A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
It seems a little disrespectful to follow Jackie’s inspiring post yesterday with the triviality that is The Tuesday Alternative. But it’s Tuesday. So I have no choice. Triviality rules, as we take our fortnightly sideways glance at all things book, blog and word.
I have been pondering a story I read before Christmas about a Japanese man who launched a campaign to bring in a law to allow him to marry a Manga cartoon character
“I am no longer interested in three dimensions,” he cried dramatically. (Ok, I added the cried dramatically bit. He probably typed it for all I know.)
“I would even like to become a resident of the two-dimensional world,” he added, ruefully. (Alright, alright – aren’t we allowed any artistic license round here? How else would you say it other than ruefully? Except, now I look, I see he wrote it. Damn. Can you write ruefully? I say you can.)
According to The Telegraph:
While single sex marriage is not permitted in Japan, the popularity of the cartoon-human unions was instantly apparent this week as more than 1,000 were enlisted to the campaign.
Among them, one supporter wrote: “For a long time I have only been able to fall in love with two-dimensional people and currently I have someone I really love…Even if she is fictional, it is still loving someone. I would like to have legal approval for this system at any cost.”
“Men,” the female contingent of Vulpes’ readers mutter to themselves knowingly, tut-tutting and rolling their eyes about in enjoyable superiority.
But is it just men? After all, as many of my Vulpine colleagues can confirm, there are some seriously fanatical forums and fansites out there literally swarming with women obsessed with famous fictional characters – usually conveniently represented by some good-looking actor (Richard Armitage, anyone?). Whilst I have heard rumours that some of the things Spock and Captain Kirk get up to in the torrid imaginations of some female fanfic writers is enough to make your eyes water.
Still, we think to ourselves, at least a written character, whether in a book or in fanfiction, is a proper character. There is a sense of personality, of emotional complexity, which is more than you can say for some doe-eyes cartoon with enormous bazongas. (But, then again, who is to say doe-eyed cartoon characters with enormous bazongas have no personality? That is surely just doe-eyed-bazonga-ist of me and I should be ashamed of myself, as a Good Feminist.)
But let us, for a moment, imagine marriage to a fictional character was legal. What would the implications be? How would the 2- dimensional and the 3-dimensional come together in practical terms. (Well, yes, apart from that, obviously.) I mean, could one – say – get hitched to Mr Darcy, divorce him and receive alimony from his creator’s estate? Could you demand a percentage – call it housekeeping money – from every appearance he makes on film, on television or in the West End (in Lizzie and Fitz the Musical, perhaps?) Money – after all – is pretty flat, 2-dimensional stuff and would therefore be fair game. Or would all transactions be strictly virtual and the only way you could make your mint would be when your fictional beloved pops his clogs and you get some backhander for allowing Pemberley to be concreted over by developers in Second Life?
And what about the children? How would they successfully combine 2 and 3 dimensions? Would they be flesh and blood caricatures? Or fully rounded characters still held prisoner by the page?
Like real life, it’s all a bit more complicated than just the falling in love bit.
So, to round off this fortnight’s offering, here’s a little fun speculation on which fictional characters some of my fellow foxes might wed – given half a chance and some major changes in the law and – err – reality.
Well, no prizes for who Jackie would choose. Was there ever really any doubt? As for Moira, I fear a fictional court order may be required, to prevent a certain forehead-tree battering Romantic hero (with a capital R) from coming within a moor or two of the Den. Lisa’s more tricky – originally I thought dark and bleak, before I remembered it has to be a geek. Someone from Microserfs, maybe? The one who only ate nothing but 2-dimensional food slipped under his locked office door? EmmaD, I can imagine, happily trotting off with one of her own fictional heroes, whilst for Eve, despite the fact she is married, no longer a teenager and really should know better – it has to be a group wedding with the entire male cast of Luisa Plaja’s Split by a Kiss. Myself? Gormenghast‘s Dr Prunesquallor, of course. 2 dimensions? Pah! He has at least five or six. Whilst Kirsty…Kirsty…(I think I’d better shut up now before she starts casting about for that ice-axe.)
Feel free to tell us what cartoon, book or other fictional character you’d tie the knot with, given the world falling into a parallel universe where love across the dimensions was no longer so cruelly divided.