catalenamara (catalenamara) wrote,

Profic Fanfic

I’ve always been fascinated by and often enjoyed what I have recently taken to calling “profic fanfic”. i.e., modern novels based on popular/classic works from decades ago.

The first time I ran across profic fanfic was with Nicholas Myers’s 1970s era Sherlock Holmes pastiche “The 7% Solution”. I’ve since read a number of other Holmes pastiches.

I next encountered Jean Rhys’ 1960s era “Wide Sargasso Sea”, based on Jane Eyre:

From an Amazon review:
Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who grew up in the West Indies on a decaying plantation. When she comes of age she is married off to an Englishman, and he takes her away from the only place she has known--a house with a garden where "the paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living smell. Underneath the tree ferns, tall as forest tree ferns, the light was green. Orchids flourished out of reach or for some reason not to be touched."

The novel is Rhys's answer to Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë's book had long haunted her, mostly for the story it did not tell--that of the madwoman in the attic, Rochester's terrible secret. Antoinette is Rhys's imagining of that locked-up woman, who in the end burns up the house and herself. Wide Sargasso Sea follows her voyage into the dark, both from her point of view and Rochester's.

I’ve since read “Mary Reilly” (based on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”); next up on my reading list is “The Wind Done Gone” (based on “Gone with the Wind”). I’m planning to purchase “Ahab’s Wife” (based on “Moby Dick”) and I understand there are several Jane Austin pastiches.

Kinda laughing at myself here; in at least a couple of cases I don't even like the source material. "Gone With the Wind" was so annoying - 800 pages and not one single character I liked. And I've never been able to make it through "Moby Dick". But I just love the idea of "fanfic" based on these books.

Anyone care to add to this list?

And have there been any academic studies done of this phenomenon?

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