The Vulnerability of the Fanfiction Writer: When the Other Transgresses into Otherness

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Writing and publishing fanfiction is done freely and without any prospect of monetary or materialistic reward. The acknowledgement by the readers through comments, reviews, and kudos has to suffice instead. In their interactions with the reader the writer relies on the reader's recognition of Løgstrup's ethical demand. The encounter between the two puts the reader in the role of the 'I' who has to meet 'the Other', the writer, with respect, mercy, and an intention to not cause any harm. The writer trusts the reader to do so and is thus able to publish the story and continue writing.

In the article, Løgstrup's unspoken ethical demand and its plea for empathy from the reader will be used as the framework for understanding and analysing the interactions between reader and writer. Focus will be on the commenter.

The area of concern is seen in the commenter's failure to recognise and fulfil the ethical demand, and instead turn the story itself into an end, using the writer just as a means to be entertained or, maybe even worse, trying to assert themselves. The commenter's failure can be obvious, when comments turn into flaming, typically done anonymously. But the transgressions can be more subtle, like demands for the writer to change the storyline, argue about characterisation, or in other ways trying to manipulate the writer's own intentions to meet the commenter's wishes and wants.

In conclusion, the article will contribute with a tentative framework for the different kinds of transgressions happening in the meeting of the reader with the writer, as well as reflections upon the consequences for fandom and the field of fanfiction, whenever such transgressions occur.

The research is conducted through autoethnography and action research, and is ongoing.
Translated title of the contributionFanfiction forfatterens sårbarhed: Når den Anden bliver til Andethed
Original languageEnglish
Publication date22 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2014
EventOtherness and Transgression in Celebrity & Fan Cultures - Århus Universitet, Århus, Danmark, Århus, Denmark
Duration: 21 Nov 201422 Nov 2014


ConferenceOtherness and Transgression in Celebrity & Fan Cultures
LocationÅrhus Universitet, Århus, Danmark

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