Word of God

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See also: TPTB, TPTB's Involvement and Interference, Affirmational Fandom, Resistant Reading, Fan Service, canon, Authorial Intent
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a 1991 letter printed in Engage! #5 from Richard Arnold "Star Trek Research Consultant" in which he tells fans, among other things, that: "No one but Gene has the right to say what is good Star Trek and what is not... neither the authors nor the fans. Not even me.'"

The term word of god is used to describe interpretations of canon that come directly from the author, show creator, and other authorities of this sort. Word of god is often used to settle canon vs. fanon disputes (especially involving shipping [1] [2]) and sometimes to announce retcons. It also frequently causes wank.

Fannish POVs

  • "[....] if you prioritise the books over the author, then anyone with access to the books can meaningfully take part in the conversation. If you prioritise the author criticism becomes a matter of sitting at the author's feet with your begging bowl hoping for the word of god to come down and enlighten you. I find the former infinitely more appealing than the latter." [3]
  • "My opinion is that Rowling can say whatever she wants and its her world and what she says is the bottom line. Word Of God after all. But really, i dont see the point in getting my back up about any of it. I like hearing what she has to say about her series though. All those extra little tidbits are fun." [4]
  • "Word of God is sacrosanct for a reason. It's why people even bother listening to people in panels. Eg: asking Greg to clarify the timeline for the fall of Sirius. Fan conjecture is fanon. Because it originates with fans. Word of God is Word of God, even when it's stupid (RPM is its own universe)." [5]
  • About fans writing Deathfic in the Star Wars universe: "Killing a Lucas character raises the question of our responsibility as 'secondary' creators toward 'primary' creations, and their author. Are they, in fact, Lucas' characters, or have they become 'our' characters through their public distribution in the movies. How major a change in characterization, motive, etc., can we legitimately make in them (and death is about a major a change as we can get, one would thing)? ... I think we would all agree it is a moral issue that every fannish writer has to take some sort of stand on..." [6]

Meta/Further Reading

References

  1. werepuppyblack, One True Pairing Meme. "Again, this pairing makes more sense if you watch the show. They act as though they are a couple, and it certainly is implied that people might think of them that way. Word of God says it was never intended to be that way though." Posted Nov 17, 2009. Last accessed December 03, 2010.
  2. MugenGinga, Comment on United by Sepsku. "AtemxYuugi is actually the only ship I support in that show. I respect Takahashi-sensei's Word of God about Mai and Jounouchi being platonic." Posted July 12, 2010. Last accessed December 03, 2010.
  3. Arthur B, Comment on 'Man With Pickaxe: The Myth of Canon' by Daniel Hemmens. Posted August 19, 2010. Last accessed December 03, 2010.
  4. Slartibartfast, Re: JK Rowling: Revelations Since Deathly Hallows. Posted June 21, 2010. Last accessed December 03, 2010.
  5. Cmdr Crayfish, Ranger Comebacks. Last accessed December 03, 2010.
  6. [from the second issue of Jundland Wastes #2], May 1981