Jane Austen fan fiction and the situated fantext
The example of Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman
Building on recent findings in the field of fan fiction studies, I claim that Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman is indirectly influenced by three cultural phenomena which centre around Jane Austen and her work. Aidan’s fan fiction text stays close to the spirit of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice because she “reimagines” the novel according to the interpretive conventions of the Republic of Pemberley, a fan community. These conventions demand respect for Austen and her novels because they are shaped by the broader, cultural conventions of Janeitism and Austen criticism. Similarly, Aidan’s text is more individualistic and “Harlequinesque” than Austen’s novel, because the Republic allows writers to reproduce the cultural reading which underlies BBC / A&E’s adaptation of Austen’s novel.
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