New Media Studies
Foreword: The “Imaginary Opponents” of Digital Fandom (and Fan Studies)
foreword The “Imaginary Opponents” of Digital Fandom (and Fan Studies) Matt Hills “It was you who filled in the blanks on your own. … The real culprit is your exces- sive intertextual reading and linking of literary references. … And that’s where the danger lies: an excess of references may have caused you to create the wrong opponent, or an imaginary opponent.” —Pérez-Reverte, The Club Dumas, p. 335 In this second edition of Digital Fandom (just as in its predecessor) Paul Booth uses The Club Dumas as a fertile source of chapter epigraphs. When I was very kindly invited to write this short piece, I rapidly decided that I’d better follow suit—not so much to blend in, but more to see what other, remaining Pérez-Reverte quotes I could mine for Dumasian significance. And nearing the end of this twisting, turning literary-fan-thriller, our hero of sorts, Corso, confronts the idea that he may have been too (fannishly) keen to spot pat- terns and too enthusiastic to trace intertextual webs of meaning. The result, perhaps, is that he has created his own opponents, and narrated his own story. And herein lies one danger of penning a foreword to a rich and multi-layered academic book like this one: I might spot the wrong patterns, make the wrong links, and thus imagine an idiosyncratic set of interlocutors or opponents to the vital arguments contained within. But I’ll have to take that chance. So, here goes … xii digital fandom 2.0 Forewords are a curious...
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