The mediation of fandom in Karin Giphart's "Maak me blij"
The plot of the Dutch novel Maak me blij (Make me happy) (2005) by Karin Giphart draws from the culture of online fan communities. It describes the life of a lesbian in her late 20s, Ziggy, who has a terminally ill mother. Ziggy is an active fan who writes and reads femmeslash fan fiction—that is, lesbian interpretations of characters from mainstream series such as Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001). By providing through Ziggy a personal view of fan communities and the genres that flourish there, Maak me blij connects the romantic motives of original lesbian fiction with its underground sister, fan fiction. The novel draws from various source texts and illustrates how fans interpret texts within a wider literary landscape. I use the concept of intermediality to analyze how Maak me blij mediates different types of original fiction (lesbian romances, science fiction) and fan fiction (femmeslash, Star Trek fan fiction) to establish new views on fandom and its construction of gender and intimacy. These motives are not only apparent within the text itself but also within the character of Ziggy as a fan writer with her own original alien characters.
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