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Selling a book by its cover

What causes people to buy certain books, is it the author, the title or the book cover? Publishing houses aim to sell books and in doing that they are conscious of what is on the book cover. From the font of the title and authors name and any pictures that represent what the book is about, the publishers arrange all of this so that the cover will catch the eye of a potential buyer. So, do people focus more on how the cover looks or are they more interested in the actual story of the book?

  • On Goodreads, I occasionally come across readers who buy a book because of how gorgeous the cover is - and they later find out it's just a bad story in a pretty wrapping. (I myself have been guilty of this, which now makes me wary of buying a book based solely on its cover.) But I do think the author's name is a big factor; if you've read a good series/standalone by a certain author, you're more likely to purchase their newest publication, perhaps without even looking at the new story's synopsis because it's expected the newest venture will be just as well-written or funny or action-packed as the last one. Even if it's a flop or not as great, copies will still sell solely based on the success attached to the author's name. For example, I know people who bought J.K Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy" simply because of her name on the cover, even though they were warned it was nothing like Harry Potter and they inevitably hated or gave up reading it. – Karen 2 months ago
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  • Good topic. So good that a really interesting book of scholarly essays has already been compiled on the subject. It's worth checking out if you're interested in paratextuality of this kind: Judging a Book by its Cover: Fans, Publishers, Designers, and the Marketing of Fiction (2007), ed. Nicole Matthews & Nickianne Moody. – ProtoCanon 2 months ago
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  • Obviously people are going to judge a book by its cover. We shouldn't, but it happens all the time. Covers are designed to grab our attention with the most marketable facets of the book. The only real way to combat a bad cover is good buzz circulating around the book community. – AGMacdonald 2 months ago
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  • Nice topic. We all can't help but judge a book by its cover occasionally. A good cover and title grabs our attention it makes us pick it up and read the description. I've noticed that I am more likely to buy or check out a book with a cover I like, but only if the story sounds interesting to me. I still pick up books even if I'm not a fan of the cover. – TooBusyReading 2 months ago
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Can you truly fall in love with a fictional character?

Analyse a human being’s ability to fall in love with a character – written, portrayed or presented in any form – despite the fact that that character can never acknowledge that person or return their love. In essence; is it possible to love a fictional character unrequitedly.

  • A truly fascinating topic. One reason someone might fall in love with a character is because the story that character was in helped that person through tough times. I and many other people go through rough spots in our daily lives, and we often escape reality through a book, or a TV show, or what ever else . We might attach ourselves to a specific character because we feel they fill in a gap in our real lives that is surely lacking. Maybe a character made us laugh, cry, or inspire bravery we never knew we had inside ourselves. – Aaron Hatch 2 years ago
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  • Fictional characters are never completely "fictitious" in nature. As readers we often find ourselves related to them in way or another. To take superheroes for example, apart from their powers, their life struggles are never too far from our own challenges. – aferozan 2 years ago
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  • This seems like it would be incredibly interesting. As readers, we get to know the main character of a novel incredibly intimately, more so than any other character in the story. I suppose it depends largely on one's definition of love, but we certainly have powerful emotional attachments to these characters. – Null 2 years ago
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  • Fictional characters can be every bit as well fleshed-out as any real person in our lives, I think. It is the depth of a character that allows someone to experience a depth of emotions in relation to that character. But is love possible? I don't know myself, which I suppose is what makes this an intriguing concept for me. If I were to posit a single question, I would have to wonder whether someone could ever love someone that would be completely unable to ever react to their own presence. People fall in love with fictional characters all the time--it's a big reason why some relationships fail, I think--the misperception and misrepresentation of someone as something desirable to that person. The real question at hand is whether it can be love when this very "person" does not even truly exist outside of a limited fantasy world. I wonder if you could maybe find instances of this? Or perhaps case studies related to the topic? Most certainly, you'd have to relate someone's personal feelings for a fictional character, and whether or not those feelings truly exist. – Farrow 2 years ago
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  • Absolutely, it is the safest way to fall in love. All the vicarious pleasure and non of the pain! – Munjeera 2 years ago
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  • This is an amazing topic. Seriously, really, really cool. I think it's definitely possible, especially, and the writer of this topic may want to touch upon this, if the person who is falling in love is the actual author of the story. – Jaye Freeland 2 years ago
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  • I really like this idea. I think the concept of "love" here would be a bit different, naturally, from the bond between two real people. You could explore how it may be comforting or maybe build confidence when someone finds interest in a fictional character. In other words, it can possibly help prepare them for a relationship in real life perhaps. – Filippo 2 years ago
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  • I would love to see the examples you use to analyze someone's ability to fall in love with a ficitonal character. I think perhaps going from different aspects (film, movies, novels,) would be a great approach. I think it's definitely possible especially with some of the fanfiction I've read in recent years. – alexusariana 2 years ago
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  • I wouldn't say truly, I would call it more of an infatuation, since you are not getting a two sided relationship. Much like when you develop a crush on someone and you are seeing them with rose colored glasses. – Quinzel 2 years ago
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  • I think people can truly fall in love with a fictional character. As another user has mentioned, this is especially possible if the character is two-dimensional and relatable, or just overall very likable and courageous. This makes for a very interesting and fascinating topic. – enizzari 1 year ago
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  • Wow...as a literature and psychology major I am placed in a precarious situation while approaching this topic. The book lover in me wants to say, "of course you can," whereas the psychoanalytical thinking side is about to grab the DSM and see if there is a clinical diagnosis for this. I think, as with all things in life, a key facet to consider is moderation; to truly admire the qualities of a character and find them to be an incomparable being is fine. Yet, if a reader becomes so fixated with a character that they are unable to engage in a real relationship due to holding their standard of acceptable partnership based on this particular character--then this is problematic! But, when we find a character we truly love and hate to finish the last page because it means saying goodbye, this is the bittersweet beauty of writing that we all hope to emulate. – danielle577 1 year ago
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  • Courtly (not Courtney) love, anyone? Seems similar since the public self is not the private self. – Tigey 1 year ago
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  • Yes. It is absolutely possible. How do I know? I've been dealing with this for almost 9 years of my life. I thought that after a few years of growing up and maturing, I'd be out of all of that, but it's still here, and I'm about to turn 20 years old. I'm not claiming to be all mentally stable, as I can perfectly tell it's not normal, nor sane; I know this because I've read about some people claiming to ''be in love'' with a character, but it's, at least in all cases I've read of, superficial, and it's over a few months later. For me... it's a tad more complicated. I don't really know how to explain it myself, but someone above said this: ''The real question at hand is whether it can be love when this very "person" does not even truly exist outside of a limited fantasy world.'' and I feel I can answer this perfectly. In order for the ''romance'' to work, one would have to live inside of that fantasy world, or at least in a way, ''bring it'' to reality. Take the character, and adapt it to our daily lives, and constantly imagine his/her reaction to given situations, even if he or she's not really there. I know it sounds crazy. But it was something that I couldn't control. It was as if my mind was working autonomously, and to be honest, I loved the feeling, because those ''crushes'' wouldn't last a few months, but years. I had trouble dealing with reality, and I became obsessive more than once, in an incredibly high level. I used to feel the character's presence all the time, as if I had to ''prove'' I was worthy of him. I used to fuel my feelings by learning about that character, so I could properly imagine his reactions, as if he was real. And then, I could get all the ''reciprocation'' in my mind, all the time, even without asking for it. I know, it's totally mental. As of now, I've learned how to control this, and it doesn't nearly affect me like to that level anymore. But I guess I can find a reason why I used to feel all of this. I've tested myself and got Avoidant Personality Disorder in the past; I was incredibly self-conscious, and had extremely low self-esteem. It was a long way, but I guess falling in love with characters was a way of coping with this, all this lack of love I've always felt I had. As I said, it still happens to me, but I more or less know how to control it, and I don't even feel anxious, or all that stuff anymore. Still, it was incredibly hard for me to walk away from all of this, as no one ever thought it was a pathology (I can clearly see it was, of some sort, as I didn't feel it was very natural), merely a very funny and peculiar characteristic of me, and I've never found any other case of it, at least not like mine. I guess people never knew it was a problem for me, because I've always acted very happy and ''cutely-obssesive'' over those characters I used to be in love with, but... Yes, it is possible, though I wouldn't wish it for anyone the way it happened to me. Beside all the happiness one could get by ''feeling loved'', it comes with a pretty messed up secondary effects, really. – IsabellaGranger 1 year ago
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  • IsabellaGranger I am currently going through the same thing. I lost the feelings I had for my girlfriend when I fell in love with the character. – AidenBender 11 months ago
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  • I'm currently experiencing this, it's been 5 years. It's so severe I decided to never find "real life" love because I'm just... Not interested. No one compares to him. Nobody understands and I don't even dare to explain, honestly I'm just wishing to die. Loving someone so much and never see him it's not worth it, but I can't seem to forget him. I'm so ashamed of me for getting myself being this ill and never did anything to get "normal"... – Crossinguniverse 10 months ago
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  • This has happened to me a variety of times with video game characters not to the extreme of denying a potential mate but I have always wanted to fall in love at some point in life and no person has ever (that I know of) felt the same way about me and I tend to gravitate to fictional video game characters. I currently have it very strongly with a character and I think its my fault that i got back into this feeling for playing this particular game (farming living a peaceful life and finding someone to marry and giving gifts to make them fall for you). This has really made me think non stop about this character who shares the same feeling that I have for her. And believe me i really wish I could completely erase these feelings away but they are very strong right now, I just hope that in a month or two I completely loose them because loving someone that doesn't even exist is very painful. So all in all I think its very possible to fall in love with fictional characters because its happened to me many times. – N8004 9 months ago
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  • Cogito ergo sum my friend, the only one truth If you think outside the box reality is just another fiction and fiction is just another reality, yes you can fall in love with a fictional character but you can't create any bonds – Sham 9 months ago
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  • Guys... If you happen to be going through this right now...Please send a PM to my facebook account adressing the problem...I'm still going through this too, and I feel I kind of retraced my steps into mentality again... I can't seem to completely let go of it and it worries me, but I feel maybe talking about it can help us all. We could do a helping group of some sort. My facebook is Isabella Granger, I'll add the link below if you want to message me and see if we can help each other. https://m.facebook.com/isabella.granger.16?ref=m_notif&notif_t=wall – IsabellaGranger 7 months ago
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  • I will fill this array, it happened to me too. For me it's maybe different from you, since I'm a guy, married, got kids, still fell in love with fictional woman. I love my wife a lot and it happened I got close to the lady off story. Than I realized I feel unusual towards her, almost same when I met my wife, yet different. Life story of this lady somehow resembles mine from past off younger age and then how it unravel and so one on so forth, it just happened. This woman is different from my wife, got less valuable everything than my wife, kinda rebel - devil - like my younger me, contrary angelic nature of my wife. Since I changed later on, seems old habits reside my memory. I'm fascinated not so much by those feelings rather the fact its possible in terms of psychology. I mostly take logical stances towards opinions and this is more fascinating than anything especially due empathy. Anyway I decided not to feel bad for this, rather fully submit to this for purpose of testing my mind. Plus it feels great, I'm somehow happy all the time my eyes are open, want to sing all day, everything is awesome. Everyone noticed I changed a bit, not so gloomy, smiling, less stressed, sleep better... Miracle or curse, have yet to discover. At least my next love doesn't argue about my scientific intentions :) – Khimari 6 months ago
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  • I have yet to find a Della Street in real life. – Antonius865 3 months ago
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  • I really want to see this topic investigated and researched in more depth. I think it would be important to look into the psychology of love and the variety of emotions that accompany each type. The love I have for my mother or best friend is not the same as a male or female fictional character. However, is one more superior or more valid than the other?Why do we feel connected to certain characters? Are they some kind of archetype for people in our lives? Perhaps they represent what we are personally missing.Interested in what others think. – Emily 1 day ago
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Female Masculinity in Faulkner

The women in Faulkner’s novels are volatile characters (as most characters in his books are), but in a different way. The women are often stronger, more brusque, and generally independent, traits that the men in the novel wish they had. Specifically looking at The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, how do the women appear more "masculine" than the men they interact with? How does their masculinity positively and negatively affect their relationships with others?

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    The Evolution of The Bank Heist in Cinema

    Whatever happened to the good ole’ bank job? A small team of dedicated villains who cased the job, drew up meticulous plans and (sometimes) got away with the loot. These days we are used to seeing technological spectaculars with the villains often touting hardware and computer systems equal to, or even superior to, that of the Police. The Bank Heist has been a popular movie theme since the days of silent film making, but times move on and so do the brains and specs behind the operation. ‘Bonny and Clyde’ (1967) showed the simple, violent approach to robbing a bank; ‘The Italian Job’ (1969) had a more lighthearted spin and instantly made the Mini car into an icon. In more recent years we’ve had ‘The Bank Heist’ (2011) a Canadian comedy and the Las Vegas-style showmanship of ‘Now You See Me’ (2013), whilst the British films ‘The Bank Job’ (2008) and ‘The Hatton Garden Job’ (2016) both harked back to old school techniques. Of course the list is endless and these are just a few examples. Explore the evolution of the bank heist and not just in terms of the advance in technology over the years, but also look at the characters involved, what their motivations are and why we, the international viewing public, retain a fascination for such villainy. It’s not always about the money!

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      How do fans ruin fandoms?

      For this, I define "fandom" as the content – the book, show, movie, etc. – well-loved by fans. But some fans say their fandom has been ruined by other fans. Whether a fandom can be ruined for a fan is, of course, subjective; it’s more interesting to consider why the fans say the fandom is ruined for them, how it’s even possible, and what fans can do about it. Examples may include H.P. Lovecraft’s books and, more recently, Rick and Morty.

      • I would suggest a few more examples of how some fans can be considered to ruin fandom for other fans. What might be viewed as enthusiasm by some fans might equally be considered obsession by others - such as Star Trek fans who love their shows so much that they buy Star Trek pyjamas; and how far can fandom go before it becomes idol worship. All fans are 'guilty' of overdoing it in other fans' eyes or conversely failing to take their fandom seriously. You're right when you state that it is subjective. I'd also suggest looking at how some fans who don't have the money to buy official merchandise can be very creative in making their own props and costumes. An example of this would be the incredible costumes made by some Dr.Who fans in Latin America (where the show is titled 'Doctor Mysterio') who did so simply because they had no ready access to official merchandise. – Amyus 7 days ago
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      • Interesting topic. I ran into this as recently as last night when the second episode of Once Upon a Time season 7 aired. Fans are already griping and moaning about the writers' decision regarding Hook (won't spoil it if you haven't seen it). Reading all that griping had me bummed because I thought, "They've got a point; this could be the death knell for my favorite series." But then I thought, that's stupid. I still love the series, and in cases like this, what matters is what I think. Then again, being a fan isn't as fun if a bunch of other fans are dissing your show, your movies, your books...whatever. I'll be interested to read about these and other thought processes, and the conclusions different fans of different media come to. – Stephanie M. 3 days ago
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      Literature in the modern online social sphere

      How will the increasing move to online social worlds such as Facebook and Instagram influence the consumption and production of literature. Will the move from physical books to technological based formats change the way words and ideas influence us. Is the day of the long classic novels coming to an end? Is this move making written word more accessible to mass audiences. Will this inevitable cultural and technological shift be the dawning of a new age of literature, or the death of an ancient human practise?

      • Its clear the way we use them is evolving, I think it creates an opportunity for new techniques to be used by writers, like a painter discovering some new colours. Especially as a new realm of experiences to decipher and dramatise. – beekay 5 months ago
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      • I have read many books that have detailed futuristic worlds in which physical books are 'ancient, with yellowing pages and brittle spines' and wondered myself whether this vision of the future could, in fact, become truth, particularly with the creation of ebooks and the ever increasing ability to purchase texts online. – SophIsticated 5 months ago
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      • Would it be helpful to look at games and our ability to participate in the story - has their level of characterisation rivalled (or does it have the potential to rival) 'long classic novels'? – Els Lee 2 months ago
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      The use of Foreshadowing in AMC's Breaking Bad.

      Vince Gilligans brainchild Breaking Bad is a television series which is often mentioned within the conversation of the greatest television series of all time. This is attributed to Gilligan’s excellent storytelling abilities- particularly his use of foreshadowing throughout the series. An article discussing this narrative technique used within Breaking Bad including specific examples would be quite enthralling.

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        The Use of Music in Baby Driver

        Analyze the use of music in the film. The music Baby listens to becomes a major part of the movie’s score and also serves to punctuate many of the film’s amazing chase sequences; it is often synced perfectly to the action, as Baby is meticulous in timing the music just right. A film’s score is always deliberately attuned to the story’s plot and themes, but do the musical choices, timing, and the fact it is usually coming from a character’s iPod produce a new or different effect upon the viewer?

        • I have yet to see baby driver but I hugely appreciate a good soundtrack in a movie so this topic would be great to explore the importance of music in film and how it can at times be equally as effective as special effects and dialogue. The Dark Knight trilogy is a great example of this as I believe Hans Zimmer's composure on that made it all the more amazing. – AdilYoosuf 6 days ago
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        • It would be helpful to add a track-listing for the Baby Driver soundtrack, and possibly a link to its iTunes page so readers can have a place to sample songs track by track in case they forget a song. – TeriekWilliams1988 5 days ago
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        • I recently watched a clip from an interview where the actors talked about the fact that music was a big part of this film already in the scripting phase. They even wrote a special program to help readers experience the story and the music together while they were shopping it around. https://youtu.be/RB7E0geIeV8 – derBruderspielt 3 days ago
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        Film

        Citizen Kane: Isolation and the American Identity
        Citizen Kane: Isolation and the American Identity
        It Comes at Night: The Politics of a Contagion Narrative
        Christopher Nolan’s Memento: A Philosophical Consciousness Debate
        The Strong Female Lead: Modern Cinema’s Take on Women’s Strength

        TV

        Getting to the Airport and Other Actions That TV Completely Misrepresents
        Getting to the Airport and Other Actions That TV Completely Misrepresents
        True Detective: The Road Ahead
        Star Trek: Discovery: Why We Shouldn’t Start Panicking Just Yet
        The Moral of Doctor Who: Answering the Questions of “Genesis of the Daleks”

        Animation

        Best and Worst Disney Role Models for Girls and Young Women
        Best and Worst Disney Role Models for Girls and Young Women
        Feminism and Disney: They’re Not As Different As You Might Think
        Disney and the Perils of Adaptation
        Masculinity in Steven Universe: A Matter of GEMder?

        Anime

        Violence in Anime: Helpful or a Hindrance?
        Violence in Anime: Helpful or a Hindrance?
        Girls und Panzer: Deconstructing Gender with Tank Combat
        The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: The Journey of The Hero
        Why Western Culture is Beginning to Embrace Anime

        Manga

        One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
        One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
        Manga: How to Travel Between Dimensions
        Naruto: The Unresolved Revolution
        The 5 Saddest Moments in One Piece

        Comics

        Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
        Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
        The Social Stigma of Comic Book Reading
        What Should Happen To Captured Super Villains?
        Finding the Bridge Between Superhero Comics and Hip-Hop

        Literature

        The Endurance of Gatsby
        The Endurance of Gatsby
        Minds That Matter: Women Of Lore
        Phantom of the Opera and the Problem of “Shipping”
        His Dark Materials: Conflict, Justice and Mental Health

        Arts

        Picasso’s Guernica: 80 Years Later
        Picasso’s Guernica: 80 Years Later
        Women, Culture and Politics: Buffy’s Critical Bite
        Enhancing Performance: Self-Care for All Artists
        Celebrating Finnish folk songs: Finland’s centennial anniversary

        Writing

        Creative Texting: Writing and Textspeak
        Creative Texting: Writing and Textspeak
        Parallel and Alternate Realities; Fiction Tells us the Difference
        Genre Fiction in University Writing Programs: No longer the MFA’s Red-headed Stepchild
        Can you Teach Someone how to Become a Writer?