January 20th, 2005

51 and 49

Canon canon canon starts with C.

Happy birthday, zeisgeist and til_midnight! Lara, I have a package for you that will probably go in Monday's mail.

It is no more than 61 degrees in this library. Jenny is wearing her coat. I'm wearing the Slytherin scarf Ma Cedar made for me and my extra sweater, and am seriously contemplating gloves. I hear it's even colder upstairs in the children's department. Fingers stiff. Typing interesting.

Every time I take that Which HP character are you? quiz I get different results. Four tests have my results as two Rons, one Remus, and one Snape. Draco tends to score second or third. Of course, like the half-Slytherin I am, I like to slant the test to get what I want. Guess that makes me Lucius Malfoy?

I forgot yesterday was Wednesday until Mr. Cedar went to watch The West Wing, so today is Fandom Wednesday Which Is Actually Thursday. Many ideas.

1) Thinking about this "list of HP fandom classics.": I don't like classics lists. I don't like them for books, I don't like them for movies, and I don't like them for fandom. Why? A classic is in the eye of the beholder. How much debate do we have over what books are good, what's a classic, what should/should not win awards? It's true that there are books/movies/music that stand the test of time, that people are still reading/listening to years after their debut, but there's also Mark Twain's view: "A classic is a book that everyone wants to have read and no one wants to read." I also think some of the fics on there are terrible (but some are good). My argument: The fandom is still in a state of heavy flux. It's huge, and more and more new readers and writers are joining every day. This fandom is only, what, four years old? Five? That's not long enough to determine what's really a classic. Often-recommended, by the way, is not the same as "classic." Often-recommended is something that can be counted, something with hard facts. How do we judge what a "classic" is? Hit count? Recommendations? Fanlistings? Number of people on the authors' mailing lists? Without looking at that list, I knew what was going to be on it, but who judges what a classic is? Personally, I think the best is yet to come of this fandom. I think if people look back on this fandom in 20 years, they'll see "classic" fics that haven't even been written yet.

I did add suggestions of two of my favorite fanfic authors in the comments (mmm, hypocrisy!), but I think that three pages of comments so far really shows that we don't yet know what a classic is in this fandom. It's not a matter of talent or plugging; it's a matter of time. It's also a matter of the unnaturally large size of the fandom. Everyone's got their favorites and everyone has their own definition of BNF, good writing, etc. Would I argue if someone thought one of my fics was a classic? No. That's their opinion. (Note: They haven't, and no one is going to because let's face it, second-person Lucius/James, Peter gen, and Percy learning the Killing Curse aren't exactly "classic" material, but I didn't join this fandom so someone else could think of my fic(s) as "classic.") However, I think at this point the fandom isn't in a position to choose its "classics." Wait another few years, or at least until Book 7 is done.

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