'86 Rabbit

A FANGirl's Forkstress of Solitude

It’s Just A Book

Mom has never understood my Fangirl, nor my FANGirl, ways. Star Wars is, “just a story.” Anne Rice’s vampires, “are not real.” Twilight is, “just a book.” I never understood why she didn’t get excited about the books she read. Well, she gets excited, but there isn’t the fervor, the obsession, that I experience when I really get into a ‘verse. She just lets the book or movie wash over her. There is nothing more to it. I had hope for her when she read Harry Potter. She read it before I did, and I loved listening to her frequent tidbits about how imaginative it is. When I finally read it I thought we’d have great Potter talks. Not so. She didn’t remember a lot of it, and now that she wasn’t in the middle of reading it, it was, “just a book.” This is the difference between an avid reader and a fangirl, I suppose.

Ok, so that’s the back story. Today, I told Mom what a delightful time I had talking to Peanut the other day, and that we talked a lot about Twilight. I told her about Peanut being interested in certain labs and lectures at schools because of the Twilight connection, and about my epiphany that this is what any sort of fandom does for people. She agreed and said her genealogy work had sparked an interest in Irish history. Previously she was never a fan of history. Then the inevitable came: “But Edward’s not real.” She continued with her usual diatribe that he’s just a character, it’s just a story, and there isn’t anything more to it than what’s on the page. When I was Peanut’s age, I was all about Star Wars. I wondered about the stuff fangirls wonder about. If I had known then what I know now, I would have written fanfic and probably would have written several Star Wars novels in the expanded universe by now. Mom told me I couldn’t write in someone else’s ‘verse, essentially, that I had to write my own stuff.

So, what do you say when someone says, “He’s not real,” about our beloved Edward (or Jacob, if you swing that way)? You sound as crazy as they already know you are if you just say, “Wait…Wh-what do you…I don’t…Ya-huh!” Well, I had another epiphany today, and I think I stumped Mom. I said, “You know, if it weren’t for fans, there wouldn’t be any classics, no one to debate the merits of Jane Austen, no one to discuss symbolism and subtext.”

What do you think? Is this why we have classics? Is it because a group of people loved a story so much that a collective discussion started and just never ended? It can’t all be critical acclaim and academia. Books have to sell, too. That means fans are a necessity in the making of a classic, I would think.

April 15, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I think arguments like “But he’s not real!” are dumb, generally speaking. Using that logic, as you sort of touched on, then why enjoy any works of fiction, if none of it is real?

    People who throw out stuff like that are missing the point. It’s about being able to connect with and invest in the story and the characters and connect it with your life and your experience – that’s what makes it real, and that’s what allows Twilight (and all other works of fiction) to manifest itself in the lives of the fans.

    Comment by Jordan | April 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. I hear ya. I thought of another analogy last night. Think of one of those panorama exhibits at a museum. A reader looks through the glass an appreciates the scene for a little while. A fan steps through the glass, studies the world from all angles, hangs out and lives in that world for a time.

    Comment by '86 Rabbit | April 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. I totally agree with Jordan-if a little late to this post!
    Why read fiction at all if you feel it’s ‘just a story’?
    That’s the point!! It’s something to take you into another world and give enjoyment and pleasure-and oh the pleasure Edward gives!! A Mr Darcy for the new century and new generations-and a character who will be discussed by fangirls for a ling time to come!
    Some people become more invested than others-and they are the ones who the book has really reached.
    As a fan of many alternate realities I see where you are coming from!

    Comment by ozkitty | April 25, 2009 | Reply

  4. Welcome to my blog, and thanks for your comments!

    Comment by '86 Rabbit | April 26, 2009 | Reply

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