Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Celebrities In Fiction
I ask this because I have just reread Stieg Larsson's second novel up to the passage where suddenly Paolo Roberto is the viewpoint character. An Airport Customs officer recognizes Roberto and addresses him by his first name as you or I could if we saw him on the street. Roberto recognizes Lisbeth Salander's face on the billboards. He knows this fictional character although the real world Roberto can't. Fictional characters converse with Roberto as an acquaintance in the novel and the actors playing those characters converse with the real Roberto playing himself in the film. Amazing.
SM Stirling presents real sf writers, including Poul Anderson, at the beginning of In The Courts Of The Crimson Kings. These fictional avatars of real people have a curious status, half in and half out of the real world. Any of these writers also appears, one step closer to reality, in a biographical or autobiographical text. Aldous Huxley wrote that he was wearing jeans during a drug experience but his wife, thinking that he ought to be better dressed for his readers, persuaded him to change the text to refer instead to gray flannel trousers. There are indeed some strange reality-fiction interfaces.