich and layer each other in meaning.GRAY, JONATHAN (2006). Bonus Material: The DVD Layering of The Lord of the Rings=Ernest, Mathjis (ed.) The Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context, Wallflower, 238.-253.
MARTIN, ANNA (2014). WRITING THE STAR. STARDOM, FANDOM AND REAL PERSON FANFICTION, 64., 69.
Thank you for all the responses so far! To continue the conversation, I’d like to ask your experiences: have you ever seen something that felt like queerbaiting but with real persons? If you can think of an example, what did you think of it?