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le NouvelObs on HP Fanfic

Fans
Posted by: Melissa
August 27, 2005, 06:35 PM

French magazine le NouvelObs has published an article about HP fanfic that quotes from TLC editor Heidi Tandy:

"Heidi Tandy explains this popularity by the ease with which people can participate: "More than an litterary ambition, Harry's adventures drive its readers to write. They are so fascinating, that it is impossible to just read them---you must also actively take part in them."
TLC reader Jérémie Lumbroso has graciously translated the article, which you can read by clicking below!
HARRY POTTER AND HIS FOLLOWERS
[The adventures of the young wizard apprentice have elicited hundreds of thousands of "sequels", with varying degrees of success, all available on the Net. And has perhaps revealed some future writers.]

July was ending, and emotions ran high with the Harry Potter fans. Less than fifteen days after the sixth book--"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"--made its way in stores and libraries of the UK and the USA, an american newspaper, the Watley Review, was announcing the release of a corrected version of this book. A disappointed fan, Mary Sue Pembroke, would have rewritten the book to include an american exchange student romantic interest for Harry.

It was an elaborate joke. Of course, nobody was going to publish an unauthorized volume of the adventures of the most famous wizard in the world. But this joke was based off a reality: on Internet, thousands of stories, written by "Harry"'s readers, extend the adventures of the heroes created by J. K. Rowling. Called fanfiction, these stories are written fans of a TV show, movie, or book, who reuse the universe and characters provided by the original work.

This litterary genre is not new. The admirators of novelists such as Jane Austen or Lewis Carroll used to do this in fanzines, in the 1920's, followed fifty years later by the fans of Star Trek and Star Wars. But Internet greatly popularized this hobby. Authors can now share their productions with fans worldwide.

"Harry Potter" is a prime symbol of this explosion. Fanfiction.net archives 201389 potterish sequels, and this doesn't take into account specialized sites, such as Fictionalley.org, where over 90000 stories
are published.

Heidi Tandy, DA in Miami et founder of Fictionalley.org, estimates her site get more than 1 million hits a day. With 77000 members---teens, thirty-somethings and senior citizens---it is the biggest Harry Potter community on the web.

These virtual amateur writers (their works sometime reach 600 pages, et they sometimes dedicate more than 30 hours a week writing them) speculate on events to come in the next book(s), on the sentimental relationship of the heroes---that is, when they do not completely rewrite the saga.

Heidi Tandy explains this popularity by the ease with which people can participate: "More than an litterary ambition, Harry's adventures drive its readers to write. They are so fascinating, that it is impossible to just read them---you must also actively take part in them."

Thus, many such as Cassandra Claire, author of one of the more popular fanfics of the internet ---her trilogy about Draco has drawn over 30,000 connections per chapter---have decided to take a hand in this adventure.

"I wanted to give a friend gift---she wanted me to write something with this plot bunny: a potion lesson goes wrong, and Harry and Draco switch bodies. What was really great and moving, was the intimate author-reader relationship. Some told me my story helped them face difficult times."

And this fervor does not seem in danger. Contrarily to Anne Rice, who demanded fanfic about her vampire series be removed, JK Rowling encourages this creative spur: "It is beyond great, that Harry has encouraged so many people to write."

The trend is beginning to cause stirs within the world of publishers. Some fanfic authors have managed to sign contracts with editors.

Cassandra Claire has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster, one of the greatest american publishers, to write the trilogy of the adventures of Clary, an ordinary New-York girl who discovers a world of demons, of masterful warlocks, and of hunters that fight them both. Pionneer, perhaps, of an entire generation of Internet writers, started by this wizard Harry Potter obviously is.

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