In Defense of Slash
|Title:||In Defense of Slash|
|Date(s):||on or before 2001|
|Medium:||online meta essay|
|Fandom:||Meta, fan fiction|
|External Links:||in English and translated into Hungarian (Magyar)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
In Defense of Slash is an essay on slash fan fiction written by AC.
"A discussion of fanfic in general, and slash in particular, must of necessity begin with a look at fandom at large. Fandom is not a passive reception of broadcast or published images and words, but rather an active process. Fans bring their own interpretations to the material, transforming it through the process of "textual poaching." (de Certeau 1984). As he notes
“Every reading modifies its object.... The reader takes neither the position of the author nor an author's position. He invents in the text something different then from their (lost or accessory) origin. He combines their fragments and creates something unknown. (169)”
Rather than a destructive process, this is a creative process, wherein the love of the fan for the material breathes life into it and, similar to the toys in the following famous passage (Williams 1983:4-5), makes is real:
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
"I suppose you are Real?" asked the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled."The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."