Thank you for all the suggestions regarding reader insert narratives! I am going through them and will post about my readings later.
Two weeks ago, the new Transformative Works and Culture issue, Fandom Histories, came out. Among the many interesting essays, there was one that I could connect to my recent readings. Guo talks about RPF fans’ practices of interpreting history.
The first connection is obvious: my readings were about RPF, this paper talks about celebrity fandom. But it was especially interesting to me how historical reinterpretations as a result of a thorough look into historical sources was contrasted with what Martin described as fans seeking character resonance. Guo says about the latter:
In general, as fans’ research has allowed them to perceive Guangxu in their minds as both a clearer historical person and then an imagined character, their discoveries and fantasies, in turn, enable them to understand and connect to Yunlong on a broader and deeper level.Guo, Qiuyan. 2022. “Historical Poaching within Celebrity Fandom Practices.” In “Fandom Histories,” edited by Philipp Dominik Keidl and Abby S. Waysdorf, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 37. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2022.2213.
If we view RPF as creating a character instead of learning about a real person, than these historical details can be building blocks for this character just like how actor interviews are used the same way.
Do you have similar experiences? What do you think?