We know that creators can (and do) see their fandoms. So why do we keep pretending that they can’t?

Creators over here, please. (Photo by Tim Green on Flickr, available under CC BY 2.0.)

The “fandom fourth wall” is one of those foundational assumptions of fan culture that only ever seems to come up when it breaks. The fourth wall is a the idea that a proverbial one-way mirror separates fans from those that created the work or works at the center of their fandom. Fans, the reasoning goes, can look out at the authors, actors, band members, and others involved in the creation of their favorite text, but none of those people can look back and see into the inner workings of fandom.

Except it’s pretty clear that the fourth wall is more…

Meredith Rose

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