Characters’ Pilgrimage from the Canon to Fanfiction: A Gestalt Approach


Iryna Morozova, Odesa Mechnikov National University, Ukraine
Olena Pozharytska, Odesa Mechnikov National University, Ukraine
Published: July 28, 2021

Citation: Morozova, I., & Pozharytska, O. (2021). Characters’ Pilgrimage from the Canon to Fanfiction: A Gestalt Approach. IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship, 10(1).


Most academic circles treat fanfiction as “paraliterature” (Krauss, 1980) created by fans of a certain literary work. Fanfiction (also abbreviated to fan fic, fanfic, or fic) presents a new field of analysis not only for literature, but also for linguistic studies. The current paper aims at combining the research practices of both of them in order to disclose the literary and lingual essence of fanfics within J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe. For this purpose, we have made an attempt to apply the cognitive theory of Gestalt (introduced into the research world by the well-known psychologist Max Wertheimer) to the lingual analysis of fanfiction. We shall argue that in the three fanfics studied, the virtual images of Harry Potter, Hermione and Ron are preserved on the level of their individual speech Gestalts. We shall also argue that the fanfic author’s personal sympathies may change at least one of the characters’ profiles within a fanfic, while leaving the rest of them mostly unchanged so as to serve as an easily recognized background for the favorite personage. In other words, the author’s angle of vision structures not only a fanfic’s narrative, but it may also re-build the artistic and speech image(s) of one or more characters, though preserving the others’ images as given in the canon text.


artistic and speech image, character’s profile, fanfiction, Gestalt, literary work