"original slash" rec and discussion of this term

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Title: "original slash" rec and discussion of this term
Creator: princessofgeeks
Date(s): Jan 7, 2009
Medium: Posted on dreamwidth
Fandom: Slash, Original Slash
Topic: Original slash as fanworks; slash as a genre
External Links: Castle Geekland - "original slash" rec and discussion of this term, Archived version
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"original slash" rec and discussion of this term is a short meta by princessofgeeks on whether slash has distinct tropes and aesthetics, even separate from other works of m/m fiction. The meta follows a rec for an original slash work and provoked further meta discussion in the comments.

Excerpt

"My question is now one of terminology. I see the term "original slash" bandied about, and I don't think I like it. But I'm not sure.

What is your take on this, oh internets? Is it a term we want to adopt?

It posits some kind of specific genre feel for slash, separate and apart from, say, as I would describe the Templar books, action/adventure (or whatever) genre with a romance that's M/M in the background, just as Spenser and Susan were together in Parker's series, or, pick your genre that has room for romance/relationships.

Is there enough "there" there to create this term "original slash"? Do we need it? What does it mean to you? Character-driven romance, yes yes, certainly, character-infused porn, certainly, genre fiction with a gay romance subplot? What?
But need it be a genre all its own? What does that do for us, to have it as an actual label?

Of course this revisits the question, Is there a slash aesthetic?, and I think there is, but maybe it's been independently invented in other places. Dunno. Because slash as compared to gay porn is one way to look at it and gives you one set of ideas about a slash aesthetic; slash as compared to mainstream m/f romance novels is another way of looking at it and gives you another set of ideas, and so forth."[1]

Responses

[wyomingnot]

"Since you asked.

In my personal dictionary, slash comes from subtext, not text. To me, Jack/Ianto is not slash. QAF slash? Um, no. If they're already queer/gay/bent/bi, then it's not slash.

Therefore, no such thing as 'original slash'."[1]

[klangley56]

"I have a "potted LoC" on the origin of the term slash (that I will spare you), but, yeah, it basically begins with media characters presented canonically as heterosexual and represented fan-fictionally as homosexual or bisexual. So I agree, representing characters as they already are in canon is just . . . plain old fan fiction to me.

I've seen the term "original slash" used as a marketing tool in fandom--folks putting out zines with original characters in same-sex relationships. Obviously they want to entice the slash fans . . ."

[princessofg]

something else occured to me:

maybe we could ride the wave of the way the term "ship" has morphed and is now applied to both slash and het? since het can be canon, and up until very recently slash was never canon, ship does not have that subtext-only connotation.

then with Templar we could say that ship is Simon and Jeremy. that it's original ship. or maybe that has problems to that i haven't considered yet....

[klangley56]

"Het can be subtext, too."

[princessofg]

yes; certainly! het can be and often is subtext.

i was just trying to think of a term that wouldn't REQUIRE it to be subtext the way the original meaning of slash did.

[exucutrix] "Also, we must not forget that certain items described as "original slash" are actually fanfics with the serial numbers filed off in the interests of commercial publishability.[1]
[radiotelescope] "I am perpetually fascinated by "genre" as a term. I see genre deriving from groups of people. So if the generation of writers that came up on writing fanfic is now bringing their sensibilities (the sensibilities of those fandoms) to commercial books -- non-fanfic books -- I could easily call that "original slash".

The label is then useful for having the discussions where you dig down and ask *what* sensibilities are shared here? (Like the comments in this post are already doing.)

Mind you, this is a hypothetical answer. I don't know if this is how anyone *else* is using, or would use, the term.

(I originally read your post as about "original fanfic", an even brain-hurtier term... and yet I can imagine that happening *too*...)"[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Original post on dreamwidth, Archived version (Accessed June 11, 2020)