[ Editor’s note: In celebration of the holidays, we’re counting down the top 12 Flavorwire features of 2012. This post, at #6, was originally published April 11. ] Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for a good, old-fashioned SAT-style analogy. Ready? Creed from The Office is to Hello Kitty as Don Draper is to ________? If you answered “Oscar the Grouch,” you win! Confused? Don’t fret — it’s easy to assume that these fictional folks are unrelated when, in actuality, they celebrate their birthdays on the same day. Fun fact, eh? On that note, so do Rocky Balboa and Seth Cohen, the Weasley twins and Bart Simpson, and Superman and Jerry from Parks and Recreation — and we’re just getting started! After the jump, we’ve made a series of monthly timelines charting hundreds of fictional birthdays from TV, film, literature, video games, and beyond. Of course, not every day can be Liz Lemon’s or Rambo’s birthday, so a few of us might find that our character birthday soul mate is an obscure anime character or a toddler on a soap opera, but hey, that ain’t so bad. Click through for upwards of 365 character birthdays, then hit the comments to announce your newfound birthday twin.
In terms of the traditional separation between fiction and non-fiction , the lines are now commonly understood as blurred, showing more overlap than mutual exclusion. Even fiction usually has elements of, or grounding in, truth. The distinction between the two may be best defined from the perspective of the audience, according to whom a work is regarded as non-fiction if its people, places, and events are all historically or factually real, while a work is regarded as fiction if it deviates from reality in any of those areas. The distinction between fiction and non-fiction is further obscured by an understanding, on the one hand, that the truth can be presented through imaginary channels and constructions, while, on the other hand, imagination can just as well bring about significant conclusions about truth and reality.