Note: No disrespect is intended to actual victims of swine flu or other real illnesses. This is about illness as metaphor in fiction.

Thoughts to ponder:

Is there any relationship, either direct or by similarity, between modern hurt-comfort and Victorian fictional illness fetishization?

What is the most current manifestation of illness as metaphor? Do tragically sensitive and artistic characters still always die of heart disease, cancer, leukemia, and/or AIDS, or is there a new preferred disease?

Remember all those YA novels where someone always died of cancer (or occasionally drowning or bee sting) by the end? Are current YA novels less death-laden?

What is the most cracktastic anime/manga/romance illness?

[Poll #1392575]

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