Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fans

As you know, I've been thinking about fandom lately. I read this item today; it's about a proposed television version of Lev Grossman's outstanding book The Magicians. In it, Sarah Arboleda proposes that as a book about fandoms -- fandoms of fantasy worlds that it turns out are real -- with in-real-life fans, it could be successful if it really appealed and worked for those people enthusiastic about the book already; in which case it would lose the coveted (still?) Average Viewer. And of course if it worked for the average viewer, it probably wouldn't be anything that outstanding or lasting.

Even as I write, I've brought to mind the latest Criticism of YA Books That Shall Not Be Named. This gist of the Slate editorial was that adults should be ashamed of themselves for indulging in teen books; adults read literary fiction. A glance at a bestseller list, or a day of readers' advisory at a public library tells another tale entirely. Adults read James Patterson and Debbie Macomber and Nikki Turner. Maybe it would be okay if a T.V. version of The Magicians turned out merely pretty good? I keep telling myself that much of the BBC's Merlin is fair-to-kinda bad. Yet I watched all the way to the end; I saw another Arthur off to Avalon. Like versions of Alice, I seem to have a hierarchy of versions of Camelot stories. Nicely acted, with gorgeous sets and generally-good costumes, Merlin's not as low as Disney's Sword in the Stone or Excalibur.

Well, I digress, as fans do, and I drag myself back to the Arboleda article: if there's a "divide between 'normals' and 'fans'," which side do I fall on? I keep thinking I'm not ... something enough to really be a fan. I'm not back-and-forth with others on tumblr or blogs or whatever. I tear through something, think about it a bit -- and these days reinforce it looking at Pinterest. Maybe I am a quiet fan.

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