Thursday, January 24, 2019

Prologue to Chronicle on Susan Pevensie : Chiefly on Fan Fiction

I'm not sure if you know what fan fiction is.

It does not mean I write a novel entirely of my own, with all characters entirely of my own and take credit for that.

It doesn't mean I take someone else's novel and someone else's characters and change names and other items of exact wording and take credit for that (that's called plagairism).

It means I take the characters from someone else's novel and put them in a new novel or short story. I give them credit for original novels and take credit for my own imagination on what the original author(s) left undescribed.

As I said them, plural, not him, singular, this is actually fan fic on more authors' work than just C. S. Lewis' Seven Chronicles of Narnia.

As I wanted a girl somewhat more tomboyish than Susan Pevensie, and Lucy was already dead, and even Jill Pole was so, in came George (dare I mention at the end you may even call her Georgina?) from Enid Blyton. As I had Susan Pevensie persecuted by a Rabadash like person at the very first chapter, I felt like giving her a decent husband at the end. And Lost Road by Tolkien, John Ronald, came to mind. And obviously I mixed up Audoin and Alboin while doing so. Meanwhile, as she is a person living in England after seeing Narnia, he's one who has seen Numenor. And the Lombards. And a few more. Both have memories of a world they cannot go to. I'm going to explain (or here am explaining) the mixup with Tolkien giving the two Errols some anonymity by exchanging the names of father and of son in them.

As the presumed authorial voice in nearly all of the seven chronicles (all but the last) is a Digory Kirke, who was child and (I presume) well into his youth when Sherlock Holmes was doing detective work on Baker Street, in comes Doctor Watson. With Holmes and Watson around, I can't keep Father Brown out ....

Some guys have a deep antipathy for the whole concept of fan fic, not to mention fan fic crossing over between different authors' different universes. While bad stuff exist, good stuff also exists and on Narnia, mine is not the most noble, but perhaps the most exhaustive. Susan fics (that is fan fictions about Susan Pevensie, notably after the Last Battle) are hard to find but seem to have been very prolific once, and they are difficult to do well. I think my attempt may be the best one of those still available, because I do try to tie together so many loose ends, but there are other fields of Narnian fan fic and some have done better than I there. In Narnia, not in England, as I am doing. The best type, of those I have seen, are set between most chapters of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Horse and His Boy. Or some even introduce Swanwhite.

If you are longing for something set in Narnia, don't waste your time on this one right now, Aslan had told Susan she would never return to Narnia. A Susan fic is per definition, nearly, set outside Narnia.

My Susan fic was provoked by Neil Gaiman's (more or less acknowledged) such. Even before I read it, because I had heard of it and of its faults. Not as if I took up the pen (or keyboard) same second, I'm not Reepicheep, but inspiration came not very much later.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St. Timothy of Ephesus

PS, plagairism is of course meant to be plagiarism./HGL

Now, if you are not already there, go to chapter 1:

Susan has a bad fright.

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