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Old June 2 2012, 01:21 PM   #23
Christopher
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

^No, don't call it "personal canon," because that's a contradiction in terms. "Canon" means official. It's the exact opposite of personal opinion. In its literal definition, it means what the church defines as official doctrine or accepted holy texts. Canon comes from the institution, not from the individual.

The mistake people make when speaking of fictional canon is treating "canon" as though it were a value judgment, rather than simply a description of a category. It's certainly a value judgment in its religious usage, but it shouldn't be in a fictional context. It doesn't mean "what's true" or "what's real," since it's all made up, after all. Any long-running canon ignores or contradicts parts of itself, so whether something is canon has nothing to do with whether it's treated as "real."

Canon is canon whether you accept it or not. Personally I don't consider "The Alternative Factor" or "The Counter-Clock Incident" or "Threshold" or various other episodes to have happened. I don't count them in my personal continuity. But I still accept that they are part of the canon, because "canon" simply means "the original body of work as distinct from derivative works." That they are part of the canon is simply a fact, not an opinion or value judgment. Something can be part of the canon and still be disregarded by the individual.
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