Mina de Malfois

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Fandom
Name: Mina de Malfois
Abbreviation(s): Mina, MDM
Creator: Anonymous/Mina de Malfois
Date(s): 2006-present
Medium: Online serial
Country of Origin:
External Links: Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, JournalFen, InsaneJournal; works on AO3. Some works are also hosted at Texas A&M University Cushing Memorial Library.
uncredited faux 'inspirational poster' based on mutecornett's drawing of Mina
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Contents

Mina de Malfois is an online serial story parodying fandom. It is written in first person, as if told by its main character, Mina de Malfois, however, the real author remains anonymous. Chapters are posted on Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, JournalFen, and InsaneJournal as they are released, and eventually collected into books which can be bought in print form or downloaded as PDFs.

The story follows Mina, a BNF in the fictional Sanguinuity fandom. Many events and characters in the story are based on actual fandom events and people (much of it culled from the headlines of Fandom Wank), and there are footnotes provided for each chapter, for those who may not get the jokes right away.[1]

Footnotes for Seasons 2 and 3 are friends-locked at JournalFen. Footnotes for Season 2 are available in the PDF download from Lulu. Footnotes for Season 3 are available at the individual entries at Dreamwidth.

Mina's author encourages fanworks and there is both a small fic archive (now offline, partially archived here) and a list[2] of fanart, fanfic, and podfic.

While the fandom which is the focus of the Mina de Malfois universe is fictitious, some fans believe it is basically a parody of 2000-2003-era BNFs of Harry Potter fandom.[3] The story notes also reference events taking place in Lord of the Rings fandom, although neither fandom actually ever appears in the Mina stories.

In March 2014, Texas A&M University Cushing Memorial Library began hosting fanworks from the universe with creator permission. The collection can be viewed online here.

Setting the Stage

In her first set of footnotes, the author of Mina de Malfois sets the overall stage for her two main characters, Mina and Arc (short for Archivist 12):
"Presuppostions:

1. Mina and Arc are meant to resemble Bertie and Jeeves, with two obvious deviations: they are female, and Mina cannot be as inarticulate as Bertie, since she’s supposed to have achieved BNFdom through her writing. She is, however, oblivious to her own flaws and inconsistencies, as mofic described so well in fanthropology.

2. Mina is, as the Clives have noted, a fast-food worker. She lives in a grotty little apartment, alone.

3. Mina has convinced her fans she is a member of the aristocracy and lives at the Malfois Estate. She also aspires to Britishness. Arc, who actually is both wealthy and wellborn, knows better, but tolerates and supports Mina’s falsehoods for...reasons of her own.

4. Because this is about fandom, and not about the things-we're-fans-of, there are relatively few direct references to specific fandoms (other than made-up versions), and most action is about the fans, not the stars/writers/etc. This will be more obvious later, I hope."[4]
"“I blame the archive,” said Mary grimly. “It attracts fans and then….” She waved a hand expressively at the groups below. “This stuff happens.” ~Mina de Malfois"
animated banner advertising the Mina de Malfois journal. It reads:"I've stumbled across a crazy bunch of people online." "Yes, they're called 'fandom'." Artist: unknown

Reactions/Reviews

"The stories are a hilarious, insightful and ultimately loving parody of Online Fandom As We Know It, written with homage to Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories. Part roman a clef, part pastiche, the Mina stories manage never to fall over the edge into meanness. They remain loving portrayals of fandom's ideosyncracies and fans' peculiarities.

Mina is a BNF who will remind you of several people you know. She's self-centered and self-absorbed, yet somehow in spite of all that self-focus completely lacking in self-awareness. Like Bertie Wooster, she manages to be loveable nonetheless. Archivist12, known as Arc, is in the Jeeves role, and she is the behind-the-scenes brains who manages to keep Mina out of trouble most of the time and make trouble go away when Mina doesn't have the sense to listen to her. The stories are truly LOL funny but also with lines with a quiet cleverness that you go back to read again and again, marveling at the layers of parodic meaning and leaving the reader madly in love with Arc and only wishing she were real.

I thank mina_de_malfois for the best stories I've read on line in a long, long time. I hope Mina's anonymous author will grace us with many more in this series. "[5]
".... chronicles the exciting life of a prolific fanfic author, as well as the comings and goings of the Sanguinity fandom and the fanfic archive Penn'd Passions, which is run by Mina's friend Arc. Manages the feat of being not only a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of fandom, but also an entertaining story on its own as the reader becomes familiar with the universe and the cast. Pastiches P. G. Wodehouse heavily at the beginning, but rapidly develops its own style."[6]
"Don't know Mina? It's kind of indescribable, but: it's original fiction in the form of Mina's memoirs, where Mina is a twentysomething fangirl with delusions of BNFdom. Knowledge of particular fandoms isn't required -- although knowing Harry Potter probably helps -- the story is about fandom in general, and how wonderful and insane we are. In true "fandom is my fandom" spirit, MDM has inspired Yuletide and Femslash Annual requests for a few years now -- geez, it's been since 2006? -- and is the hilarious, heartwarming, and excellent tale of a young woman's experiences in the fictional Sanguinity fandom.

There are currently two and a half seasons, and the story's on hiatus for awhile, but there's plenty to enjoy. All of S1 seems to be available unlocked at Mina's JournalFen account. There are plenty o' instructions in her userinfo on how to get all the goods.

Now that that's out of the way, on to the earth-shattering OTP goodness:

The non-spoilery version is that Archivist12, aka Arc, is Mina's archivist and friend who helps her out when she gets in hot water and finds her endearingly silly. Arc is an Older (!) and wiser Woman, and she was a Girl Guide in her youth. [wink] She's basically just ten kinds of awesome and Mina's fans (and Mina's mun) as well as Mina herself have a bit of a crush on her (though it's unspoken in Mina's case). Let's see, it's a) lesbian with b) an age difference and c) takes place online, in a way that captures the wonder and absurdity of cyberculture. OTP, y/y."[7]
"Myself, I came across this via a bit of hopping from an lj account a friend pointed out to me, that of mina_de_malfois who is an fictional big name fan/author in an invented fandom, detailing the vagaries of fandom from within. It's quite amusing satire, with enough literary references thrown in to make me feel clever, and also makes me very glad that I've never done more than lurk at the fringes of fandom."[8]
[Description From the Fandom Wank Wiki]: "Mina de Malfois is a BNF "in at least two fandoms." She's also the mysterious author of a bunch of satirical stories about fandom. Since many of her stories are inspired by classic Fandom Wank entries, she has quite a few fans on Journalfen.

Like any self-respecting BNF, Mina keeps strict tabs on how many people are reading her stuff and who is allowed to. Currently, she posts her stories to the LJ community Minions de Mina after her own LJ, Mina de Malfois, reached its friending limit.

As of July 8, Mina is now on Journalfen.

She is also an acknowledged friend of CharlotteLennox,[9] and has dedicated two of her stories to Charlotte, fuelling speculation that the same shady figure lurks behind both.

Quotes: ""I’d been online friends with Arc since her fanfiction archive agreed to host my stories (as well it might: I’m ferociously well-known, and it must have been quite a boost for them, acquiring me)." - Mina de Malfois and the Snail Mail Affair"[10]
"It was pretty funny if you were familiar with the wanks she was parodying, mildly entertaining if not."[11]
"If you don't know [the wanks Mina is referring to], don't bother. I found it disappointingly dull, but I was never in Harry Potter fandom.[12]
"Mina de Malfois is a BNF in an imaginary fandom, who writes an ongoing account of her Adventures in Pretentiousness & Self-Importance. It's basically a parody of 2000-2003-era HP BNFs.[13]
"I encourage all on my friends list with an interest in fandom and a sense of humor to read the wonderful Mina de Malfois stories, now available on livejournal at http://mina-de-malfois.livejournal.com/. The stories are a hilarious, insightful and ultimately loving parody of Online Fandom As We Know It, written with homage to Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories. Part roman a clef, part pastiche, the Mina stories never fall over the edge into meanness. They remain loving portrayals of fandom's ideosyncracies and fans' peculiarities.

Mina is a BNF who will remind you of several people you know. She's self-centered and self-absorbed, yet somehow in spite of all that self-focus completely lacking in self-awareness. Like Bertie Wooster, she manages to be loveable nonetheless. Archivist12, known as Arc, is in the Jeeves role, and she is the behind-the-scenes brains who manages to keep Mina out of trouble most of the time and make trouble go away when Mina doesn't have the sense to listen to her. The stories are truly LOL funny but also with lines with a quiet cleverness that you go back to read again and again, marveling at the layers of parodic meaning and leaving the reader madly in love with Arc and only wishing she were real.

I thank mina_de_malfois for the best stories I've read on line in a long, long time. I hope Mina's anonymous author will grace us with many more in this series. [14]
I liked the first few stories in the series, but lately the context has changed. The "saga" used to be about the follies of a BNF named Mina. Now it's about the follies of fandom as observed by a wise old crone named Mina. Not the same. Not sure what I think about the change.

I was desperately disappointed that PrinceC didn't turn out to be a middle-aged woman.

Now I'm wondering when and how PrinceC's mommy is going to deal with Mina.

A problem is that Mina insists people friend her to read her stories. Plenty of people don't want to give an anonymous stranger access to their friends-locked posts. I'll bet there are people making up sock puppets for the purpose of friending her journal.

What X-Men Fandom Episodes would you suggest she spoof? Offhand I can only think of the stupid fight between the W/R factions, but despite what the W/R fans think, the entire Xverse did not care about their squabble. [15]

References

  1. Footnotes for Season 1 can be found here. Footnotes for Seasons 2 and 3 are friends-locked at JournalFen. Footnotes for all seasons are available at the individual entries at Dreamwidth.
  2. WebCite
  3. comment in fail-fandomanon dated Feb 5, 2013;reference link.
  4. The DeMina Codex (season one) dated May 6, 2006; reference link.
  5. Not Exactly Fanfic - Fiction with a Fanthropological Twist dated May 8, 2006; reference link.
  6. TV Tropes entry on Mina de Malfois (accessed Feb 11, 2014; reference link.
  7. [interesting archivist 12/mina de malfois] dated Aug 14, 2008; reference.
  8. comment in Old news to some, not news to others. dated June 21, 2006; reference link.
  9. The Fandom Wank Entry on Charlotte Lennox.
  10. WayBack Machine link to the Fandom Wank Wiki entry for Mina de Malfois (accessed Feb 11, 2014.
  11. comment in fail-fandomanon dated Feb 5, 2013; reference link.
  12. comment in fail-fandomanon dated Feb 5, 2013; reference link.
  13. comment in fail-fandomanon dated Feb 5, 2013;reference link.
  14. comment by Mo, May 8, 2006 at Mo's Journal - Something I love
  15. comment by Rachel Martin, July 1, 2006 at Mo's Journal - Something I love
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