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Anything That Moves Me

Even Achilles Ate Ketchup

I arrived at this silly title after reading Daniel Mendelsohn's review of Madeline Miller's debut novel, "The Song of Achilles," in Sunday's NY Times book review and filtering it through a recent conversation with a friend about Mary Renault's novels.

Let's start with that conversation. My friend, a gay man in his early thirties,  Read More 
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The Pleasures and Perils of Prono

I got my first angry e-mail message the other day from a Jane Austen fanfic site:

“It is thoroughly disgusting to read of your use of the P&P characters to write prono [sic] to Jane Austen's works.
You should be ashamed but I am sure the money you are raking makes it all worth it to you.”

Where to start? Surely Austen fanfic writers are better spellers, although perhaps it's a clever device for getting the message past my e-mail program's spam filter. And does anyone really believe that writers like me are “raking” in money? Seriously? Or that we write for any other reason than that we need to, have to--that it's a labor of love? And what, exactly, do fanfic writers do, if not “use” another writer's characters? And why is using them in anything, from “prono” to alphabet books to Christian inspirational romance, reprehensible?  Read More 
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