I feel like I wasted an hour of my life. So why, you may ask, did I choose to provide a commentary piece for Saikat Guhat’s article, “The Ontological Status And Characteristics of Fictional Things”? Well, I wrote a short 2-page paper two years ago concerning this topic. I believed that if something is birthed into thought then it is an existing entity. I classified the thoughts in our minds that have been developed, but have yet to be shared as being real for the simple reason that it exists. Also, the first time I read the article, I enjoyed it. I thought it was enlightening, and although he chose to tackle a very basic, yet complex topic of differentiating existence from being, he did a good job of breaking down his argument. But when I returned to the article for a second time, I found Guhat’s argument to be incredibly tedious to follow because, as the reader, you had to be subliminally conscious of what you were reading. In addition, I was irked by the arrogant and pretentious tone of the author. I found Guhat’s statements in reference to his credibility to be particularly offensive to people’s intelligence, suggesting that we disregard common sense and think above what is sensible if we, the readers, are to understand his thesis.
Here is the CliffsNotes version of “The Ontological Status and Characteristics of Fictional Things”:
*The author himself does not personally believe there is any significant difference between actuality, being, and existence. [So why did you write the paper?]
*He suggests that we think above common sense in order to follow along with his thesis and reasoning, but common sense is what most people resort to when deducting questions.
*The difference between being and existence is that being is only merely real and is mostly abstract. Existence, on the other hand, is concrete and occupies a tangible space and time.
*The only way his theory is true is if we consider everything, every word in a literal manner, which is completely unrealistic and foolish.
*According to our author…
- FICTIONAL: “Some fictional monsters are far deadlier than any real animal.”
- FACTUAL: “Many a reader of Pride and Prejudice has grown to love Elizabeth Bennett.”
It’s a thinking piece, but it requires too much effort of the reader to really understand the article comprehensibly. I think I’ll need some aspirin to nurse the headache I’ve obtained.
Editor: Candice Leung