7/17/07

Confessional

Those who know me from here know that I have certain conflicted feelings about the literary meta-genre known commonly as fanfic. I am not a stranger to its disquieting allure; I've participated in a few fandoms where I wrote the stuff myself.

But the phenomenon of Brokeback Mountain fan fiction and slash is particularly unsettling to me. I won't read it.

In part, it's because I love the story and characters of Ang Lee's film so purely, and don't like the idea of anyone else pulling their puppet-strings. There's also the trivialization aspect: while there are bound to be exceptions, in general the goal appears to be titillation. Ennis and Jack deserve more respect than that.

I also have my own reservations regarding the writing of fanfic. Because I have such difficulty creating a fictional universe and populating it with original characters, for me the concept of borrowing an already-proven world seems an easy out, a cheat. I'm not saying that's how it is for others who write it; just me.

So when I found myself returning again and again to an idea about a BBM character, I refused to give it life on the grounds above. That is, until one afternoon as I was driving home from work. I'd been playing Live's Throwing Copper in the car for a week or so, but for some reason, that afternoon, I heard "Pillar of Davidson" as if for the first time. While there are some generally agreed upon interpretations of these lyrics, something tells me that Ed Kowalczyk never dreamed he would inspire a reluctant fan fiction story about BBM.

All of this is by way of confessing to having written a piece called Shepherd. Previously, I allowed an online friend to post it anonymously for me at BrokebackSlash several weeks ago. I'm posting a link rather than the text in case there are any visitors who, like me, do not wish to read fanfic. Am I the queen of irony or what?

2 comments

Xenia said...

Briefly about fanfic : I read some of them, and I started to read them to find relief mainly in an erotical way…I don’t know if this is too embarassing to be aired on internet but one of the first sensation BBM related that I remember I’ve felt is the persistent sensual/sexual disturbance, anxiety (I don’t know exactly how translate the Italian term “turbamento”) that I try to relieve reading fanfic…
All this being said : some of them are crap, some are decent, some are well written, some are very well written, and there’s some rare poetry too…
You can say I’ve read a few uh?

And there’s nothing new in revising an existent theme…the Greeks kept rewriting the same myths on and on …I think it’s not repeating, it’s renewing…

About your Shepherd: it’s a very delicate tale Cherita, I can envision this middle-aged man, whose world is upset by his encounter with Beauty and Innocence…I can see why you don’t like slash with its porno vibes…

cherita said...

Thanks again, Xenia. I don't think you failed at all in your description of the sensations sparked by BBM, because the same thing happens to me. There's such a powerful attraction and longing between Jack and Ennis that it can't help but spill over onto the audience.

I certainly don't want to come across as puritanical or prude, because that would be misleading. In fact, soon I will post the other story I wrote, with Jack's POV, which was originally inspired by a morning shower fantasy. Yes, that's right, I do sometimes think about our boys in that way. I just don't want to be reduced to only thinking about them in that way, which is one of the side effects I fear from the reading of erotic fanfic.