The Lizzie Bennet diaries: fan-creator interactions and new online storytelling

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Seymour, J, Roth, J & Flegel, M 2015, 'The Lizzie Bennet diaries: fan-creator interactions and new online storytelling', The Australian Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 4, no. 2 & 3, pp. 99-114.

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Bernie Su and Hank Green’s online adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice ([1813] 1995), the Lizzie Bennett Diaries (2012, LBD hereafter), offers a new authorship device and a potential way to negotiate the current tensions engendered by struggles over cultural production and reproduction on the Internet. A great part of LBD’s success, confirmed by the many awards the series received, was its complication of authorial power and textual ownership. Fans occupied the same space as characters to become characters themselves; producers became viewers who carefully followed fan responses and incorporated them into the storyline; fans’ blogs and texts developed character arcs, deepened understanding of characters themselves and moved the narrative as a whole; and producers entered fan spaces to discuss narrative developments. However, while LBD does offer some possibilities going forward, it also illuminates the tensions between existing and emergent production paradigms created by an increase in Internet participatory culture that remain to be overcome.

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