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Rewriting Classics, Righting Wrongs

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the complex motivations of fanfic authors, and the equally complicated responses of their readers in postings charged with intense and multifaceted emotional investment. Originally meaning "colleagues" or "comrades" in Chinese, tongren 同人 now signifies the genre of fanfic in Chinese Web argot; it acquired the additional layer of significance from Japanese works. The rewritings all fit the definition of fanfic in that they deliberately borrow from an original work, they are written without the initial creator's expressed permission, and they are usually not published professionally for profit. The chapter provides a perfect example of the "open canon" or "open archive" that fanfic can create, not because the canon is still being added to by the original author, but because they call out for creative consumption and the kind of repetitive reading that makes a difference both in the canon universe and in the participant's consciousness.

Keywords: Chinese Web argot; fanfic authors; open archive; open canon; rewriting classics; tongren; Yaya Bay



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