Thesis: the rise of fanwank and anti culture correlates directly with diminished understanding of what “romantic”, in a literary sense, actually means.
It doesn’t mean “this is ideal or healthy or even realistic”. It means “this is beautiful, this is tragic, this is grotesque, this stirs emotion”, even if it’s not, as @starryroom puts it, something you would be comfortable seeing play out in front of you at Taco Bell. It’s about grandiosity and mythology and heroism writ large. It’s about playing with the id, as beautiful and terrible as it can be.
LET LOVE AND LUST BE MONSTROUS.
i feel like Guillermo del Toro ghostwrote that
“I didn’t say I liked it. I said it fascinated me. There is a great difference.”
– Oscar Wilde