Shocking and provocative titles, books abandon their thresholds

“The title is the first threshold of the book.”

A statement on which neither critics nor readers disagree, as they agree that the title is the necessary key to exploring the depths of the text.

Today, however, some authors tend to use shocking titles, which were the subject of controversy and scarcity in the Riyadh exhibition specifically in its latest version, and these titles include “Kill your wife,” “My dog ​​friends,” “Divorce your wife you love more,” and “Really if My husband is a dog.” Was it related to the core of the content?, and what is the role of publishing in accepting such books? And is the exhibit necessarily typical of the cultural superiority of the nation, or is the issue related to the writer’s freedom and the cultural freedom that has its readers, market and audience!

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The literary critic at King Saud University, Dr. Hajid Al-Harbi, believes that “the title in the authored book, whatever its scientific subject, is the general mark of the book’s material, value and importance. The topic is very long, and recent critical studies have paid special attention to this field due to the development of title writing and its writing process, as it has become a creative work with a structural function in general, and a suggestive coding function in particular. Intentionality is of great interest to both the author and the publisher on the one hand, as well as to the recipient on the other hand. Therefore, some surprising or exciting titles have spread, and some provocative or shocking titles have emerged to the public taste.. But such works do not take into account the many concerns of public opinion as much as What it takes into account in performing its advertising mission in an effective and effective manner.”

He added, “In my opinion, the title is a small creative structure that refers to a major creative structure that is the content of the book or its scientific material, and through the intersection of the two structures, creative brilliance occurs in a certain way that determines its quality and distinction by the self composed with its creative capabilities and techniques, and conscious creativity in the audience knows its way to the creative and publicity glow.” Without resorting to confronting the taste of the public and the authority of the cultural position represented by the ideologies of human societies, and as a result of the fragility of this awareness – or lack of interest in it – we have come to find some exciting and loud headlines at the expense of the main task of publishing and authorship and its general cultural and humanitarian message, and this does not mean dependent on attitudes or General opinions in such a matter, but it means confronting the able critic to consider each title separately, placing it under the guillotine of professional criticism with complete tools, and direct examination and testing by the conscious recipient to clarify what may be hidden from those with direct or public taste.

Marketing dominates

Dr. Ali Debkal Al-Anzi, Head of the Media Department at King Saud University, a former member of the Shura Council, and a professor in the Media Department believes that “the marketing issue has overshadowed the content, and publishing houses – as well as authors – are looking for excitement in the title and content, even if it is weak, and without doubt it will affect This greatly affects culture, and that is why we witnessed a great turnout at the recent Riyadh International Book Fair for many book titles that provoke the educated reader.. Yes, the financial and marketing aspect has become the most important for publishing houses and for a number of authors, and we should not forget the role of media communication networks. And the applications that, in turn, greatly affected the book and its content, so that the trend for the technology generation became social networks.”

No provocation

The novelist and critic Hamed Ahmed Al-Sharif asserts that he did not think the matter did not need those provocative titles, which unfortunately were mentioned in the last book fair, and whose books became popular, and perhaps knew more than the titles of the sober books for which the exhibition was held, and he says, “We did not need such a provocation. In order to realize the real size of the problem and its great impact on our cultural scene, such books are the best-selling and most discussed in the various media, both official and unofficial, and we may have contributed, intentionally or unintentionally, to marketing it even through these press investigations, which is what has been set These shameful titles are for his sake, and in order to understand the dimensions of the problem, we must first realize its causes, and I may limit them to three axes that play a major role in the aggravation of this phenomenon and the extension of its impact:

The first of these is the commercial publishing houses that have deviated from their normal course and their goal has become financial profit without considering the value of the text of the book, let alone its title. They are commercial entities whose goal is the material profit that is achieved at the hands of these bubbles, and as long as they find someone to buy, they will be more motivated to offer their corrupt goods.

– Secondly, and on the other hand, comes the role of the Ministry of Culture or the body authorized to grant these books permission, and it would have been better for it to be a strong sorting method that does not allow this disrespect and stands in the way of these bad manuscripts in order to preserve our cultural values, and the value of the book that has descended to a level that is not It can be imagined with this huge amount of commercial books that are not worth the paper and ink that was consumed in printing them, and this of course does not conflict with freedom of opinion and dependence on self-censorship, which is the demand of intellectuals and writers in all regions, but rather preserves the minimum quality of the book as a cultural and literary value.

Thirdly, after that comes our role as recipients, whether we are educated people or the common people. We all contribute to a large extent in promoting these books and their authors, either by criticizing them or praising them, and both methods lead to the same result. In the horizons and find someone who picks them up and rejoices in them, and it would have been better for us to ignore them altogether and divert our eyes and pens towards other books that represent our culture and our thought and improve our presentation to the world around us. From what is said in this aspect, which is not enough to mention, perhaps if we do that, the foam will disappear and remain in the earth that only benefits people.”

Provocative titles

* I gave up on the title being the first threshold of the book

* I gave up being a creative work that has its structural and coding function

* Turned attention to the promotional and marketing aspect

It does not take into account the interests of public opinion as much as it takes into account its promotional function

* Confronting public taste and the authority of the cultural position represented by the ideologies of societies

* It comes at the expense of the main mission of publishing and authorship and its cultural and humanitarian message

Marketing over content

* You are looking for excitement and this negatively affects the culture

*Used as a trick by the book to attract interest regardless of poor content

* Some readers are looking for odd or odd names


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