Classic Canon Challenge

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Name: Classic Canon Challenge
Date(s): 2004, "ran for two cycles"
Moderator(s): Flourish
Founder: McKay
Type: Fusion-type pastiche
Fandom: Harry Potter, other
Associated Community:
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Classic Canon Challenge was Harry Potter-ish fiction challenge.

From its description on Archive of Our Own where it now resides:
Long ago, McKay created the "Classic Canon Challenge." The challenge was to re-interpret a work from the Western canon, Harry Potter-style. It ran for two cycles in the mid-naughts. Later, the LiveJournal community for the challenge - [HP_Classic]- was opened to all Harry Potter stories based off of classic texts from any country around the world, even if Western scholars might not consider them "canonical." This collection is even broader: it is for fanfiction which is a pastiche or re-interpretation of classic fiction, through the lens of any fandom. [1]

The Original Challenge

FAQ from Archive of Our Own

My story is a fic of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Can it be a part of this collection?

No. This collection is only for stories that are re-interpretations of canonical work through the lens of another fandom. So, a story that transposes Macbeth into Star Trek: ToS land would be OK, but a story that's about the characters of Macbeth without any transposition is not.

My fic is based off of $foo. I consider $foo to be a classic story, but I'm not sure. Can it be a part of this collection?

Maybe. This is not a moderated collection, and you can decide for yourself if your story fits in here. The biggest thing to remember is that this collection is not intended to solely represent the U.S. and European canons, so by all means, include stories based on other countries' classic stories! If you still have doubts, try asking yourself a couple questions to see if it fits into the spirit of the collection: Is it based off of a myth? (If the answer is "yes," this is probably not the best collection for your story.) Is it based off of a work of great literature? (If the answer is "no," think hard about whether it belongs here - while the definition of 'great literature' is hard to pin down, this collection was intended to focus more on high art than on pop art, if you know what I mean.)

I hate the idea of the 'literary canon.' It's just another way for people to control your mind and shape what you consider 'good' or 'bad.'

I, too, have some of these concerns! And I don't have a very good answer, because in some ways, this collection does reify the concept of a "canon." I do, however, think that it's fun and useful to subvert classic texts, which is what I hope many of the stories in this collection will do. We're kind of stuck with the idea of canonical texts - whether it's the hoary old Western canon that my English-professor grandfather likes to elaborate on, or whether it's another more international list of Great Works. So let's at least have some fun with it, eh?

I know what story my fic is supposed to be based off of, but it's not immediately clear, because I do a lot of reinterpretation. Is that okay?

It's much nicer for readers if you make it clear what story your fic is supposed to be based off of. This collection is intended for readers to find stories that are based off of classic works of original fiction, and some of them may be looking for stories that reinterpret particular works. Of course, it's up to you in the end, but...



  1. Classic Canon (Challenge)