Resistant Reading

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Synonyms:
See also: Id Vortex, Authorial Intent
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In discussions of fanworks, "resistant reading" is a term often used to describe deliberately interpreting canon in ways that are counter to author's (stated or implied) intent. For instance, arguing that the Slytherins are the true heroes of the Harry Potter books or that Susan in the Narnia books is treated unfairly by Aslan may be described as resistant readings. Cori Falls was infamous for this in hew viewing of the Pokémon anime, seeing Team Rocket as the true heroes and Ash Ketchum as the unrepentant villain.

One proposed theory of slash is that it is a form of resistant reading (or queering the text) that resists the historical tendency of canon to focus on presumptively heterosexual white men by allowing members of other groups to add themselves and their experiences to the text by proxy. Slash may also be described as resistant reading simply in the sense that characters an author intends to portray as heterosexual are often interpreted as bisexual or gay by fans, not because they are unaware of the author's intent, but because they choose to disregard it.

Recently, however, resistant reading has become a theme of shipping in general; the biggest examples include Avatar: The Last Airbender fans who disregard the canon Aang/Katara relationship and choose to see it as a Zuko/Katara love story, or Harry Potter fans who ignore the canon couples in favor of Harry/Hermione. This can even happen in canons where couples are only implied, where the fans feel "forced" to ship the couple with the most hints instead of the one they prefer. Fire Emblem is a good example of this.

Character death can also factor into resistant reading; if a character's fate is left ambiguous in the actual text, fans will come up with reasons and ways for them to still be alive even if the creator either states outright or implies that the character died.